Mealey's Discovery

  • July 20, 2021

    Mesothelioma Deposition Time Cap Passes Muster, California Court Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — A narrowly tailored statute capping defendants’ time for deposing mesothelioma sufferers does not permit a trial judge to grant additional time, and substantial evidence shows that defendants were not precluded from participating, alleviating any due process concerns, a California appeals court said July 19.

  • July 20, 2021

    2nd Circuit Affirms Order Of Discovery For Arbitration Against Lithuania

    NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 affirmed a district court’s ruling granting a Russian entity’s Section 1782 application for assistance obtaining discovery from a U.S. firm and its CEO for use in a treaty-based arbitration against Lithuania.

  • July 20, 2021

    Judge Won’t Reconsider Order Allowing Discovery In Nigerian Oil License Dispute

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on July 15 declined to reconsider her earlier order allowing an Italian oil company to take discovery from Delaware entities funding a Nigerian law firm as it litigates an oil license dispute, writing that while litigation involving the parties in Italy recently ended, the oil company is still seeking the discovery for use in a pending international arbitration claim.

  • July 16, 2021

    Tennessee Appeals Court Won’t Hear Appeal Of Opioid Defendants’ Default Judgment

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Court of Appeals on July 15 denied a motion by opioid defendant Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. to review a lower court’s default judgment in a governmental opioid case, saying that because the lower court judge left undecided further discovery sanctions, the appellate court lacks jurisdiction.

  • July 16, 2021

    Residents:  PFAS Whistleblower Should Testify; Privilege Issues No Longer Apply

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont residents on June 24 filed a brief in Vermont federal court contending that a former attorney for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. who filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration contending that he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for alerting the company to responsibilities it had related to drinking water contamination from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) should be permitted to testify at a deposition because Saint-Gobain’s assertions of privilege no longer apply.

  • July 14, 2021

    Panel Reverses Judgment Against Putative Class, Citing ‘Disparity In Discovery’

    LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel on July 7 reversed a trial court’s rulings granting a retail store’s no-merits motion and entering judgment in its favor on two consumers’ putative class action claims that the retail store violated state laws, including California’s unfair competition law (UCL), through a store “cash” program, writing that the court abused its discretion by ruling before the plaintiffs completed discovery.

  • July 12, 2021

    Judge:  Asbestos-Talc Plaintiffs May Depose Ex-J&J Communications Director

    ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Plaintiffs who claim that they developed ovarian cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos in consumer talc may depose the man who led Johnson & Johnson’s corporate communications department, a New Jersey judge said July 8. 

  • July 12, 2021

    Motion To Quash Third-Party Subpoena Stayed In Marriott Data Breach Suit

    CHICAGO — In a July 7 paperless order, the Maryland federal judge presiding over the consolidated class action over a massive data breach experienced by Marriott International Inc. stayed the resolution of the consumer plaintiffs’ motion to quash Marriott’s third-party discovery subpoena on a nonparty forensics firm pending resolution of the subpoena target’s own motion to quash in Illinois federal court.

  • July 09, 2021

    Fracking Company:  Subpoenas Should Be Quashed In Water Pollution Appeal

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A hydraulic fracturing company on July 1 filed a brief with the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) arguing that it should quash subpoenas and enter an order prohibiting depositions in a permit dispute on grounds that the plaintiffs seek information protected by the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine.

  • July 09, 2021

    Homeowners Insurer Must Turn Over Requested Documents In Bad Faith Dispute

    LAKELAND, Fla. — A trial court did not err in concluding that a homeowners insurer must turn over a number of requested documents to an insured because the documents at issue are relevant to the insured’s bad faith claim, the Second District Florida Court of Appeal said June 30.

  • July 07, 2021

    California Court Told Asbestos Deposition Time Challenge Built On ‘Fallacies’

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Legislature addressed the very complaints raised by defendants in challenging limits on asbestos depositions, recognized that other means existed to accomplish the goals of a deposition and chose to protect terminally ill mesothelioma suffers, plaintiffs told a California appeals court on July 2 in urging the court to dismiss a petition.

  • July 07, 2021

    D.C. Circuit: FBI Properly Withheld Some Documents In AP FOIA Request Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a July 2 ruling, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel handed a mixed victory to the FBI, finding that certain internal emails were properly withheld from production under the deliberative process privilege in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Associated Press (AP), while finding that the bureau did not establish that other materials related to an undercover operation were privileged or that their release would cause harm.

  • July 06, 2021

    Parties Await Ruling On Motion To Compel Asbestos-Talc Testing Results

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Parties to a dispute over whether an asbestos plaintiff produced the full lab results of testing on a consumer talc product await a federal judge in North Carolina’s ruling after wrapping briefing on May 7.

  • July 06, 2021

    Judge Orders Production Of Hospital’s Tissue Slides, Sanctions Asbestos Plaintiffs

    HARRISON, Ark. — Plaintiffs must draft an authorization allowing a hospital to turn over lung pathology slides of a woman who died of mesothelioma after alleged exposure to asbestos in talc she used as a hairdresser and, as a sanction for discovery violations, must produce their expert witness and pay associated court reporter fees, a federal judge said June 22 while also ordering the plaintiffs not to disturb the talc samples in their control.

  • July 02, 2021

    Magistrate Partly Grants Insurer’s Motion To Compel Discovery In Bad Faith Suit

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A federal magistrate judge in Louisiana on June 29 granted in part and denied in part a homeowners insurer’s motion to compel in a bad faith lawsuit arising from storm damage, finding that the plaintiff failed to comply with providing initial disclosures of damages under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(A)(iii) and failed to fully respond to certain interrogatories and requests for production seeking information and documents related to the alleged damages.

  • July 02, 2021

    High Court Will Consider Enforcement Of Discovery Stay In State Court Securities Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on July 2 granted a petition for certiorari filed by Dell Technologies Inc., a subsidiary and other parties that were sued for securities violations related to the subsidiary’s initial public offering (IPO), in which they asked the court to find that a discovery stay provision in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (Reform Act) applies to securities lawsuits filed in state courts and not just in federal courts, as California trial and appeals courts found.

  • June 29, 2021

    U.S. Government Tells High Court Section 1782 Does Not Apply To Private Tribunals

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United States on June 28 filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court and moved for leave to participate in oral argument in a case addressing discovery in aid of foreign courts and tribunals, arguing that the relevant statute does not apply to private commercial tribunals and that a contrary finding may jeopardize investor-state arbitrations.

  • June 28, 2021

    Judge Allows Acts-Of-God Affirmative Defense In Roofing Spat, Strikes Spoliation

    MINNEAPOLIS — The maker of allegedly defective roofing membranes may plead an acts-of-God affirmative defense in response to a supplemental complaint from Target Corp. that increased the number of stores at issue by two, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled June 21, denying Target’s motion to strike newly asserted affirmative defenses on that count but granting it as to spoliation of evidence, which the judge said “is not an affirmative defense.”

  • June 28, 2021

    California Court To Weigh Mesothelioma Deposition Limits

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California appeals court on June 25 agreed to determine the propriety of a state law limiting 80 asbestos defendants in a mesothelioma case to 14 hours of deposition time.

  • June 25, 2021

    Saint-Gobain: Whistleblower’s Deposition In PFOA Case ‘Fraught With Problems’

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. on June 17 filed a bench memorandum in Vermont federal court arguing that a former attorney for the company who filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration contending that he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for alerting the company to responsibilities it had related to drinking water contamination from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) should not be deposed because it would be “fraught with problems of privilege and confidentiality.”

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