In recent years, courts across the country have seen an increase in lung cancer cases based on alleged asbestos exposure. Many of these cases involve plaintiffs with significant histories of smoking tobacco. Despite this common sense alternative causation, courts vary widely on the impact of this factual scenario depending on the jurisdiction’s utilization of comparative or contributory negligence, recognition of a claim of strict liability, and method of apportionment of damages. Consideration of these factors is essential to evaluate the defense of a case and the potential financial impact of an adverse verdict.
As soon as a party is served with a summons and complaint and sometimes sooner, there arises a duty to preserve evidence, including electronically stored information (ESI). This duty requires both counsel and clients to comply with any litigation hold and monitor ongoing compliance efforts.
Recent developments in New York commercial litigation include a decision by the Court of Appeals regarding a contract relating to the music of Duke Ellington and a decision by a trial court disqualifying an attorney under the attorney-witness rule.
Indiana Family and Social Services Administration v. Saint Catherine Hospital of Indiana, LLC (In re Saint Catherine Hospital of Indiana, LLC), 511 B.R. 117 (S.D. Ind. 2014) addressed the appeal from a bankruptcy court decision which granted summary judgment to Saint Catherine Hospital of Indiana, LLC (Saint Catherine) on its claim for avoidance and recovery of a preferential transfer pursuant to Bankruptcy Code section 547 against Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). The district court affirmed the bankruptcy court’s decision.
Eight Democratic members of the House Committees on Financial Services and Oversight and Government Reform recently wrote a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") encouraging the SEC to take action against companies that enter into agreements with employees that include whistleblower restrictions. Companies should be mindful of the fact that there is an active effort underway to encourage the SEC to take enforcement action against those that include these types of provisions in their agreements with employees.
If a potential party has something to say in a case, he or she should say it before the case is four years old. So said the Ninth Circuit on November 12 in denying all motions to intervene, including the California Attorney General’s, in Peruta v. County of San Diego, 742 F.3d 1144 (9th Cir. 2014)