Westlaw Journals

Gasket maker may be responsible for punitive damages

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: A manufacturer of asbestos-containing gaskets and packing may be responsible for punitive damages in a mesothelioma lawsuit because a jury could find the company knew its products would emit dangerous fibers, a California federal judge has ruled.

Chief U.S. District Judge Barry T. Moskowitz of the Southern District of California denied John Crane Inc.’s summary judgment motion seeking dismissal of punitive damages and other claims brought by the wife of a U.S. serviceman who died from mesothelioma.

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Asarco tells Supreme Court that no court split exists over fee dispute

From Westlaw Journal Bankruptcy: Asarco LLC says in a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court that its bankruptcy lawyers are not entitled to recoup the $5 million they allegedly incurred defending their multimillion-dollar fee request against a challenge by the copper mining, smelting and refining company.

Baker Botts LLP and another firm were awarded about $120 million in fees in connection with their representation of Asarco in its Chapter 11 case.

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6th Circuit reinstates widow’s claims against prison doctor, nurse

From Westlaw Journal Medical Malpractice:  The widow of an inmate who died of a heart attack at a Michigan prison presented enough evidence that a prison doctor and nurse were deliberately indifferent to his condition to proceed with claims under the Eighth Amendment, a federal appeals court has ruled.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reversed summary judgment granted to nurse Lisa Shilling and Dr. Jeffrey Bomber but upheld a Michigan federal judge’s decision to grant summary judgment to four other health care professionals defendants in the suit.

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CMO purchaser not liable for payment, 5th Circuit says

From Westlaw Journal Derivatives: The purchaser of a collateralized mortgage obligation did not breach its contract with its seller when it refused to pay for the CMO after the financial product was not transferred to the right bank account, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

Interpreting the contract language between purchaser VTraderPro and seller Collective Asset Partners, the appeals panel said VTraderPro was not obligated to pay for the CMO because it did not make it to the designated bank account in San Marino.

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8th Circuit affirms that EPA can reject state’s water-quality criteria

From Westlaw Journal Environmental: The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an appeal by El Dorado Chemical Co. after the Environmental Protection Agency rejected Arkansas’ dissolved mineral water quality criteria for two tributaries in the state.

Affirming a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, the 8th Circuit held that the EPA was not arbitrary or capricious in finding that El Dorado’s third-party rulemaking in developing the water-quality criteria did not adequately protect the aquatic life in Flat Creek and Haynes Creek.

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Immigrant children ask judge to halt deportation hearings

From Westlaw Journal Class Action:  Civil rights groups representing immigrant children in a nationwide class action that says those facing deportation hearings lack legal representation have asked a Seattle federal judge for an injunction to halt imminent hearings until the minors get lawyers.

The motion for a preliminary injunction comes three weeks after the American Civil Liberties Union, Public Counsel and others sued the government, alleging it violates federal immigration laws and the U.S. Constitution by not ensuring that immigrant children have representation.

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Barnes & Noble’s ‘browsewrap’ agreement can’t bind customer to arbitration, 9th Circuit rules

From Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet: Barnes & Noble cannot bind a consumer to an arbitration clause in its website’s terms of use because it never directed him to review the hyperlinked terms and, therefore, he never accepted them, a federal appeals court has affirmed.

“This case should be a wake-up call for website owners who attempt to control site use by including a hyperlink to legal terms of use at the bottom of the webpage,” said attorney Seth D. Greenstein, a partner in the Washington office of Constantine Cannon, who was not involved in the case.

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Suit over insufficient-funds fee will proceed against Minnesota payment center

From Westlaw Journal Bank & Lender Liability: A property management payment processing company must face a class-action lawsuit accusing it of charging an insufficient-funds fee to an apartment rental applicant without obtaining his consent, a federal judge has decided.

U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim of the District of Minnesota declined to dismiss Jeremy Cobb’s suit against PayLease LLC on July 22, saying the complaint adequately alleged violations of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1693.

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Connecticut police say they downed man’s drone, not his civil rights

From Westlaw Journal Aviation: Police officers’ actions in stopping a drone from flying above an active crime scene did not violate the user’s First or Fourth Amendment rights, according to the Hartford, Conn., police being sued over the incident.

Efforts to prevent a civilian from interfering with an active accident investigation did not amount to violation of his free speech rights or freedom from unlawful seizure, the police say in filings in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

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Appeals court upholds dismissal of whistleblower suit against Stryker

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices: A Missouri federal judge properly rejected a whistleblower suit against Stryker Corp. and other pain pump makers because its allegations were based on information that had already been made public, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected orthopedic surgeon and former Stryker consultant Dr. Lonnie Paulos’ allegation that his False Claims Act suit against Stryker and two other pain pump manufacturers should proceed because his allegations against them are based on firsthand, previously unknown information.

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