A Las Vegas jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages and $89.75 million in compensatory damages Friday to a group of children and adults who experienced severe liver problems after drinking toxin-adulterated "alkaline water," adding to the product maker's legal woes.
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MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2024 Law360 iOS App Law360 Android App Follow Law360 on Facebook Follow Law360 on LinkedIn Follow Law360 on Twitter

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'Alkaline Water' Co. Owes Another $3.1B For Liver Failures

By Cara Salvatore

A Las Vegas jury awarded $3 billion in punitive damages and $89.75 million in compensatory damages Friday to a group of children and adults who experienced severe liver problems after drinking toxin-adulterated "alkaline water," adding to the product maker's legal woes.

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Burford Bound To Sysco And Pilgrim's Unsigned Chicken Deal

By Lauraann Wood

An Illinois federal judge on Friday rejected a Burford subsidiary's bid to block a global protein price-fixing settlement that Pilgrim's Pride and Sysco memorialized through email but never signed on paper, saying it's clear the parties reached a material agreement.

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Ozy Trial Gets Heated, Exec Tells Of Lies, Google CEO Pops In

By Stewart Bishop

Courtroom tempers flared, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai dropped by and a former Ozy Media executive on Friday told the jury weighing fraud charges against the startup's charismatic founder Carlos Watson of how they nearly conned Buzzfeed into buying the company by faking its financials.

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Elon Musk's Court Cases Remain A Live Issue In Delaware

By Jeff Montgomery

Delaware's courts will continue to assert control over a multibillion-dollar Tesla Inc. legal fee dispute despite the company's rushed effort to reincorporate in Texas and potentially put CEO Elon Musk's massive, multiyear compensation plan beyond the state's reach, those familiar with the case said Friday.

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X Dodges Porn Filter BIPA Suit For Now

By Celeste Bott

An Illinois federal judge has thrown out a proposed class action accusing X Corp. of violating the state's biometric privacy law through its use of software to police pornographic images, saying the lead plaintiff failed to allege that the tool can be used to identify specific individuals. 

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DOJ Can't Force Retroactive FARA Registration, DC Circ. Says

By Ali Sullivan

The U.S. Department of Justice can't force casino magnate Steve Wynn to retroactively register as a foreign agent because his alleged lobbying efforts on behalf of China ended years ago, a D.C. Circuit panel ruled Friday.

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GC Cheat Sheet: The Hottest Corporate News Of The Week

By Michele Gorman

The governor of Vermont vetoed a legislative proposal that would have given consumers not only new data privacy rights but also the rare opportunity to sue large businesses for certain violations, and a multipart Delaware General Corporation Law amendment that would let boards cede some governance rights to big stockholders sailed through the state's Senate without debate or an opposing vote. These are among the stories in corporate legal news you may have missed in the past week.

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POLICY & REGULATION

Full DC Circ. Won't Hear Foreign Disclosure Penalty Dispute

By Anna Scott Farrell

The D.C. Circuit declined to reconsider its ruling overturning a major U.S. Tax Court decision that had crimped the administrative collection arm of the Internal Revenue Service, letting stand a panel's restoration of the agency's power to more freely penalize undisclosed foreign corporations.

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ENFORCEMENT

DOJ's Google Ad Tech Suit Bound For Sept. Trial

By Bryan Koenig

A Virginia federal judge said Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice's lawsuit accusing Google of monopolizing technology used to place ads on third-party websites will go to trial, finding too many factual disputes to let the search giant nix the case.

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Fed Limits Bank's Fintech Dealings Over Risk Concerns

By Sarah Jarvis

The Federal Reserve filed a cease-and-desist order against an Arkansas bank Friday requiring it to obtain federal and state approval before partnering with any fintech companies going forward after the agency identified risk management deficiencies in recent safety and compliance exams.

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SEC Says Bahamas Firm Was Set Up To Skirt Day Trading Rules

By Carolina Bolado

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opened its case Friday against high-frequency trading expert — and former government informant — Guy Gentile, telling jurors in Florida federal court that he set up a broker-dealer in the Bahamas specifically to evade U.S. day trading regulations designed to protect American investors.

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LITIGATION

Electronics Cos. Fight 'Drastic' $2B Price-Fixing Default

By Bonnie Eslinger

Irico Group and a subsidiary on Thursday opposed a special masters report recommending the Chinese electronics companies should be on the hook for over $2 billion in default judgment in litigation alleging they participated in a cathode ray tube price-fixing conspiracy, telling a California federal court the remedy is "drastic" and unwarranted.

