RICHMOND, Va. — In an insurance bad faith action against an insurer for its failure to defend an insured in a construction defect action, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 remanded to a district court for instructions in accordance with the South Carolina Supreme Court’s ruling that “denying liability and/or asserting good faith in the answer does not, standing alone,” waive attorney-client privilege for claim files addressing the insurer’s reinsurance and reserves (In re: Mt. HawleyInsuranceCo., No. 18-1401, 4th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 22356).
BOSTON — The Massachusetts federal judge overseeing the Zofran birth defect multidistrict litigation on July 25 ordered plaintiffs’ counsel and a plaintiffs’ epidemiologist to produce to defendant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) documents the researcher used in writing a medical journal article on which the plaintiffs rely for causation and to disclose her communications and financial arrangements with plaintiffs’ counsel (In Re: Zofran [Ondansetron] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2657, No. 15-md-2657, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123913).
PHILADELPHIA — Lockheed Martin Co. must largely respond to a motion to compel discovery regarding it and its subsidiaries liabilities stemming from a man’s exposure to asbestos in both the U.S. Navy and private employment, a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania said July 25 (Robert J. Kraus, et al. v. Alcatel-Lucent, et al., No. 18-2119, E.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK — A miscommunication led a judge to believe a motion for rehearing was untimely, and nothing in an executive’s television appearance warrants allowing asbestos-talc plaintiffs to depose him, Johnson & Johnson entities told a New York justice in a July 25 court document viewed by Mealey Publications (Donald Minassian, et al. v. Brenntag North America, et al., No. 190399/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CLEVELAND — The Ohio judge overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation on July 15 lifted a protective order for ARCOS drug distribution data from before Dec. 31, 2012, saying there is “clearly no basis to shield the public view” of the data (In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).
NEW ORLEANS — An asbestos plaintiff may subpoena out-of-state defendants for trial as long as he identifies specific areas of inquiry, a Louisiana appeals court held July 18 (Ronald Clark McMaster v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 2019-C-0592, La. App., 4th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Supreme Court review of a federal circuit court’s ruling upholding the issuance of a punitive sua sponte terminating sanctions order (TSO) in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit is warranted because doing so will allow the Supreme Court to clarify that its ruling in National Hockey League v. Metropolitan Hockey Club Inc. does not authorize the use of civil sanctions to “punish or deter,” petitioners argue in a July 3 petition for writ of certiorari (Loop AI Labs Inc., et al. v. Anna Gatti, et al., No. 19-59, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 2501).
SUFFOLK, Mass. — A Massachusetts justice on June 19 denied a motion to compel filed by reinsurers in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that the reinsurers failed to prove that discovery regarding an insurer’s declaratory judgment action against an insured is relevant to whether coverage exists for a settlement between the insurer and the insured (Lamorak Insurance Co. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, No. 1884CV00200-BLS2, Mass. Super., Suffolk, 2019 Mass. Super. LEXIS 385).
NEW YORK — A deaf man suing a New Jersey-based fitness chain for website violations of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) failed to establish any connection to New York, a New York federal judge ruled July 12, dismissing the lawsuit for lack of jurisdiction (Philip Sullivan Jr. v. Jersey Strong Licensing LLC, No. 1:18-cv-07753, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116338).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on July 11 granted a disability claimant’s motion to dismiss a disability insurer’s counterclaim seeking to recover an alleged overpayment of benefits after determining that discovery on the issue of the overpayment is necessary (Karen Jette v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 18-11650, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115973).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge presiding over the Zostavax multidistrict litigation on July 8 ordered Merck & Co. Inc. to produce adverse event data about alleged injuries caused by the shingles vaccine (In Re: Zostavax [Zoster Vaccine Live] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2848, No. 19-md-2848, E.D. Pa.).
PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 10 denied a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc filed by an employer following a May 1 ruling that reversed a district court’s decision on an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission subpoena related to a gender discrimination charge and remanded with instructions to enforce the subpoena except as to information the EEOC says it no longer needs (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. VF Jeanswear LP, No. 17-16786, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 20495).
PADUCAH, Ky. — A Kentucky federal magistrate judge on July 3 found that the estate of a man killed in an auto accident was entitled to depose the defendant trucking company as to why it did not preserve certain records of the responsible driver, granting in part a motion to compel deposition (Estate of Austin Patterson, et al. v. Contract Freighters Inc., et al., No. 5:18-cv-00174, W.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111062).
NEW YORK — A consumer talc company’s subpoenas seek information it can obtain through other means, and the defendant has not shown that it made any attempt to obtain cooperation from out-of-state individuals who provided talc samples for testing before seeking court assistance, a New York justice held July 8 (Beverley Alleyne v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190295/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3565).
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge overseeing discovery in an antitrust multidistrict litigation against Keurig Green Mountain Inc. on July 1 granted the coffee manufacturer’s motion to compel a competing K-cup maker to produce communications with a former attorney regarding its decision to use certain marketing terms, finding that the competitor’s assertion of a good faith defense based on its reliance on the attorney’s advice waived any attorney-client privilege in such documents (In re: Keurig Green Mountain Single Serve Coffee Antitrust Litigation, No. 1:14-ms-02542, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109805).
GREENBELT, Md. — Questioning the standing of a bank that is one of the many plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation over a data breach that it experienced, Marriott International Inc. on July 9 filed a letter in Maryland federal court requesting leave to conduct limited discovery regarding the bank’s claimed damages from the breach to determine whether it suffered a necessary injury-in-fact (In re: Marriott International Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 8:19-md-02879, D. Md.).
DETROIT — A federal magistrate judge in Michigan on July 2 ordered a nonparty attorney accused of referring individuals injured in automobile accidents to clinics that allegedly submitted fraudulent bills to State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. to produce a majority of the records the insurer requested in a subpoena, holding that evidence presented by the company could support the inference that he is the center of the scheme (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Elite Health Centers Inc., et al., No. 16cv13040, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110767).
FORT SMITH, Ark. — Two employees fired for data security flaws failed to establish that their terminations were due to age discrimination, an Arkansas federal judge ruled July 3, granting summary judgment to their former employer after also finding that the ex-employees intentionally spoliated evidence by encrypting and deleting text messages (Brian Herzig, et al. v. Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care Inc., No. 2:18-cv-02101, W.D. Ark., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111296).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two former employees of a plastics company have sufficiently demonstrated the need to subpoena Verizon Wireless for certain records supporting their defense against computer fraud and wiretap claims against them related to the alleged theft of company trade secrets, an Ohio federal magistrate judge ruled July 3, granting their motion for expedited discovery (Axium Plastics LLC v. Keith Templin, et al., No. 2:19-cv-02386, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111079).
TACOMA, Wash. — The operator of an immigration detainee center charged with minimum wage violations by the state of Washington saw its motion to compel discovery denied on July 1, with a Washington federal judge finding that the requested data on state agency work programs was already sufficiently produced and holding that the defendant did not establish that additional information was relevant or proportional to the present case (Washington v. The GEO Group Inc., No. 3:17-cv-05806, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109831).