CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in June ruled only that the beneficiary of an ERISA-governed plan should be able to pursue her Section 502(a)(3) claim against Verizon Communications Inc. and did not dictate the outcome, a federal magistrate judge in New York wrote Dec. 29, recommending denying the beneficiary’s motion for summary judgment and granting a motion by Verizon for discovery.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — An international conflict resolution think tank on Jan. 5 submitted an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court supporting Servotronics Inc.’s petition for a writ of certiorari in which it urges the high court to expeditiously resolve a circuit split pertaining to whether the federal statute under which courts may assist discovery for foreign and international tribunals applies to private commercial arbitral tribunals.
GALVESTON, Texas — A homebuilder and a developer say in a motion filed in Texas state court on Dec. 28 that they should not be required to comply with a man’s requests for discovery in a construction defects lawsuit because the arbitration provision in the purchase and sale agreement says the parties “are giving up their respective judicial rights to discovery.”
NEW YORK — Evidence that a man suffering from lung cancer attends doctor’s visits, speaks “here and there” with this son and can spend 20 minutes attending to a patio garden falls short of establishing his ability to sit for an asbestos deposition, a New York justice said Dec. 29.
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal magistrate judge on Dec. 30 reversed a special master’s denial of insureds’ request for discovery related to procedures that "explain and demonstrate the information” that directors and officers liability insurers “themselves treat as material in assessing risk thresholds, setting the premium pricing, and issuing the policies” and remanded the proportionality issue and other considerations as to the scope of the discovery to the special master.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Supreme Court on Dec. 17 overturned an appeals court’s denial of a petition filed by a skilled nursing facility that sought to block disclosure of nurse consultant reports prepared for its quality assurance performance improvement (QAPI) committee for use in a lawsuit accusing it of negligence, finding that the records are protected by the Federal Quality Assurance Privilege (FQAP), a subsection of the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (FNHRA), because the documents are reviewed by the committee and used to render decisions and comply with the statute.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Georgia-Pacific affiliate Bestwall LLC should be allowed to send personal injury questionnaires to asbestos claimants and examine data from asbestos trusts to get an accurate estimation of Bestwall’s asbestos liability for its Chapter 11 case, the United States says in a Dec. 28 statement of interest filed in a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court .
SAN FRANCISCO — In a ruling that encompassed three antitrust lawsuits against Apple Inc. related to its App Store, a California federal judge on Dec. 18 ordered the technology giant to provide 16 witnesses for depositions to iPhone owners, app developers and game developers that have brought allegations of monopolistic practices against Apple (In re: Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-6714, N.D. Calif.; Donald R. Cameron, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 19-3074, N.D. Calif.; Epic Games Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 20-5640, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A New York manufacturer on Dec. 7 petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to address an issue that is the subject of a circuit split: whether the federal statute governing judicial assistance in evidence-gathering for foreign and international tribunals allows discovery in aid of private commercial arbitral tribunals (Servotronics, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce PLC, et al., No. 20-794,U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES — A trial judge built an “evidentiary wall” between an asbestos insulator and its supplier by precluding a plaintiff from using previous deposition testimony from either defendant to build a case against the other, improperly prevented the plaintiff from relying on already admitted testimony and then wrongly granted summary judgment to both, a woman told a California appeals court on Nov. 12. The plaintiff reached a settlement with one of the defendants, according to a Dec. 10 docket entry (Alma Bartz, et al. v. Metalclad Insulation LLC, et al., No. B307140, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).
NEW YORK — Three women who have accused Harvey Weinstein, a former film producer and convicted sex offender, of assaulting them filed in a federal court in New York on Dec. 2 an opposition to Weinstein’s motion to stay his deposition in their class lawsuit, arguing that a stay would indefinitely postpone discovery for the case (Louisette Geiss, et al. v. The Weinstein Company Holdings, LLC, et al., No 17-9554, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Dec. 14 order last, the U.S. Supreme Court denied without comment a petition for certiorari by one of several parties that was hit with a default judgment ruling and terminating sanctions for discovery misconduct in a lawsuit over trademark allegations over counterfeit ink cartridges, with the high court declining to consider the petitioner’s arguments that he was improperly lumped in with other defendants who engaged in the discovery failures (Artem Koshkalda v. Seiko Epson Corp., et al., No. 20-483, U.S. Sup., 2020 U.S. LEXIS 6023).
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia on Dec. 14 ruled that a federal environmental agency must provide documents that “in any way relate” to the rulemaking that resulted in the update to the regulations for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) as per a request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) made by an environmental law group (Southern Environmental Law Center v. Council on Environmental Quality, No. 18-113, W.D. Va.).
SAN DIEGO — An auto insurer must turn over information related to the amount of loss reserves set aside in an auto coverage dispute because the information is relevant to the insureds’ claim of bad faith and would not create a burden on the insurer to produce the information, a California federal magistrate judge said Dec. 8 (Barbara Stein, et al. v. Farmers Insurance Company of Arizona, No. 19-410, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 231523).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — After a thorough in camera review of documents withheld from discovery by two banking regulatory entities under the bank examination privilege, a Virginia federal magistrate judge on Dec. 10 ordered the regulators to submit some of the many documents sought by the plaintiffs in a consolidated class action over a 2019 data breach experienced by Capital One Financial Corp. (In re Capital One Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 19-2915, E.D. Va.).
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Nov. 30 awarded costs to State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. after denying a motion to compel filed by defendants accused of submitting claims for medically unnecessary services or treatments that were not performed on the ground that the insurer had already produced information about the terms of the policies held by its insureds.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A Brazilian company must respond to reasonably framed discovery requests inquiring about the sale of asbestos-containing products in the United States, and the third-party asbestos plaintiff may amend its notice to cure requests rendered unreasonable by their broadness or lack of time limit, a federal judge in Kentucky said Dec. 9 (Jack Papineau, et al. v. Brake Supply Company Inc., et al., No. 18-168, W.D. Ky., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 231292).
DETROIT — Despite an insurer’s concerns over the spread of COVID-19 infections and deaths, a Michigan federal judge on Dec. 14 denied extending the discovery deadline in the insurer’s breach of contract dispute against a reinsurer over billings for an insured’s asbestos claims (Amerisure Mutual Insurance Co. v. Transatlantic Reinsurance Co., No. 18-11966, E.D. Mich.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Noting the need for guidance to properly tailor ongoing discovery in a consolidated class action over Facebook Inc.’s sharing of users’ profile data with third-party app developers, a California federal magistrate judge on Dec. 11 directed the social network operator to provide deposition witnesses on the topics of the collection and monetization of user data (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 18-md-2843, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Swedish investors and their companies on Dec. 4 filed a new bill of costs in a District of Columbia federal court associated with their motion for an order of contempt and sanctions against the government of Romania, which the court granted Nov. 20 due to Romania’s noncompliance with post-judgment discovery orders for execution of a confirmed award worth approximately $356 million (Ioan Micula, et al. v. Government of Romania, No. 17-2332, D. D.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 219620).