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Amazon Sued For Locking Up Audiobooks, Charging Up To 75%

By Bryan Koenig

A romance novelist challenged Amazon.com Inc.'s control of up to 80% of the U.S. audiobook market Thursday in a Washington federal court proposed class action accusing the retail giant of using exclusivity restrictions to lock in independent authors, extracting up to 75% of the sales price on Audible.

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Potato Co.'s Software Rollout Fried Its Revenue, Suit Says

By Sydney Price

Potato product manufacturer Lamb Weston has been hit with a proposed shareholder class action in Idaho federal court alleging that it concealed from investors information about the botched implementation of software that had been intended to improve the efficiency of the company's operations but ended up costing the company millions in lost sales.

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Japan's Kirin Plans $1.4B Fancl Purchase Amid Health Kick

By Al Barbarino

Kirin Holdings Co. said Friday that it plans to buy the remaining shares it doesn't own in Fancl Corp. for about $1.4 billion, part of the Japanese beverage giant's continued push into the consumer health sector.

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BP Unit Slapped With $300M Franchise Termination Suit

By Grace Dixon

A trio of entities controlled by two self-proclaimed franchise veterans filed suit in Ohio federal court against a travel center operator acquired by BP in 2023, alleging the company terminated a franchise agreement without warning and caused at least $300 million in damages.

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Daimler Truck Unit Says Mexican Supply Slowdown Cost $18M

By Carolyn Muyskens

A Daimler Truck subsidiary claimed in a lawsuit filed in Michigan federal court that a supplier's failure to keep up with production volumes has forced the diesel-engine manufacturer to stall its own production and lose more than $18 million.

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Novant Urges 4th Circ. To Reject FTC's 'Emergency' Bid

By Matthew Perlman

Novant Health told the Fourth Circuit there is no need to block its planned North Carolina hospital purchase while the Federal Trade Commission pushes a merger challenge, saying the deal will increase competition by preventing the hospitals from closing.

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France Offers $750M For Atos' Cyber, Data Assets

By Al Barbarino

Information technology firm Atos SE said Friday that it has received a nonbinding offer from the French government to buy certain big data and cybersecurity operations at an enterprise value of €700 million ($750 million).

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Publishing Exec's Family Says Ohio Law Allowed His Ouster

By P.J. D'Annunzio

The board of an Ohio-based media company have said state law empowered them to oust former CEO Allan Block from his family's namesake company and urged an Ohio state court to dismiss the suit he brought over the potential sale of the company that publishes newspapers in Toledo and Pittsburgh.

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Roundup

Real Estate Recap: Special Servicers, 'Dirty' Money, Alt Energy

By Real Estate Authority Staff

Catch up on this week's key developments by state from Law360 Real Estate Authority — including recent litigation targeting special servicers, a 700% increase in brownfield funding, and one BigLaw real estate leader's take on alternative energy as interest rates hold steady.

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Off The Bench

Off The Bench: Ex-Players Claim NIL, Loss For Trans Swimmer

By David Steele

In this week's Off The Bench, the 1983 men's college basketball champions want a piece of the loot the NCAA made off of their names, swimmer Lia Thomas loses in her bid to overturn an international trans athlete ban, and the House gets a bill through committee that would keep college athletes from becoming employees.

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Roundup

Employment Authority: High Court's NLRB Injunction Shift

Law360 Employment Authority covers the biggest employment cases and trends. Catch up this week with coverage on the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion involving Starbucks that standardized the National Labor Relations Board's injunction test, a look at Law360's pay disclosure law tracker and a review of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's amicus briefs in the first half of 2024.

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PEOPLE

Ex-OAG Deputy Picked For Houston Division Of Biz Court

By Catherine Marfin

A former Texas deputy assistant attorney general and a Diamond McCarthy LLP partner are among Gov. Greg Abbott's latest picks for the statewide business court, according to a Friday announcement.

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EXPERT ANALYSIS

Deciphering SEC Disgorgement 4 Years After Liu

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Liu v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to preserve SEC disgorgement with limits, courts have continued to rule largely in the agency’s favor, but a recent circuit split over the National Defense Authorization Act's import may create hurdles for the SEC, say attorneys at Ropes & Gray.

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Takeaways From Nat'l Security Division's Historic Declination

The Justice Department National Security Division's recent decision not to prosecute a biochemical company for an employee's export control violation marks its first declination under a new corporate enforcement policy, sending a clear message to companies that self-disclosure of misconduct may confer material benefits, say attorneys at Perkins Coie.

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LEGAL INDUSTRY

All The World's A Stage For Tony-Nominated Dechert Co-Chair

By Tracey Read

Mark Thierfelder is not only a Dechert LLP co-chair and partner; he’s also a Tony-nominated Broadway producer up for an award this June 16. Here, Law360 Pulse talks to Thierfelder on how he balances his legal work with his creative pursuits.

