In The News Today - June 9, 2014

June 09, 2014

A Maryland judge has, "freed Pfizer Inc. from a personal injury suit blaming insulation manufactured by its defunct subsidiary Quigley Co” in an asbestos suit. “I do not believe that a reasonable person under all the circumstances provided to me in this case could come to the conclusion from the documents that Pfizer was the manufacturer of the product,” Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John M. Glynn said at the Monday hearing. Judge Glynn’s decision, “largely followed the reasoning of a Washington federal judge who sided with Pfizer in January” and a Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas judge, who, "dismissed another such case in March.” (Law360 - subscription only)

In yet another high-profile Telephone Consumer Protect Act (TCPA) settlement, the Bank of the West reportedly reached a preliminary $3.3 million settlement in a class action accusing the bank of violating the TCPA by calling the plaintiffs, “to collect money against their wishes.” The plaintiffs accused the bank of calling their cellphones, via automatic dialing systems, over debts owed. The Bank argued it had prior express consent to call clients, “if a phone call was ever made during the banking relationship.” Under the settlement, the the class, “which includes everyone in the U.S. who received a nonemergency robocall” from the bank after 2008, will split a $3.3 million payout, “of which $838,386 will be attorneys’ fees.” (Law360 - subscription only)

In the wake of a spate of Americans with Disabilities (ADA) lawsuits filed against local businesses by a single attorney, the Manteca, CA City Council has had enough — and is now actively lobbying the state legislature to pass lawsuit reform. "At least 21 Manteca businesses are being sued for violation of civil rights by Carmichael-based attorney Scott Johnson for allegedly failing to comply with ADA requirements. In all cases, the businesses were not given a chance to comply first with the ADA laws. Johnson brought the violations to their attention and sued them at the same time.” (Manteca Bulletin)