Legal

Running dry in a changing world

By Lynn A. Wilson, Ph.D., Kaplan University and SeaTrust Institute

From Westlaw Journal Environmental: Lynn A. Wilson, the academic chair at Kaplan University and CEO of SeaTrust Institute, discusses the scarcity of drinking water around the world due to   extreme weather and depleting aquifers.

Water scarcity was, until recently, considered by most of the developed world to be like James Hilton’s “Lost Horizon”: “far away, at the very limit of distance.”  The convergence of aquifer depletion from increasing agricultural, industrial and municipal water use with more frequent extreme weather events, however, creates an urgency to find or develop new, reliable sources of fresh water.

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Inequitable conduct invalidates patent, Ohio federal judge finds

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property: A federal judge has ruled that a company that sued an Ohio manufacturer for patent infringement engaged in inequitable conduct, rendering its patent unenforceable.

U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost of the Southern District of Ohio said defendant ALPS South LLC was entitled to judgment and ordered plaintiff Ohio Willow Wood Co. to pay a significant portion of ALPS’ attorney fees.

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Judge calls Monster records info too old to re-energize insider suit

From Westlaw Journal Delaware Corporate: A Monster Beverage Corp. shareholder cannot use a belated books-and-records action to revive her 7-year-old claims of insider trading at the energy drink company because any information she uncovered would be too out-of-date to enliven a derivative suit, Delaware’s Chancery Court has ruled.

In an Oct. 3 letter opinion, Vice Chancellor John W. Noble dismissed shareholder Anastasia Wolst’s demand for records pertaining to alleged trading by Monster insiders on nonpublic information in 2006 and 2007 because she has no hope of reanimating litigation over those purported wrongs.

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Negligence, warning claims stand in Colorado man’s suit over allergy to Stryker knee implant

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices: A federal judge in Denver has ruled that a Stryker knee implant recipient can proceed with his claim that the company should require implantation candidates to be tested for metal allergies before such procedures occur.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson of the District of Colorado was entered in response to Stryker’s motion to dismiss Edward Haffner’s multi-count suit alleging he had to have his Stryker Triathlon total knee system removed after 10 months due to his severe cobalt and nickel allergies.

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P.F. Chang’s insurance doesn’t cover privacy lawsuits, insurer says

From Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet: The restaurant chain’s commercial general liability policies do not cover privacy lawsuits filed against the company this summer after it admitted to a data breach, its insurer has argued in a federal declaratory judgment action.

P.F. Chang’s faces at least three putative class actions alleging hackers stole customers’ credit and debit card information from about 30 of the restaurant’s locations nationwide.

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Professor presents view of Delaware corporate law from across the Atlantic

By Frank Reynolds, Senior Editor, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Delaware Corporate: British corporate law specialists watch Delaware to monitor key trends in American corporate governance — even though the state has not usually been an innovator, a University of Cambridge law professor recently told a gathering of lawyers and judges in Wilmington.

Professor Brian R. Cheffins, guest speaker for the 30th Annual Francis G. Pileggi Distinguished Lecture in Law at the Hotel du Pont on Oct. 17, said Delaware does not have a reputation for pioneering corporate governance trends, but its renowned business courts often have the last word on them.

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U.S. leasing agent sued over Yemenia Airlines crash in Indian Ocean

From Westlaw Journal Aviation: More than 1,000 family members of victims of the fatal 2009 crash of a Yemenia Airlines plane have filed a lawsuit seeking to hold an American company liable under the laws of Comoros, the island nation in whose waters the crash occurred.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, lists 10 pages of plaintiffs, including the crash’s sole survivor, who are suing International Lease Finance Corp., a Los Angeles airplane lessor, asserting only one cause of action: negligent entrustment.

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2nd Circuit says New York can regulate tribes’ Internet lending, for now

From Westlaw Journal Bank & Lender Liability: American Indian tribal lenders that offer high-interest loans over the Internet are not entitled to a preliminary injunction preventing New York authorities from regulating their out-of-state lending businesses, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

The three-judge panel said the plaintiffs — two Native American tribes in Oklahoma and Michigan, their lending companies, and tribal regulatory agencies — did not offer sufficient proof that their loans fell outside New York’s regulatory scope.

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11th Circuit reverses $1 million legal malpractice verdict

From Westlaw Journal Professional Liability: A Florida law firm has won reversal of a $1 million malpractice verdict after a federal appeals court found that the federal government presented insufficient evidence that the firm’s negligence and fiduciary breach caused a client bank to approve a loan that later defaulted.

In a 3-2 ruling, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s evidence left the jury only to speculate about causation.

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Stolen trade secrets not covered by insurers’ policies, judge rules

From Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage: Two insurers had no duty to defend an Illinois cellular technology company against a suit alleging it stole trade secrets because their policies did not cover damage from theft of intellectual property, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp Jr. of the Northern District of Illinois granted the insurers summary judgment, saying one policy specifically excluded any losses from misappropriation of trade secrets and the other policy’s terms did not cover loss of intellectual property.

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