Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

June 11, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupSummer time is almost here!  While you’re lounging by the pool or reading on the beach, you can catch up on two weeks worth of litigation headlines over at the Westlaw Journals blog.  The highlights include a suit saying Johnson & Johnson hides baby power’s link to cancer; flight attendants arguing in a court brief that using iPads during takeoff is dangerous; and the U.S. Supreme Court adopts a new patent invalidity standard: 

Johnson & Johnson hides baby powder’s link to cancer, suit says: Johnson & Johnson has been named in a California woman’s proposed statewide class-action suit for allegedly failing to warn consumers that its classic baby powder is a likely cause of ovarian cancer. Mona Estrada says the company has touted Johnson’s Baby Powder as “safe, gentle and mild” but has known for decades that it poses a high risk of ovarian cancer among women who use it on their genitals. (Pharmaceutical)

Using iPads during takeoff is dangerous, flight attendants say: The Federal Aviation Administration’s new policy allowing airplane passengers to use certain portable electronic devices, like tablets, during takeoff and landing may jeopardize safety because they can become uncontrolled flying objects, a flight attendants union has told a federal court. In a brief filed May 5 with the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA says the FAA’s unilateral departure from its long-standing carry-on baggage regulations violates the Administrative Procedure Act and may end up endangering airplane passengers and crew members. (Aviation)

Supreme Court adopts new standard for patent invalidity: The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s “insolubly ambiguous” standard for assessing the invalidity of a patent did not satisfy the requirements of the Patent Act, and formulated its own standard. The high court said in its unanimous June 2 decision that the Federal Circuit’s “amorphous” standard did not meet the Patent Act’s definiteness requirement, 35 U.S.C. § 112, which says a patent must include one or more claims “particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which the applicant regards as the invention.”  (Intellectual Property)

Bankrupt clean-energy provider owes unpaid wages, suit says: A clean-energy company that filed for bankruptcy in early May has been sued in a proposed class-action lawsuit for allegedly failing to give required notice before it terminated hundreds of workers at two facilities in Connecticut. Former ClearEdge Power Inc. employee Peter Wojciechowski says in a May 2 complaint that the company violated the 60-day pre-termination notice requirement under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2101. (Bankruptcy)

Al Jazeera appeal dismissed, confidentiality issue in limbo: Al Jazeera America’s settlement with AT&T’s cable unit has caused Delaware’s Supreme Court to dismiss AJA’s appeal of a first-impression ruling requiring it to bare details of its breach-of-contract suit, but that leaves the public-access question in limbo. The high court was set to decide whether a revised Delaware rule concerning sealed court documents, which are common in business disputes, required Al Jazeera to reveal what it called “substantially damaging” details of a disputed contract.  (Delaware Corporate)

Bank execs did not illegally give records to their lawyers, judge finds: Officers and directors of a Kansas bank do not have to go to trial over allegations that they illegally gave confidential loan documents to their attorneys, a Missouri federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays of the Western District of Missouri threw out a conversion claim against the Hillcrest Bank executives May 2, finding that the plaintiffs, investors in a bank-funded project, failed to show they had a property interest in the disclosed files at issue.  (Bank & Lender Liability)