Mealey's Discovery

  • January 30, 2024

    Judge Overrules Discovery Objections In FCA Suit, Says Scope Should Be Nationwide

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge affirmed a magistrate judge’s discovery order and overruled Abbott Laboratories’ objections to the geographical scope of discovery in a suit alleging violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) and state false claims laws regarding an alleged kickback scheme to induce hospitals and physicians to use an Abbott cardiac medical device, finding that the complaint sufficiently alleges a “nationwide scheme.”

  • January 26, 2024

    Insurer Failed To Show Homebuilder’s Discovery Requests Are Not Relevant

    AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas federal magistrate judge denied a general liability insurer’s motion for a protective order and to quash subpoenas served on three insurance brokers after determining that the insurer does not have standing to challenge the subpoenas served on the insurance brokers and failed to meet its burden of showing that the information sought by the insured homebuilder is not relevant to the construction defects coverage dispute.

  • January 26, 2024

    Flint Plaintiffs Seek Order Compelling Production Of Documents Improperly Withheld

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Plaintiffs in the Flint water crisis litigation have moved in Michigan federal court to compel engineering firms that were involved in the decision to switch the city’s water supply to the Flint River, which resulted in the drinking water being contaminated with lead, to comply with court orders to produce documents that the presiding judge has determined were withheld under improper assertions of privilege.

  • January 26, 2024

    Magistrate: Parties In FCA Suit Must Respond To Intervention By Specific Date

    INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana federal magistrate judge ordered parties to respond by Feb. 5 to the state’s motion to intervene in a suit filed by a health care network’s former employee, who alleges that his termination was in retaliation for his expressing concerns over the network’s purported False Claims Act (FCA) violations by illegally inducing physicians to refer patients to the network’s hospitals.

  • January 25, 2024

    Request For Discovery Order Is ‘Poorly Advised,’ Hair Relaxer Plaintiffs Say

    CHICAGO — Plaintiffs in a suit against cosmetic companies over alleged injuries related to hair relaxer products filed a brief in Illinois federal court on Jan. 24 contending that the defendants’ request for a court order establishing procedures for dealing with discovery disputes is “poorly advised and should be rejected in its entirety.”

  • January 23, 2024

    Magistrate Extends Discovery Deadline In Rehabilitator’s Suit Against D&O Insurers

    INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana federal magistrate judge granted parties’ joint motion to extend a discovery deadline in a breach of contract suit filed by the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, as rehabilitator of an insurer, against primary and excess directors and officers (D&O) insurers.

  • January 23, 2024

    WhatsApp, NSO Defend Discovery Requests In Spyware Dispute

    OAKLAND, Calif. — WhatsApp Inc. asks a California federal court to order defendant NSO Group Technologies Limited to submit documents related to all the different types of spyware that the Israeli company used to spy on its users in a reply brief supporting its motion to compel discovery responses, while the defendant maintains that it is entitled to information about the company that aided the plaintiff in its investigation related to the claimed surveillance of WhatsApp users.

  • January 23, 2024

    Insured Entitled To Depose Claims Handlers In Environmental Coverage Dispute

    DETROIT — An insured seeking coverage for underlying environmental contamination suits is entitled to depose an insurer’s claims handlers because the information sought by the insured is relevant to the insured’s coverage claim and is relevant in determining whether the insurer acted in bad faith in handling the claim, a special master appointed by a Michigan federal court said in granting the insured’s motion to compel deposition testimony.

  • January 23, 2024

    Magistrate Judge Won’t Sanction Talc Defendant Over ‘Litigation Tactics’

    NEW YORK — A dispute over an asbestos-talc defendant’s attempts to discover the identities of individuals in expert Jacqueline Moline’s study comes down to disagreement about litigation tactics and does not rise to the level required for sanctions, a magistrate judge in New York said Jan. 22 in denying a motion.

  • January 18, 2024

    Man Says Asbestos-Talc Case Doesn’t Require Inquiry Into His Company

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — No grounds exist for subpoenaing a man’s business records in a case alleging exposure to asbestos in talc where there is no allegation or evidence of workplace exposures and where other courts previously rejected a similar request by another defendant, the man tells a Connecticut judge in a reply seeking a protective order and quashing of the subpoena.

  • January 18, 2024

    Montana Asbestos Plaintiffs: Railroad’s Late Subpoena Of CARD Doctor Is Personal

    GREAT FALLS, Mont. — Post-discovery attempts at deposing the retired medical director of a facility where a plaintiff last sought care five years ago and which has no connection to current mesothelioma diagnoses or treatments appear to be personal rather than legitimate efforts at producing evidence, two plaintiffs tell a federal judge in Montana in a Jan. 17 motion to quash a railroad’s subpoena.

  • January 17, 2024

    Government Says Release Of Camp Lejeune Water Report Would Be Premature

    RALEIGH, N.C. — The U.S. government on Jan. 16 filed a brief in North Carolina federal court arguing that a magistrate judge properly denied the plaintiffs’ motion to compel the government to produce documents related to a federal agency’s draft study examining human health effects associated with exposure to the drinking water at the U.S. Marine Corps Base at Camp Lejeune.  The government says the need to avoid damage from the premature release of the report outweighs the plaintiffs’ need.

