GREENBELT, Md. — A Maryland federal judge on Sept. 5 issued a letter order granting a disability claimant’s motion for extra-record discovery after determining that the claimant met her burden of establishing that the administrative record does not provide sufficient evidence to address her claim that the disability insurer’s termination of benefits was affected by a conflict of interest (Holly Chughtai v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 19-848, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154304).
NEW YORK — Wisconsin statutory privilege for the state’s insurance commissioner applies in a breach of contract case between an insurer formerly in rehabilitation and a mortgage financing services company, a New York appeals panel held Sept. 17, affirming the denial of a motion seeking to produce documents (Ambac Assurance Corp., et al. v. Nomura Credit & Capital Inc., et al., No. 9746 651359/13, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2019 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6582).
NEW YORK — The relevancy of testing on historic samples of Chanel No. 5 and a woman’s expert’s admission that he could likely reverse engineer samples to determine authenticity warrant denying her motion to compel production of the product’s formula, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 12 (Beverley Alleyne v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190295/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4903).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sanctions are warranted against an insured in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit brought pursuant to a homeowners insurance dispute because the insured made an intolerable “about-face” in first arguing that he was not seeking additional living expenses and then later stating during discovery that he, in fact, was seeking such damages, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 13 (Edward Royce Stolz II v. Travelers Commercial Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-1923, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157096).
BOSTON — An insurer in a Sept. 13 motion asks a Massachusetts federal court to compel reinsurers to produce documents and interrogatory responses relating to their allocation and billing of its own 2009 settlement with an insured in a separate matter (Certain London Market Company Reinsurers v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-10534, D. Mass., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38909).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Reuters news service on Sept. 12 asked a New York federal court overseeing the Propecia erectile dysfunction multidistrict litigation to unseal a motion in limine to exclude three plaintiff experts in an upcoming bellwether trial after an electronic glitch revealed redacted material (Paul Dawson v. Merck & Co., Inc., et al., No. 12-1876, E.D. N.Y.).
RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 12 reversed a trial court’s denial of a law firm’s request that materials seized by government investigators be reviewed by a magistrate judge rather than the government’s filter team, with the panel setting guidelines to ensure that unrelated and privileged materials were protected (United States v. Under Seal, No. 19-1730, 4th Cir.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Chemours Co. on Sept. 9 filed a brief in Ohio federal court contending that it should grant the company’s motion for a protective order and prevent the plaintiffs in the multidistrict litigation related to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) from deposing the company’s officers. Chemours also says the court should quash the plaintiffs’ attempt to obtain documents (In re: E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).
TACOMA, Wash. — A car manufacturer need not respond to discovery beyond that called for under federal rules or that seeks overly broad answers about the company’s position on its vehicles, associated parts and consumer safety, a federal judge in Washington said Sept. 10 (Eric Klopman-Baerselman, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5536, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154359).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a Sept. 9 minute entry, issued after a hearing, a California federal judge directed Google LLC to provide some documents related to its “Google Images” feature to the operator of an online photo repository that sued the tech giant for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) related to an advertising and marketing agreement (Dreamstime.com LLC v. Google LLC, et al., No. 3:18-cv-01910, N.D. Calif.).
MIAMI — In response to a federal flood insurer’s motion to compel discovery in a Hurricane Irma coverage dispute, the insured in an Aug. 27 response argues that the insurer’s motion is moot because it has already provided the requested documents without the need for judicial intervention (Island Club Condominium Inc. v. Wright National Flood Insurance Co., No. 18-10303, S.D. Fla.).
WILKESBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina judge on Aug. 23 released a redacted version of a ruling in which he found that a window franchisor engaged in numerous discovery infractions, notably repeated requests to claw back submitted documents, leading the judge to mostly grant motions by a group of franchisee plaintiffs to compel and to find asserted privileges waived in a lawsuit over alleged fraud and breach of contract related to their franchise agreements (Window World of Baton Rouge LLC, et al. v. Window World Inc., et al., Nos. 15 CVS 1 & 15 CVS 2, N.C. Super., Wilkes Co., 2019 NCBC LEXIS 54).
LAS VEGAS — Five months after Oracle USA Inc. was permitted to conduct limited discovery to ensure that Rimini Street Inc. was complying with a permanent injunction against it in a long-running software copyright lawsuit, a Nevada federal magistrate judge on Sept. 6 signed an order setting parameters on that discovery and establishing a schedule for Rimini’s compliance (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-00106, D. Nev.).
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Monsanto Co. on Aug. 30 asked an Illinois judge court to compel testing of an asbestos plaintiff’s blood, saying the procedure may reveal a genetic component to the 36-year-old’s peritoneal mesothelioma (Dustin W. Holsten, et al. v. Amalgamated Sugar Co. LLC, et al., No. 18-L-1664, Ill. Cir., Madison Co.).
MILWAUKEE — A Wisconsin federal judge on Aug. 30 granted a homeowners insurer’s motion for a protective order precluding an insured from engaging in discovery on a bad faith claim because the insured failed to provide sufficient facts in support of a breach of contract claim as required under Wisconsin law for discovery to proceed on the bad faith claim (Cody Christopherson v. American Strategic Insurance Corp., No. 19-202, E.D. Wis., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148323).
DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Sept. 4 denied a petition for a writ of mandamus sought by residents, environmental organizations and nuclear workers advocacy groups that wanted to order the U.S. government to provide records that pertain to a grand jury that investigated the actions of Rockwell International Corp. at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) former weapons-grade plutonium-239 processing facility, Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, which is now being considered as a site for hydraulic fracturing operations. The judge ruled that the petitioners did not cite any legal authority for the proposition that they are entitled to the business records they seek (Alliance of Nuclear Workers Advocacy Groups, et al. v. United States, No. 19-76, D. Colo.).
SAN ANTONIO — A former executive for bankrupt medical providers may not attend depositions related to an insurer’s cross-claim alleging that the companies operated a scheme designed to increase billing rates, a federal magistrate judge in Texas held Aug. 30 (Neil Gilmour III, et al. v. Aetna Health Inc., et al., No. 17-510, W.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148232).
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota federal judge on Aug. 28 overruled objections by medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp. to a magistrate judge’s recommendation that the company be compelled to produce presentations the company made to the United States while the government investigated a whistleblower’s allegations about the alleged sales of defective heart devices and the payment of kickbacks to cardiologists (United States of America, et al., ex rel. Steven Higgins v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. 11-2453, D. Minn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146498).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With limited exceptions, California law now limits defendants deposing mesothelioma sufferers to seven hours of testimony after California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the legislation on Aug. 30.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 denied mandamus relief to a California Indian tribe and its gaming agencies, allowing discovery to continue into a casino development company’s claims that it is owed millions of dollars because of the tribe’s breach of contract, fraud and racketeering (Pinoleville Gaming Authority, et al. v. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, et al., No. 19-71522, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 26032).