Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

October 16, 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:

HIPAA preempts Florida’s attorney-doctor interview law: Federal privacy law preempts a Florida medical malpractice law that allows defense attorneys to interview a plaintiff’s other health care providers outside the presence of the plaintiff or his attorney, a Florida federal judge has ruled. A recent amendment involving ex parte, or one-sided, interviews are an attempt to circumvent disclosure rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, Pub. L. No. 104-191, U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida said Sept. 25. (Medical Malpractice)

Delaware justices lift injunction on video game publisher stock buyback: A fast-tracked appeal has persuaded Delaware’s Supreme Court to kill a preliminary injunction ruling that could have sabotaged Vivendi SA’s $8.2 billion deal to sell most of its stake in Activision Blizzard Inc. back to the video war game publisher. At oral argument Oct. 10, the publisher of the blockbuster video game series “Call of Duty” convinced the justices to let the deal go through before time runs out on financing agreements for Vivendi’s sale of 600 million of its Activision shares to the firm and a CEO-led investor group. (Delaware Corporate)

Judge certifies class in property contamination case: A federal judge in Illinois has certified a class of property owners who allege the current and former owners of an oil refinery caused petroleum byproducts to contaminate their land. Judge G. Patrick Murphy of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois ruled Sept. 3 that the plaintiffs satisfied the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (Expert & Scientific Evidence)

Pennsylvania high court reaffirms dosage as a factor in establishing asbestos disease: Pennsylvania courts may not rely on the theory that “each and every exposure, no matter how small, is substantially causative of disease” in asbestos-related personal injury cases, the state high court has reaffirmed. The Sept. 26 opinion includes “some of the strongest statements to date rejecting the ‘any exposure’ theory,” attorney Mark Behrens of Shook, Hardy & Bacon said in an email. His firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Coalition for Litigation Justice, which supported the companies being sued over asbestos exposure. (Asbestos)