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Littler Aims To End Theft Suit After $1M Deal With Ex-Firm Atty

By Lynn LaRowe

Littler Mendelson PC this week moved to drop a lawsuit accusing a former associate of stealing confidential documents following a settlement in which the firm agreed to pay her nearly $1 million, though a separate, newer case in which the lawyer accuses Littler of violating that deal remains open.

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McDermott Says Financial Firm Owes $800K In Atty Fees

By Madison Arnold

McDermott Will & Emery LLP says it is owed more than $800,000 in legal fees for representing a financial firm's employee in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and a lawsuit by his former employer.

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Real Estate Broker Claims Lewis Brisbois Breached Deal

By Madison Arnold

A real estate broker who had exclusive rights to represent Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP has slammed the firm with a breach of contract suit in California state court, alleging its abrupt termination of their deal will cost him millions in commissions.

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Goetz Fitzpatrick To Merge With Platzer Swergold Next Year

By Tracey Read

Goetz Fitzpatrick LLP and Platzer Swergold Goldberg Katz & Jaslow LLP will combine forces next year to create a single New York City firm.

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Update On Ex-George Mason Prof's Suits Over Sex Allegations

By Aebra Coe

After two women came forward last August accusing former BigLaw partner, FTC commissioner and George Mason University law professor Joshua D. Wright of sexual improprieties with students and direct reports, a number of additional accusations and lawsuits followed. Here are updates on the litigation and everything else surrounding the allegations.

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Analysis

Blistering Dissents Belie Justices' Penchant For Consensus

By Katie Buehler

Thirteen days into June, the U.S. Supreme Court had recorded one of the highest rates of unanimous decisions in the past four decades. But the era of historic consensus was tarnished a bit Friday when the court issued three split decisions and two scathing dissents highlighting how much the nine justices differ.

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DOJ Declines To Prosecute AG Garland For Contempt

By Courtney Bublé

The U.S. Department of Justice is declining to prosecute Attorney General Merrick Garland after the House voted earlier this week to hold him in contempt for not turning over audio recordings of the president and his ghostwriter speaking with special counsel Robert Hur for his investigation into President Joe Biden's handling of classified documents.

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Senate Passes Bill For State, Local Judge Security

By Courtney Bublé

The U.S. Senate has passed a bill unanimously to better protect state and local judges from threats amid "unacceptable attacks" on the judiciary.

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Hunter Biden Axes Data Privacy Suit Against Giuliani, For Now

By Emily Sawicki

Hunter Biden has tentatively agreed to drop a federal computer fraud and digital privacy suit against Rudy Giuliani and various other defendants relating to alleged data theft from his infamous laptop, after the case was partially stalled due to Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings Giuliani commenced in December.

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Mistrial Declared In Florida Student Debtor Lawsuit

By David Minsky

A Florida federal judge on Friday declared a mistrial in the lawsuit against a Boca Raton-based law firm accused of falsely promising to eliminate student loan debts in exchange for a fee following testimony from a former client.

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Law360's Legal Lions Of The Week

By Kevin Penton

Williams & Connolly LLP and Littler Mendelson PC lead this week's edition of Law360's Legal Lions, after the U.S. Supreme Court made it tougher for the National Labor Relations Board to win injunctions against employers.

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UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

By Laura Stewart Liberty

This past week in London has seen toy company Jellycat hit supermarket Aldi with an intellectual property claim, AIG start proceedings against firefighting foam company Angus International Safety Group, and the Solicitors Regulation Authority file a legal claim against the Post Office amid the ongoing Horizon IT scandal. Here, Law360 looks at these and other new claims in the U.K.

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In Case You Missed It: Hottest Firms And Stories On Law360

For those who missed out, here's a look back at the law firms, stories and expert analyses that generated the most buzz on Law360 last week.

