Magistrate recommends default judgment against PwC for spoliation.

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The company, according to the court, “failed at the start of discovery to check thoroughly its local servers and its archives for relevant documents, failed to compare the various versions of relevant documents on those databases, failed to produce documents as they were kept in the ordinary course of business, and failed to reproduce thoroughly and accurately all documents and …

E-Mail notification of arbitration requirement to employees inadequate, district court rules.

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General Dynamics attempted to invoke a binding arbitration policy in defense to a claim under the ADA. The court found that sending an e-mail notification of the policy to employees was insufficient, because it is impossible to know whether the employee actually read the communication. The better practice, suggested the court, would be to require employees to acknowledge that they …

Fifth Circuit rules that expert testimony is not required in defective design case against forklift manufacturer.

In What's New in Product Liability Law?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

The plaintiff was injured while operating a Crown “stand-up” forklift when, in an effort to avoid a collision with another forklift, she applied her brakes, causing her left foot to swing out of the unenclosed operator compartment, where it was crushed between the two machines as they collided. She brought suit against Crown under the LPLA, claiming that the lack …

Fifth Circuit reverses denial of certification in burial life insurance cases.

In What's New in Class Action Law?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

A district court judge in the Eastern District of Louisiana denied certification in a case brought by African American policyholders who received less benefits than whites with comparable policies. The plaintiffs sought certification of a (b)(2) class for injunctive and associated relief, yet affording notice and opt-out rights to members of the putative class. Adopting the practical approach taken in …

Fourth Circuit approves of certifying “issues” under Rule 23(c)(4).

In What's New in Class Action Law?, What's New in the Courts by gravierhouseLeave a Comment

Purchasers and beneficiaries of a multi-employer health care plan brought claims growing out of the plan’s collapse. The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the defendants’ argument that the necessity for individualized damage determinations should defeat certification. Of particular interest, however, is the Court’s discussion of Rule 23(c)(4). The Fifth Circuit, in cases such as Castano and Allison, had …

Union Pacific engages in systematic spoliation.

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The New York Times found that Union Pacific had been sanctioned at least seven times between July 2001 and January 2003 for spoliation. “Union Pacific’s conduct is a stark example of how some railroads, even as they blame motorists, repeatedly side-step their own responsibility in grade-crossing fatalities. Their actions range from destroying, mishandling or simply losing evidence to not reporting …