Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

November 20, 2013

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThe Westlaw Journals blog brings you litigation headlines in over 30 substantive areas of law. This week we highlight oral arguments before of the U.S. Supreme Court, a petition before the Court, and appellate rulings from the East Coast and the West Coast

Justices hear argument on burden of proof in patent declaratory judgment suit: The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to decide which party has the burden of proof when a party files a declaratory judgment action in a patent case. The high court heard oral argument Nov. 5 by Medtronic Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp., debating whether a licensee filing a declaratory judgment has the burden to prove that its products do not infringe the patents at issue, or whether the patent owner bears the burden of proof that they do. (Intellectual Property)

Airman asks Supreme Court to review Feres bar on tort suits against U.S.: A U.S. Air Force member who says he lost his lower legs as a result of negligent treatment by military surgeons has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn longstanding legal precedent that bars military personnel from suing the federal government for injuries sustained during active duty. In an Oct. 17 petition for certiorari, Colton J. Read says the Feres doctrine, which broadened an exception to the federal government’s waiver of sovereign immunity in the Federal Tort Claims Act, is “legally indefensible, practically unworkable and manifestly unjust.” (Medical Malpractice)

California appeals court overturns ‘inconsistent’ $3.5 million verdict in Corvette fire case: A California state appeals court has vacated a $3.5 million verdict for a couple who claimed a “defective” 2005 Chevrolet Corvette caught fire and burned down their home. On Oct. 28, the 4th District Court of Appeal said the verdict against General Motors LLC was inconsistent because the jury found no defect in the Corvette but said the company was negligent in the vehicle’s design and manufacture. (Automotive)

2nd Circuit tosses False Claims Act suit against Quest Diagnostics: A qui tam suit under the False Claims Act against medical laboratory Quest Diagnostics by a partnership formed solely for the purpose of filing the suit was properly dismissed, a federal appeals court has ruled. The participation in the kickback-based lawsuit against Quest Diagnostics Inc. by Mark Bibi, a partner in whistle-blowing plaintiff Fair Labor Practices Associates and former counsel for a company acquired by Quest, represented a breach of ethics, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Oct. 25. (Health Care Fraud)