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LAW FIRMS IN TODAY'S NEWS

Axinn Veltrop

Baute Crochetiere

Bernstein Litowitz

Binnall Law Group

Brown Rudnick

Burr & Forman

Bursor & Fisher

Capsticks Solicitors LLP

Clark Hill

Cohen Milstein

Conrad & Scherer

Covington & Burling

Cravath Swaine

Crowell & Moring

Davidoff Hutcher

Dechert LLP

Dhillon Law Group

Diamond McCarthy

Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae

Eastman & Smith

Freshfields

GM Law Firm LLC

Gawthrop Greenwood

Gibson Dunn

Goetz Fitzpatrick

Gordee Nowicki

Hach Rose Schirripa

Hagens Berman

Hamlins LLP

Hancock Daniel

Hilgers Graben

Hill Dickinson

Hirschler

Hochman Salkin

Hogan Lovells

Jones Day

Joshua S. Horton Law Firm

K&L Gates

Kellogg Hansen

Kemp Jones

King & Spalding

Kirkland & Ellis

Kramer Levin

Latham & Watkins

Law Office of Macy D. Hanson

Lewis Brisbois

Littler Mendelson

Loeb & Loeb

Lynn Pinker

Lyons Law Group LLC

McCarter & English

McDermott Will & Emery

Morgan Lewis

Motley Rice

Napoli Shkolnik

Nevin Benjamin

Norton Rose

O'Melveny & Myers

Orrick Herrington

Parker Poe

Paul Hastings

Paul Weiss

Pearson Warshaw

Perkins Coie

Pillsbury & Coleman

Pinsent Masons

Platzer Swergold

Polsinelli PC

Porter Wright

Porzio Bromberg

Quinn Emanuel

Reed Smith

Robinson Bradshaw

Ropes & Gray

Ryan Law Partners

Saul Ewing

Saveri & Saveri

Searcy Denney

Seeger Weiss

Sheehy Ware

Simmons Hanly

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Skadden Arps

Spengler Nathanson

Sperling & Slater

St John & St John

Steptoe LLP

Sullivan & Cromwell

Sullivan Law Firm PLLC

The Office of Craig C. Reilly

Thompson Hine

Trump Alioto

Vasseghi Law

Williams & Connolly

Willkie Farr

Wilson Browne Solicitors

Wilson Sonsini

Winston & Strawn

Wolf Haldenstein

Womble Bond

Wood Smith

Zaiwalla & Co

gunnercooke LLP

COMPANIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

3M Co.

Aldi GmbH & Co. KG

Amazon.com Inc.

American Bar Association

American Bar Foundation

American International Group Inc.

Apple Inc.

Atos SE

Authentic Brands Group LLC

Block Communications Inc.

Bloomberg Industry Group

Bregal Investments Inc.

BuzzFeed Inc.

Court of Arbitration for Sport

Daimler AG

Delaware State Bar Association

Delta Air Lines Inc.

DigitalBridge Group Inc.

DraftKings Inc.

Evolve Bank & Trust NA

Federalist Society

Ferrari SpA

Google LLC

Harvard Business School

Harvard University

Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd.

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.

Jaguar Land Rover Ltd.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson Controls International PLC

Kirin Holdings Co. Ltd.

Kuwait Finance House KSC

LG Electronics Inc.

Lamb Weston Holdings Inc.

Lambda Legal Defense & Educational Fund

London Stock Exchange Group PLC

Major League Soccer LLC

Marks & Spencer

Mercedes-Benz USA LLC

Meta Platforms Inc.

Microsoft Corp.

MilliporeSigma

NFL Enterprises LLC

Nabors Industries Ltd.

National Collegiate Athletic Association

National District Attorneys Association

National Rifle Association of America

New York University

Novant Health Inc.

Nuveen LLC

OSI Systems Inc.

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

Pearson PLC

Pilgrim's Pride Corp.

PowerSchool Group LLC

Princeton University

Property Markets Group Inc.

Rapiscan Systems Inc.

RealPage Inc.

Red Roof Inns Inc.

RedRidge Finance Group LLC

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Sanderson Farms Inc.

Seagate Technology LLC

Signature Resolution LLC

Solicitors Regulation Authority Ltd.

Southwest Airlines Co.

Starbucks Corp.

State Bar of Texas

Sysco Corp.

Tesla Inc.

The American Law Institute

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The Oprah Winfrey Network LLC

The Procter & Gamble Co.

TransPerfect Global Inc.

TravelCenters of America Inc.

Twitter Inc.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Vantage Data Centers

Volkswagen AG

Vornado Realty Trust

Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts

Wynn Resorts Ltd.

YouTube Inc.

Yves Saint Laurent SAS

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN TODAY'S NEWS

Arkansas Department of Banking

Bureau of Industry and Security

California Labor Commissioner's Office

California Public Employees' Retirement System

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Committee on Education and the Workforce

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Dallas County, Texas

Delaware Court of Chancery

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

European Union

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Federal Reserve System

Federal Trade Commission

Food and Drug Administration

Internal Revenue Service

National Labor Relations Board

New Jersey Supreme Court

New York City Council

Office of Foreign Assets Control

State Justice Institute

U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Rhode Island

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

U.S. Department of Commerce

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Department of Labor

U.S. Department of the Treasury

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware

U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

U.S. Senate

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Tax Court

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio