Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

January 22, 2015

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupWe know that news from the high court always makes this time of year exciting.  Our litigation news highlights from Westlaw Journal, however, focus on other federal appellate activity:

Insurers denied rehearing on $500 million asbestos settlement: The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to rehear its ruling in a long-standing asbestos case involving the Travelers insurance companies, paving the way for thousands of plaintiffs to receive more than $500 million in settlement payments. In a one-page order Jan. 5, the appeals court denied a petition by Travelers Indemnity Co. and Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. for rehearing of the three-member appellate panel’s July 22 ruling that reinstated a settlement agreement against the insurers. (Asbestos)

Volvo Powertrain asks high court to review $62 million Clean Air Act penalty: Volvo Powertrain has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a $62 million penalty levied against it for allegedly violating a 15-year-old consent decree requiring the company to meet certain air-quality emissions standards for engines made in 2005. In its Dec. 23 petition, Volvo argues that the 1999 consent decree applied only to diesel engines sold in the United States. The consent decree arose from a 1998 federal enforcement action accusing various truck-engine manufacturers of violating the Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7401, by including a prohibited “defeat device” in their fuel-injunction system. (Environmental)

Suspended Pennsylvania teacher appeals blog free-speech case: A former teacher has appealed a 2014 ruling that her suburban Philadelphia school district legitimately fired her when it discovered her somewhat-anonymous blog. Natalie Munroe’s blog admittedly included some snarky remarks that obliquely referenced the Central Bucks School District, but the First Amendment protected her comments about public education, according to a brief she filed with the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Computer & Internet)