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Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[03/24] Minda v. US
In a case in which the IRS sent a report containing plaintiffs' names, social security numbers, and financial information, to the wrong person --- an unauthorized unrelated third party -- brought under 26 U.S.C. section 7431, which permits a taxpayer whose return or return information has been unlawfully disclosed to bring a civil action against the United States for damages, the district court's grant of summary judgment to the Government is affirmed where, plaintiffs are only entitled to 1,000 each in statutory damages for the disclosure of the report, not $1000 for the disclosure of each item of information contained in the report.

[03/24] Williams v. Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd.
In an action alleging violations of federal and state warranty law and other claims, brought by appellants who purchased allegedly defective outboard motors that defendant designed and manufactured in Japan and that defendant imported and marketed in California, the district court's dismissal of defendant for lack of personal jurisdiction and Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) dismissal of plaintiffs' claims are affirmed where: 1) the district court lacked general jurisdiction over defendant because defendant itself did not have sufficient contacts with California for the exercise of general jurisdiction, and plaintiffs failed to plead sufficient facts to make out a prima facie case that related entities were 'alter egos'; 2) the district court lacked specific jurisdiction over non-resident defendant, and plaintiffs did not allege any action that defendant 'purposefully directed' at California; and 3) plaintiffs failed to plead a prima facie case of consumer fraud.

[03/23] Bluewave Healthcare v. US
In a challenge to the district court's denial of plaintiffs' motions to quash writs of attachment against real and personal property and writs of garnishment against two bank accounts, in underlying qui tam actions involving Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claim Act claims, the appeal is dismissed for lack of jurisdiction where the denial is an unreviewable interlocutory order.

[03/22] In Re: Fosamax Products Liability Litig.
In consolidated personal-injury suits against a drug manufacturer, averring that the osteoporosis drug Fosamax caused plaintiffs to suffer serious thigh bone fractures, and bringing state-law tort claim alleging that defendant failed to add an adequate warning of the risk of thigh fractures to Fosamax's FDA-approved drug label, the district court's grant of summary judgment to defendants, based on the Supreme Court's decision in Wyeth v. Levine, which holds that state-law failure-to-warn claims are preempted when there is 'clear evidence' that the FDA would not have approved the warning that a plaintiff claims was necessary, is vacated where: 1) preemption is an affirmative defense, and defendant has not carried its burden to prove that it is entitled to that defense as a matter of law; and 2) plaintiffs have produced sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude that the FDA would have approved a properly-worded warning about the risk of thigh fractures--or at the very least, to conclude that the odds of FDA rejection were less than highly probable.

[03/20] Sheley v. Harrop
In a dispute involving the control of a pest control company started by decedent, asserting causes of action to recover damages for conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty based on actions taken by defendant (decedent's wife) in cooperation with the decedent, the trial court granted of defendant's anti-SLAPP motion as to plaintiff's intentional infliction of emotional distress claim is: 1) modified by granting defendants' motion to strike the specific claims founded on allegations of protected activity in each remaining cause of action in the cross-complaint; and 2) otherwise affirmed as modified.

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