Mealey's Discovery

  • October 16, 2020

    Facebook Seeks Dismissal Of U.K. Plaintiffs, Discovery Limits In User Profile Suit

    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.).

  • October 16, 2020

    Opioids MDL Judge Sanctions Teva, Allergan For Not Finding Drug Order Report

    CLEVELAND — The Ohio federal judge overseeing the opioids multidistrict litigation on Oct. 14 sanctioned defendants Allergan Finance LLC and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. for discovery violations by failing to find a suspicious drug order report Allergan had commissioned before Teva bought the latter’s generic opioid business (In Re:  National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MLD Docket No. 2804, No. 17-md-2804, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.).

  • October 14, 2020

    Magistrate Judge Compels Discovery Over Allocation For Reinsurance Billings

    BOSTON — A federal magistrate judge in Massachusetts on Oct. 13 compelled in part an insurer to provide certain information in a privilege log on how it allocated a $120 million settlement of environmental claims for purposes of its reinsurance billings (Certain London Market Company Reinsurers v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-10534, D. Mass., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189115).

  • October 14, 2020

    Entry In Insurer’s Claims Notes Does Not Have To Be Produced, Judge Says

    PHOENIX — An entry in an insurer’s redacted claims notes pertaining to underlying construction defects lawsuits does not have to be produced because the entry is protected by the attorney-client privilege as it pertains to legal advice and not an adjustment of the claim, an Arizona federal judge said Sept. 30 in partially granting the insurer’s motion for reconsideration (Centex Homes, et al. v. NGM Insurance Co., No. 19-1392, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181204).

  • October 14, 2020

    Judge: Laboratory’s Delayed Production Of Privilege Log Should Result In Waiver

    ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — A federal judge in Missouri on Sept. 24 found that a medical laboratory and two of its directors accused of submitting fraudulent bills to insurers should have to produce the 1,200 documents listed as protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege as a sanction for their unjustified production of a privilege log four months after the close of discovery (RightCHOICE Managed Care Inc., et al. v. Hospital Partners Inc., et al., No. 18-6037, W.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175977).

  • October 14, 2020

    Interested Parties’ Request For Discovery From Hospital, Owner Denied By Judge

    ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — A motion to intervene filed by plaintiffs in a securities derivatives suit seeking unfiled discovery from a hospital and its owner accused by a number of insurance companies of submitting fraudulent claims for laboratory testing was denied Sept. 24 by a federal judge in Missouri after the judge found that the interested parties lacked standing (RightCHOICE Managed Care Inc., et al. v. Hospital Partners Inc., et al., No. 18-6037, W.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175980).

  • October 13, 2020

    South Carolina Judge Sanctions Insurer Over Corporate Deposition Failures

    COLUMBIA, S.C.  — An insurer accused of being the alter ego of a defunct company hit with a $32.7 million verdict must produce its redacted mesothelioma tracking database and written responses to unanswered deposition questions asked of its corporate representative, a South Carolina judge said while imposing sanctions during a Sept. 10 hearing (Ann Finch v. Sentry Casualty Co., et al., No. 2019-CP-40-03003, S.C. Comm. Pls., Richland Co.).

  • October 12, 2020

    Nonparty Samsung Must Produce Some App Store Documents In Apple Antitrust Suit

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Apple Inc. sufficiently established the relevancy and a substantial need for certain documents from rival company Samsung Electronics America Inc. to defend against claims that it has monopolized the marketplace for iPhone apps, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Oct. 9, granting in part Apple’s motion to compel the production of documents that relate to the smartphone app marketplace in response to a subpoena served on the company, which is not a party to the lawsuit (In re:  Apple iPhone Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-6714, N.D. Calif.).

  • October 12, 2020

    6th Circuit: No Mandamus Order To Block Additional Drug Data Discovery

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 8 denied a mandamus petition by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (OBOP) to order the opioids multidistrict litigation court to rescind its order to provide the names and addresses of opioid prescribers and dispensers to retail pharmacies in an upcoming bellwether trial (In Re:  National Prescription Opiate Litigation [In Re:  State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy], No. 20-3875, 6th Cir.).

  • October 12, 2020

    Maine High Court Finds Nonparty, Redacted Patient Records Not Discoverable

    PORTLAND, Maine— Concluding that state evidentiary law protecting the confidentiality of patient records applies equally to redacted and unredacted records, the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Sept. 29 reversed a trial court’s order compelling the production of the redacted records of nonparty patients who underwent similar surgical procedures as one at issue in a malpractice suit against a hospital (Estate of Carol A. Kennelly v.  Mid Coast Hospital, No. Cum-18-445, Maine Sup., 2020 Me. LEXIS 118).

