LOS ANGELES — Granting a stay in a suit over the alleged mishandling of reinsurance billings, a California federal judge on April 15 noted that the parties’ arguments of hardship “appear to stand in relative equipoise” and that the stay is appropriate given the ability of a related case “to resolve issues in this case.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge in an April 6 docket entry imposed $100-per-day sanctions against hundreds of asbestos personal injury claimants in the Chapter 11 case of Georgia-Pacific spinoff Bestwall LLC after finding them in contempt for not providing complete information to the debtor in a discovery questionnaire.
PHOENIX — Limited discovery into a disability insurer’s reserves and the training and experience of the insurer’s employees will be permitted in a disability dispute, an Arizona federal judge said April 18 after determining that the disability claimant has shown that the information is relevant to the disability claimant’s assertion that the insurer’s structural conflict of interest influenced the administration of her claim.
SAN FRANCISCO — The day after Facebook Inc. filed its opposition to a sanctions motion brought by the plaintiffs in the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing class action, the company’s lead attorney, who is also named in the motion, filed a declaration in California federal court on April 12, attesting to a clean sanctions record in his professional career and defending the discovery conduct of Facebook and his firm in the litigation.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In a March 31 opposition to preclusion filed in an Alabama federal court, an insurer argues that it “has produced the requested information” and that the reinsurer didn’t follow the proper procedure in seeking sanctions in the breach of contract dispute; in its April 7 reply, the reinsurer contends in part that none of the insurer’s points warrants denial of the reinsurer’s motion to preclude.
MISSOULA, Mont. — A railroad embroiled in a False Claims Act (FCA) suit involving diagnosis of asbestos diseases filed a second motion to compel on April 8, seeking a federal court in Montana’s help in securing the release of Social Security and tax records from the federal government.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Evenflo Company Inc., which is accused of infringing a competitors’ patents relating to an alert system for baby car seats, was compelled to submit documents responsive to the competitor’s requests for production on April 11, with an Arkansas federal judge deeming information about source code, affiliates and sales projections to be relevant.
ALBANY, N.Y. — A plaintiff suing her deceased father’s nursing home for negligence and civil rights violations was entitled to raise the spousal or marital privilege in response to deposition questions over conversations she had with her husband, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled April 7, mostly denying the facility’s operator’s motion to compel.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — An appeals court failed to properly review a sanction imposed against a company for alleged discovery violations, leaving the defendant victorious at an asbestos trial but unaware of what conduct warranted the largest discovery sanction in the state’s history, the company tells the South Carolina Supreme Court March 28 in urging review.
CLEVELAND — An Ohio appellate court on March 31 affirmed a trial court’s ruling on an insured’s motion to compel in a breach of contract and bad faith suit arising out of the insured’s environmental contamination coverage claim after determining that the trial court did not err in determining that the insurer is required to produce a number of documents that are relevant to the insured’s bad faith claim under Ohio law.
CHICAGO — Parties on April 7 filed a joint status report in a lawsuit alleging that insurance brokers breached their duty of care because they knew or should have known that a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) was not in compliance with its structural requirements and was not financially sound, indicating that the parties have issued a total of 87 third-party document subpoenas and that the plaintiff has now settled with five of the defendants.
OAKLAND, Calif. — After previously asking for supplemental briefing and appointing an expert to assist with the issue, a judge on April 5 set an April 14 hearing on a motion for protective order in which plaintiffs contend that production of pathology and genetic material in litigation does not permit outside, personal research and analysis on the evidence, while defendants argue that evidence produced in litigation enters the public domain and is not protected by discovery law.
HARRISON, Ark. — Plaintiffs must produce talc samples used in other asbestos cases and on which their expert intends to rely for his opinions, a federal magistrate judge in Arkansas said March 31.
SAN FRANCISCO — In a March 24 docket note, a California judge stated that he would be signing a proposed order submitted by Facebook Inc. that confirms a recent minute order in which he denied an app developer’s motion for discovery and depositions from several Facebook corporate officers, deeming the motion inappropriate before resolution of Facebook’s motion to strike claims against it under California’s unfair competition law (UCL) per California’s strategic lawsuit against public participation (anti-SLAPP) statute.
LAKEWOOD, Fla. — Although a Florida trial court erred in ruling that the deposition testimony of an insurer’s underwriting manager was admissible under the business records exception, the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the insurer in a lawsuit stemming from a denial of personal injury protection (PIP) benefits based on alleged material misrepresentations made in a policy application was still correct because the manager “was competent to testify from personal knowledge,” a Second District Florida Court of Appeal panel ruled March 30 in affirming.
MADISON, Wis. — A request by energy companies to depose officials of a Wisconsin Indian tribe over their denial of water quality certifications in connection with the companies’ proposed projects to abate pipeline hazards was rejected April 4 by a federal magistrate judge, who said that while the officials’ actions were “quintessentially administrative” rather than legislative, the desire to hear the “thought-processes” for their decisions is not “proportional to the needs of this case.”
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The government of Romania on March 29 moved in District of Columbia federal court for relief from judgments entered against it confirming an arbitral award worth approximately $350 million and ordering it to pay sanctions of $1.5 million, citing a European Union appellate panel’s ruling that it says deprives the district court of jurisdiction, while on the same day it filed an appellant brief in the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals challenging the sanctions.
INDIANAPOLIS — A borrower asked a federal judge in Indiana on March 29 to compel a mortgage loan servicer to provide certain discovery responses sought in a lawsuit alleging that the loan servicer and a mortgage lender violated state and federal lending laws by seeking to foreclose on the borrower’s home even though she had made her necessary loan payments.
DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on March 25 dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction the American subsidiary of a South Korean battery maker from a product liability case brought by a man who was severely burned when a battery for his e-cigarette device exploded in his pocket but declined to dismiss claims against the South Korean parent and instead ordered further jurisdictional discovery.
DAYTON, Ohio — Reversing a trial court’s denial of a nursing facility’s motion for a protective order in a negligence and wrongful death lawsuit, an Ohio appellate panel on March 25 concluded that some of the documents withheld by the facility were protected by the peer-review privilege and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), sustaining the appellants’ assignments of error and remanding the case.