  • January 17, 2024

    Oregon Granted Extension For Rehearing Petition In Prisoner Vaccine Case

    SEATTLE — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Jan. 16 docket entry granted a motion by Oregon for an extension of time to file a petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc; the motion was filed after a panel denied the state’s petition for a writ of mandamus seeking to quash a trial court’s order compelling the deposition of the former governor in a class lawsuit by prisoners suing over the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations and deaths due to the virus.

  • January 12, 2024

    Hospital Personnel Must Produce Some Documents In Surveillance Lawsuit

    SAN DIEGO — A couple who successfully defended themselves against a hospital’s reports of child abuse and neglect are entitled to records of their daughter’s treatment and communications related to the purportedly invasive surveillance of the family undertaken by the hospital, a California federal magistrate judge found, partly granting the plaintiffs’ motion to compel additional responses from two of the hospital’s personnel who were involved in the surveillance.

  • January 12, 2024

    Judge Grants Ex Parte Bid For Discovery On Reinsurers’ Identity In Breach Case

    NEW ORLEANS — Companies that own and operate an offshore supply vessel have won approval of an ex parte motion in Louisiana federal court for leave to conduct expedited discovery regarding the identity of reinsurers in a breach of contract and bad faith suit.

  • January 10, 2024

    Judge Affirms Partial Sanctions Denial In Bitcoin Ownership Suit

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Overruling a bitcoin mining firm’s objections to a magistrate judge’s partial denial of a motion to impose post-trial discovery sanctions on the defendant in a cryptocurrency ownership dispute, a Florida federal judge deemed the magistrate’s ruling “to be well-reasoned and correct” related to required disclosures and compliance with court deadlines in completing a judgment debtor fact form.

  • January 09, 2024

    Panel Affirms $7,000 Costs Award To Manufacturer For Depositions That Didn’t Happen

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appellate court panel on Jan. 8 affirmed a trial court’s post-dismissal award to a mattress manufacturer of more than $7,000 in costs incurred seeking depositions from doctors to defend against claims that it sold a sagging mattress that worsened a consumer’s injuries, even though some depositions never occurred and the costs included service to a dead doctor.

  • January 09, 2024

    Illinois Court Reverses Live Witness Testimony Requirement After Asbestos Verdict

    CHICAGO — A trial court improperly required in-person testimony from a witness whose testimony regarding work conditions at a facility appears crucial to the case when a remote appearance could just as easily have been accommodated, an Illinois appeals court said in partly reversing and granting a new trial.

  • January 08, 2024

    Magistrate: Summary Judgment Not ‘Ideal Vehicle’ For Insurer’s Damages Argument

    FORT MYERS, Fla. —A federal magistrate judge in Florida on Jan. 5 denied an insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment in a condominium insured’s bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage for property damage caused by Hurricane Irma, finding that “summary judgment is not the ideal vehicle” for addressing the insurer’s arguments against the insured’s claim for damages.

  • January 08, 2024

    Pet Brush Maker May Subpoena Meta To Obtain Online Counterfeiters’ Identities

    SAN FRANCISCO — A group of website operators accused of selling and advertising counterfeit goods lost their bid to quash a discovery subpoena on Meta Platforms Inc., with a California federal judge finding that the plaintiff demonstrated that good cause exists to obtain the defendants’ identifying information for the purpose of serving them with its complaint for intellectual property infringement and unfair competition.

  • January 04, 2024

    Judge Affirms Quashing Of Asbestos Media Subpoenas, Certifies Stock Class

    TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson’s motion seeking reconsideration of a ruling quashing subpoenas to lawyers, law firms and experts over their media contacts is untimely but would fail anyway because it offers no new information, and even supplemental information produced in opposition does not require denying a motion to certify a securities class action, a federal judge in New Jersey said in denying reconsideration and certifying the class.

  • January 03, 2024

    Magistrate Judge: List Of Litigation Suffices, No Corporate Deposition Needed

    NEW ORLEANS — A shipyard need not produce a corporate representative to identify the types and number of asbestos claims it faces because producing a list it likely already has will provide the same information in a less burdensome manner, a federal magistrate judge in Louisiana said Jan. 2 in partly denying plaintiffs’ motion to compel.

  • January 03, 2024

    Company Seeks To Compel Insurers To Produce Documents In AFFF Litigation

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A company that makes firefighting products filed a motion on Jan. 2 in South Carolina federal court seeking to compel insurance companies to produce documents in a coverage dispute related to injuries from the firefighting substance aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) in the multidistrict litigation for AFFF, arguing that the insurers have refused to produce basic categories of documents that are directly related to the issues in dispute and are “plainly subject to discovery.”  The company contends that the insurers’ objections to discovery requests are not valid, especially considering that the insurers are “seeking to escape up to $1 billion in coverage.”

  • January 03, 2024

    11th Circuit Upholds Denial Of Vacation In ERISA Row With Recusal Violation

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Saying in part that “we see no risk of injustice to the parties absent vacatur” despite a recusal violation, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued an unpublished per curiam opinion upholding denial of a motion to vacate final judgment in a dispute over termination of retiree life insurance benefits.

  • January 02, 2024

    Judge Says Cosmetics Companies Must Produce Foreign Materials In Hair Relaxer Case

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois has partially granted plaintiffs’ request for the production of numerous items in discovery in a lawsuit against Revlon Inc. and its affiliates regarding allegations that their hair relaxer products increase the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer because they contain phthalates, ruling that all of the defendants must produce foreign regulatory materials, product labels and usage instructions, scientific studies articles in scientific journals related to hair relaxer products sold outside the United States.

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