  • October 12, 2020

    Judge Grants Insurer’s Motion For Protective Order In Hurricane Matthew Dispute

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on Oct. 8 granted an insurer’s motion for a protective order and denied without prejudice the insured’s motions for partial summary judgment and to compel certain discovery in a coverage dispute over the insured’s tobacco product losses caused by Hurricane Matthew (U.S. Tobacco Cooperative, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, No. 19-430, E.D. N.C., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186908).

  • October 09, 2020

    Supreme Court Declines To Hear Attorney’s Questions About Preremoval Discovery

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Maryland attorney’s questions about federal removal statutes related to discovery requests made prior to a state court lawsuit’s removal to federal court will go unanswered by the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied his petition for certiorari on Oct. 5 (Jason Edward Rheinstein v.  Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland, No.  20-123, U.S. Sup., 2020 U.S. LEXIS 4049).

  • October 08, 2020

    Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Discovery Complaint Over Potential Negligence Claims

    BOSTON — An assisted living facility resident was entitled to pursue a complaint for discovery to explore the viability of potential negligence claims over a fall that she experienced, a Massachusetts appellate panel ruled Oct. 5, reversing a lower court’s dismissal and deeming the matter not moot under the statute of limitations or in light of the resident’s subsequent death (Kenneth F. Atchue v. Benchmark Senior Living LLC, et al., No. 19-P-125, Mass App., 2020 Mass. App. LEXIS 153).

  • October 07, 2020

    No Ongoing Duty To Disclose Fact Witnesses In Asbestos Case, Federal Judge Says

    SEATTLE — A woman disclosed fact witnesses on which she intended to rely and was not under the obligation to repeatedly update asbestos defendants on the status of those witnesses, a federal judge in Washington said Oct. 5 in declining to exclude the witnesses (Charlotte Wineland, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 19-793, W.D. Wash., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184468).

  • October 07, 2020

    Yale's Expert Must Answer Questions On Experience In ERISA Class Actions

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The plaintiffs in a class action over a Yale University retirement plan prevailed in two Sept. 28 discovery rulings, with a Connecticut federal judge compelling the university's expert witness to provide further answers related to his past experience on retirement plan administrative fees, which are at the heart of the lawsuit brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) (Joseph Vellali, et al. v. Yale University, et al., No. 16-1345, D. Conn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181667).

  • October 07, 2020

    Hospital Waives Response In Certiorari Petition Over Discovery Tolling Principles

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A hospital that prevailed in two rulings dismissing malpractice claims against it filed a notice with the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 waiving its right to respond to a petition for certiorari in which the husband of a deceased patient seeks clarification on principles regarding the tolling of discovery in a case that was removed from, and ultimately remanded back to, a state court (Charlie Wilson v. Dallas County Hospital District, No. 20-328, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 07, 2020

    Magistrate Finds COVID-19 Discovery Restrictions For Inmates To Be Reasonable

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal detainee's motion to modify a protective order to gain reasonable access to counsel and discovery should be denied, an Alaska federal magistrate judge recommended Oct. 1, finding that although present Department of Corrections (DOC) restrictions presented difficulties for inmates, potential constitutional violations are excusable in light of reasonable responses to the COVID-19 pandemic (United States v.  Kevin Glover, et al., No. 20-12, D. Alaska, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183904).

  • October 06, 2020

    Federal Judge Permits Discovery Into Parity Act Case

    SALT LAKE CITY — The distinct nature of Parity Act claims over the allegedly improper denial of insurance coverage for mental health treatments requires discovery exceeding the administrative record to which Employee Retirement Income Security Act cases are generally limited, a federal judge in Utah said Sept. 30 (David S., et al. v. United Healthcare Insurance Co., No. 18-803, D. Utah, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182120).

  • October 05, 2020

    Judge Sanctions Billing Companies For Discovery Violations In Fraud Case

    ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — A federal judge in Missouri on Sept. 24 imposed sanctions against two medical billing companies and their owner for failing to timely produce relevant records and failing to name a corporate representative for a deposition, holding that their actions were deliberate and prejudiced insurance companies that contend that the defendants engaged in a fraudulent billing scheme (RightCHOICE Managed Care Inc. v. Hospital Partners Inc., et al., No. 18-6037, W.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175978).

  • October 05, 2020

    Magistrate Issues Protective Order For Financial Information Sought By Insurer

    NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on Sept. 22 entered a protective order limiting the scope of information sought in subpoenas Allstate Insurance Co. and its affiliates served on third-party financial institutions and an accountant that did business with a medical clinic accused of making misrepresentations about its ownership, finding that the document requests in the subpoenas were overly broad and need to be "narrowly tailored to seek specific documents related to transactions between the Defendants and others" (Allstate Insurance Co., et al. v. All County LLC, et al., No. 19-7121, E.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176297).

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