OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Nov. 25 denied a disability claimant’s request to conduct discovery after determining that the claimant failed to prove that additional evidence is necessary to conduct an adequate de novo review (Natalya Vigdorchik v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, et al., No. 19-3891, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204512).
AKRON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Nov. 21 ruled that a company that develops self-inflating tire technology is required to supply a “closed” response to an interrogatory filed by defendants in a patent inventorship and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit describing in sufficient detail what trade secrets were alleged orally disclosed to the defendants in two 2009 meetings set up to discuss the parties’ potential partnership in the commercialization of the plaintiff’s technology (CODA Development s.r.o., et al. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, et al., No. 15-1572, N.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202114).
SALT LAKE CITY — A health insurer cannot avoid discovery in a case alleging that its improperly denied coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment simply because there is a pending summary judgment motion, a federal magistrate judge held Nov. 21 (Robert L., et al. v. Cigna Health & Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-976, D. Utah, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202914).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Three months after a Florida federal magistrate judge found that the defendant in a multibillion-dollar bitcoin ownership dispute had engaged in sanctionable discovery conduct, the plaintiffs on Nov. 20 submitted a motion for $658,581 in expenses and attorney fees that they claim to have incurred in conjunction with the discovery matters at issue (Ira Kleiman, et al. v. Craig Wright, No. 9:18-cv-80176, S.D. Fla.).
PHILADELPHIA — A motion to compel appears to be an attempt to smuggle in follow-up interrogatories, but a second company’s responses are a “non-sequitur” and must be clarified, a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania said in Nov. 21 asbestos litigation rulings (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Robert J. Kraus, et al. v. Alcatel-Lucent, et al., No. 18-2119, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200883).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Automobile friction parts defendant Honeywell International Inc. on Nov. 20 asked a federal judge to reconsider his Nov. 18 ruling requiring it to produce all documents relating to asbestos litigation filed against the company before 2002 (Jack Papineau, et al. v. Brake Supply Company Inc., et al., No. 18-168, W.D. Ky.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Denying a motion for partial summary judgment by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a California federal judge on Nov. 18 found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not meet its burden to invoke a “Glomar response” to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in which the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLUF) sought production of documents and information related to the bureau’s social media surveillance techniques (American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, et al. v. U.S. Department of Justice, et al., No. 3:19-cv-00290, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199607).
CHICAGO — Rule 37 sanctions are not warranted in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against a former customer of a stored energy solutions provider that is alleged to have breached the terms of a contract between the parties by using the provider’s trade secrets in marketing its product line without the provider’s permission and without paying the necessary royalties for the usage, the provider argues in a Nov. 14 opposition brief filed in Illinois federal court (LiiON LLC v. Vertiv Group Corp., et al., No. 18-6133, N.D. Ill.).
SEATTLE — Discovery must be reopened after an asbestos plaintiff died just days before its close and months after experts were disclosed, a federal judge in Washington said Oct. 28 (William R. Clayton, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-748, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192150).
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Nov. 7 partially granted and partially denied a motion for a protective order sought by three former employees of the city of Flint in the litigation pertaining to the city’s lead-contaminated water crisis, ruling that discovery in the case will proceed and the defendants may not assert their Fifth Amendment rights in advance. The judge granted the defendants’ request to limit attendance at the deposition and to temporarily seal the defendants’ written discovery and depositions (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Over the objections of an insurer, a New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 12 allowed seriously ill asbestos disease sufferers to sidestep the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 case of Duro Dyne National Corp. so they can be deposed before they die (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
HOUSTON — A trial court abused its discretion in refusing to abate discovery on an insured’s statutory extracontractual claims against an auto insurer because there has been no finding that the auto insurer is contractually obligated to pay underinsured motorist benefits to the insured, the First District Texas Court of Appeals said Nov. 5 (In re: Colonial County Mutual Insurance Co., No. 01-19-00391, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 9649).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal magistrate judge on Nov 8 denied an insurer’s motion to compel production of documents from reinsurers over allocation and billing of a 2009 settlement with an insured because “the relevance of the materials sought is too speculative” (Certain London Market Company Reinsurers v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-10534, D. Mass.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge delivered a mixed ruling for Facebook Inc. in a Nov. 7 discovery order, sustaining the social network’s objection to disclosing its source code to one of the proposed expert witnesses for a putative class suing it over scraping certain data from Android mobile devices, while finding that there was no risk of harm in disclosure to a second witness (Lawrence Olin, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:18-cv-01881, N.D. Calif.).
TACOMA, Wash. — Despite previous warnings about the insufficiency of discovery responses, an automotive parts retailer appears to have made little effort to identify responsive information, a federal judge in a Washington state asbestos action said Nov. 5 in imposing sanctions (Eric Klopman-Baerselman, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5536, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192131).
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — In a Nov. 4 reply brief, a newspaper tells a South Dakota federal court that it is entitled to a new trial in a case remanded from the U.S. Supreme Court because the high court’s ruling against it changed the rules for the application of an exemption that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) invoked when it withheld information the newspaper requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (Argus Leader Media v. U.S. Department of Agriculture, No. 4:11-cv-04121, D. S.D.).
ERIE, Pa. — A rent-to-own (RTO) franchisee being sued for privacy violations over the installation of spyware on customers’ computers was denied access to a confidential settlement between its franchisor and the plaintiffs on Oct. 22, with a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge finding that the franchisee failed to establish relevance or a need for the requested information sufficient to support its motion to compel (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron’s Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).
MINNEAPOLIS — Boston Scientific Corp. on Oct. 30 objected to a magistrate judge’s Oct. 16 sanction of the company for alleged late disclosure of corporate witnesses (United States ex rel. Steven Higgins v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 11-2453, D. Minn.).
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Oct. 25 denied as premature a man’s motion to compel communications between a loan servicer and an appraiser that occurred after he defaulted on his mortgage, finding that the loan servicer said it was still looking for the requested records (Guirguis El-Shawary v. U.S. Bank N.A., No. C18-1456-JCC, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185381).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mostly reversing a trial court’s summary judgment ruling in favor of the Internal Revenue Service in a dispute over a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 1 found it unclear that the agency fully complied with the request, holding that the trial court needs to determine whether a retrieval system at the heart of the dispute constitutes a database (Institute for Justice v. Internal Revenue Service, No. 18-5316, D.C. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 32736).