A selection of the need-to-know civil justice news for the week of May 31-June 6.


Pella Class-Action Settlement Is So Bad Court Tosses Lawyer — And His Father-In-Law Lead Plaintiff

Daniel Fisher | Forbes

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected, in scathing terms, a class-action settlement over Pella windows that was engineered by a lawyer who inserted his father-in-law as a named plaintiff and negotiated a $2 million advance on his fee before his other clients even knew the case had been settled.

Full Story.



Governor Renominates 12 Judges In Trial Courts in Six N.J. Counties

Michael Booth | New Jersey Law Journal

Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday renominated 12 sitting N.J. Superior Court judges for tenure.


Four are from Ocean County, two each from Monmouth, Morris and Somerset counties, and one each from Burlington and Hudson counties.

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Chicago Accuses Drug Companies of Pushing Opioids

Andrew Harris | Bloomberg

Chicago, the third-biggest U.S. city, sued Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and four other drug companies for allegedly pushing consumer use of opioid painkillers, creating addicts and driving up its costs.

Full Story.



Drumming Drama: Court Lets Neighbor Sue Over Teenage Boy’s Playing

Louis C. Hochman | NJ.com

Joanne Traetto says her neighbor’s son’s drumming is so loud, so constant, so incessant, she’s had to get therapy because of the anxiety it causes. And an appellate court is giving her the chance to make the case he should have to stop.

Full Story.



Payback Time: First Patent Troll Ordered to Pay “Extraordinary Case” Fees

Joe Mullin | ars technical

When Santa Barbara startup FindTheBest (FTB) was sued by a patent troll called Lumen View last year, it vowed to fight back rather than pay up the $50,000 licensing fee Lumen was asking for. Company CEO Kevin O’Connor made it personal, pledging $1 million of his own money to fight the legal battle.

Full Story.



Honeywell Hit With $10.9M Verdict In Asbestos Suit

Igor Kossov | Law360

Two law firms fighting Honeywell International Inc. in an asbestos suit on Monday said that a Fresno jury of the California Superior Court awarded $10.9 million in damages to the family of a man who allegedly died from mesothelioma caused by a Honeywell unit’s automotive products.

Full Story.



N.J. Supreme Court Will Decide if Watchdogs Can Be Whistleblowers

Mary Pat Gallagher | New Jersey Law Journal

A New Jersey Supreme Court case that promises to have a major impact on the scope of whistleblower protection in the state has drawn participation from both sides of the employment bar.


Six amicus motions have been filed over the last few days in Lippman v. Ethicon, which will resolve whether “watchdog employees”—those responsible for monitoring and reporting on employer compliance with the law—can seek whistleblower protection under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act and, if so, under what circumstances.

Full Story.



Christie’s Chief of Staff May Soon be Considered as NJ Attorney General

Brent Johnson | The Star-Ledger

Kevin O’Dowd, Gov. Chris Christie’s chief of staff, may finally be considered for the job as New Jersey’s next attorney general depending on the outcome of his testimony Monday before the state legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal, a top state lawmaker said today.

Full Story.