NEW YORK — An asbestos-talc plaintiffs’ supplemental discovery requests cannot be both duplicative of existing requests and a production burden and, in any case, the defendant failed to comply with case management orders mandating that it suggest an alternative option and confer with plaintiffs in an attempt to resolve the dispute, a New York justice held Oct. 27 in ordering production (Betsey P. Hardman, et al. v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., et al., No. 190443/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO — In an Oct. 26 holding, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by a federal judge in Oregon to set a bond of $225,000 in a prolonged, previously remanded trademark dispute over use of “Yogi” and “Yogi Tea” (Bibiji Inderjit Kaur Puri v. East West Tea Company LLC, No. 20-35056, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 33637).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cancellation by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the “Sprout” trademark was upheld Oct. 27 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found no abuse of discretion in the board’s entry of default against the trademark owner as a sanction for litigation misconduct (Corcamore LLC v. SFM LLC, No. 19-1526, Fed. Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 33803).
MUSKOGEE, Okla. — A trial court’s imposition of discovery sanctions against a nonparty in a breach of contract dispute over royalty payments for natural gas production failed to consider the mandatory duty under federal law to protect nonparties from significant discovery expenses, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 23 (Bigie Lee Rhea v. Apache Corp., et al., No. 19-7000 and 19-7066, 10th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 33405).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Chapter 11 debtor Imerys Talc America Inc. and proponents of the debtor’s plan to resolve asbestos claims through a post-bankruptcy trust are dragging their feet on discovery requests by Johnson & Johnson Co. (J&J) so they can stall until the plan confirmation hearing is held, J&J says in an Oct. 23 letter to the court (In re: Imerys Talc America, Inc., et al., No. 19-10289, D. Del. Bkcy.).
ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge on Oct. 23 denied a disability claimant’s request to depose a claims administrator’s employee and corporate representative regarding the denial of a short-term disability (STD) benefits claim because the claimant failed to provide good cause for conducting the depositions (Kevin Nauss v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., No. 20-304, E.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197491).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A generic pet medications company was granted a motion to conduct discovery on two German counterparts of Bayer Healthcare LLC (BHC) on Oct. 20, with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiff has sufficiently narrowed its discovery requests to pertain to establishing jurisdiction over the companies in a lawsuit alleging anti-competitive behavior in the flea and tick treatment market (Tevra Brands LLC v. Bayer Healthcare LLC, et al., No. 19--4312, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194539).
NEW YORK — A disability insurer must produce documents pertaining to its training guidelines that are applicable to the denial of a disability claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits claim, a New York federal judge said Oct. 21 in partially granting the claimant’s motion to compel (David Smith v. First Unum Life Insurance, et al., No. 19-298, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196394).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The plaintiffs suing Capital One Financial Corp. over its 2019 data breach failed in their bid to obtain further testimony from the credit card issuer’s chief information officer (CIO) on Oct. 16, when a Virginia federal magistrate judge denied their motion to compel answers to deposition questions that they said were wrongly withheld under the bank examination privilege (In re Capital One Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 19-2915, E.D. Va.).
By Stuart M. Riback
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 9 denied Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank NA’s motion to phase discovery in a suit brought by the city of Sacramento accusing the lender of engaging in discriminatory lending practices, holding that limiting discovery to loans offered during the limitations period could not provide enough statistical data to support the city’s allegations of disparate impact.
AKRON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Oct. 16 ruled that a defendant in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit is not entitled to a stay of discovery proceedings pending appeal of a preliminary injunction ruling barring him from working for an industry competitor for two years because such relief is not needed, the defendant will not face any undue hardship and the stay benefits judicial economy (Seaman Corp. v. Edward V. Flaherty, No. 20-443, N.D. Ohio, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192164).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Oct. 19 denied a food company’s motion to deny class certification in a lawsuit alleging violations of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other consumer protection laws in connection with promises of its tuna being dolphin-safe and sustainably sourced, writing that the request, filed before the completion of discovery, is premature (Warren Gardner, et al. v. StarKist Co., No. 19-2561, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194519).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A bioanalytical lab that specializes in large molecule bioanalysis has failed to show good cause why its request for expedited discovery in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit should be granted, a North Carolina state court judge ruled Oct. 19 in denying the request (BioAgilytix Labs LLC, et al. v. Safa Alvandkouhi, et al., No. 20 CVS 10501, N.C. Super., Wake Co., 2020 NCBC LEXIS 125).
By John P. Katerndahl
SINGAPORE — A Singapore High Court judge, addressing what is “arguably a novel question of Singapore law,” on Oct. 8 declined the Republic of India’s request for a declaratory judgment that Singapore’s confidentiality laws do not apply to investment-treaty arbitration documents such as those India sought to share with a Dutch tribunal, writing that such relief is not “necessary or justified in the circumstances of this case” and ordering India to pay the costs of the proceeding (Republic of India v. Vedanta Resources PLC, No.  SGHC 208, Singapore High).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on Oct. 15 granted an Italian oil company’s ex parte application to issue “narrowly tailored” subpoenas to seven Delaware entities regarding their ownership, relationships and financial arrangements with the Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN) for use in two Italian suits and a pending International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) arbitration between the company and Nigeria regarding a contested oil prospecting license (In Re Ex Parte Application Of Eni S.p.A., No. 20-mc-334, D. Del.).
GREENBELT, Md. — A Maryland federal judge on Oct. 14 recommended that Chicago be ordered to provide responses to interrogatories and requests for production (RFPs) served by Marriott International Inc. in a consolidated lawsuit brought by the city and other plaintiffs over a massive data breach experienced by the hotel chain (In re: Marriott International Inc. Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 8:19-md-02879, D. Md.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — The co-lead counsel for the defendants in the multidistrict litigation for liability related to the firefighting agent aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) on Oct. 5 filed a brief in South Carolina federal court contending that its discovery requests served on the U.S. government are “entirely proper” (In re: Aqueous Film Forming Foam Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 18-2873, D. S.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Two newly added plaintiffs from the United Kingdom should be dismissed from the consolidated lawsuit over the sharing of social network users’ profile data with third parties, Facebook Inc. argues in an Oct. 13 reply brief, telling a California federal court that applicable forum selection clauses preclude inclusion of the foreign plaintiffs in the putative class action (In re Facebook Inc., Consumer Privacy User Profile Litigation, No. 18-md-2843, N.D. Calif.).