Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

January 14, 2015

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupHappy 2015! We missed you and have lots to catch up on! Some highlights from recent litigation news headlines over at the Westlaw Journals blog include the U.S. Supreme Court’s acceptance of a bankruptcy case and another Obamacare case, a consumer’s class suit over Sony’s ‘Killzone’ video game stays alive in California, and a federal appeals court’s ruling that Utah’s parade insurance requirement is unconstitutional:

Supreme Court to decide who gets debtor’s funds in conversion cases: On Dec. 12, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether funds held by Chapter 13 trustees to pay creditors should be returned to debtors who convert their cases to Chapter 7 in good faith. The case stems from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ July ruling that said the trustee could disburse the funds to creditors. In re Harris, 757 F.3d 468 (5th Cir. July 7, 2014). (Bankruptcy)

(Click here for the Harris opinion on WestlawNext.)

Another Obamacare contraception case reaches Supreme Court: A group of Catholic nonprofits from Michigan and Tennessee has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to decide an issue it dodged twice in 2014: whether the religious exemptions in the Affordable Care Act’s “contraceptive mandate” are sufficient. In a Dec. 12 certiorari petition, the Michigan Catholic Conference and other nonprofits say two Obamacare contraception rulings the high court issued in its last term have sown confusion among federal appeals courts about how the government can ensure free contraceptive coverage for female workers without burdening Catholic employers’ First Amendment rights. (Health Law)

Supreme Court nixes review in California city’s groundwater contamination suit: The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a 9th Circuit ruling that reinstated a lawsuit brought by the city of Pomona, Calif., against a company that allegedly contaminated the city’s water supply with perchlorate it imported to the United States and used in fertilizer. In May, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a trial court abused its discretion when it disallowed the testimony of the city’s expert witness, who traced the sodium nitrate that was the most dominate source of the perchlorate to the Atacama Desert of Chile. City of Pomona v. SQM N. Am. Corp., Nos. 12-55147 and 12-55193, 2014 WL 1724505 (9th Cir. May 2, 2014). SQM North America Corp. filed a petition for review with the Supreme Court in September, which the high court denied without comment Dec. 15. (Environmental)

(Click here for the 9th Cir. opinion on WestlawNext.)

Sony ‘Killzone’ resolution suit stays alive: A federal judge in San Francisco ruled Dec. 16 that a consumer may proceed with a class-action lawsuit alleging Sony Computer Entertainment America deceptively marketed the visual quality of the video game “Killzone: Shadow Fall.” The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleges Sony misrepresented that the game’s “multiplayer” mode renders graphics in full 1080p resolution when in fact they are rendered with significantly less resolution than advertised. Thus, the characters’ movement appears blurry instead of crisp and sharp as gamers expect, plaintiff Douglas Ladore alleges. (Software Law)

Utah’s parade insurance requirement is unconstitutional, 10th Circuit says: Utah’s requirement that parade organizers obtain liability insurance and execute an indemnification form before they can march on a state highway violates the First Amendment, a federal appeals court ruled Dec. 22. The decision by a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirms the entry of summary judgment in favor of two environmental groups that were denied permits to march past government buildings along State Street in Salt Lake City. (Insurance Coverage)