Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

April 24, 2013

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThe new Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law.  Here are some highlights from the past week:

Merck legal counsel’s letter did not libel purported whistle-blower: An in-house attorney for drug manufacturer Merck & Co. did not libel a whistle-blower when he wrote to tell the man his complaint was “unfounded,” a Philadelphia federal judge has ruled. U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held that Merck’s legal director, Thomas Fitzgibbon, did not intend to blacken Leo Gibney’s reputation when he responded to Gibney’s claim that Gibney’s former employer, Evolution Inc., had overbilled Merck. (Pharmaceutical)

Kardashian clan claims copyright infringement by dad’s widow: Members of the celebrity Kardashian family are suing the widow of their late father and husband, Robert Kardashian, for unlawfully keeping copyrighted items that they say he bequeathed to them. Siblings Kourtney, Kimberly, Khloé and Robert Kardashian Jr. and their mother, Kris Jenner, claim that Ellen Pearson is trying to exploit family photographs and a private diary of Robert Sr. (Intellectual Property)

Nonprofit whistle-blower employee nets $1.6 million retaliation award: A former senior case manager at a New Jersey ex-convict rehabilitation facility has been awarded more than $1.6 million in damages plus back pay after she was fired for reporting a manager’s unethical and retaliatory conduct. A jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas unanimously found that Marla Pietrowski’s former employer, The Kintock Group, violated the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 34:19-1, by creating a hostile work environment and terminating her for reporting conduct that violated company policy. (Employment)