From: Transportation Law360
To: Stewart Barlow,
Subject: NTSB's Probe Of Amtrak Engineer Ups Rail Safety Tech Push
Date: Wed Feb 03 09:11:31 MST 2016
Body:
With the National Transportation Safety Board's trove of investigative material into the May 2015 crash of Amtrak 188 in Philadelphia zeroing in on the engineer's actions leading up to the derailment, experts say the push to get railroads to install crash-prevention technology will only intensify.
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NTSB's Probe Of Amtrak Engineer Ups Rail Safety Tech Push

With the National Transportation Safety Board's trove of investigative material into the May 2015 crash of Amtrak 188 in Philadelphia zeroing in on the engineer's actions leading up to the derailment, experts say the push to get railroads to install crash-prevention technology will only intensify.

NJ Officials Look To Derail Charges Over Bridge-Lane Closing

Two former allies of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie implored a New Jersey federal court on Monday to drop criminal charges against them in the George Washington Bridge lane-closing scandal because prosecutors had "invented" violations of the law just to take action on a high-profile case.

Takata Must Do More To Protect Drivers, Panel Reports

An independent panel tasked with evaluating Takata Corp.’s ability to make safe air bags reported Tuesday that the Japanese manufacturer must make “significant improvements” in its internal quality assurance programs to avoid defects that have led to one of the largest recalls in U.S. history.

NJ Jury Finds Conrail Liable In Suit Over Spill Injuries

A federal jury on Tuesday awarded a $500 judgment to a New Jersey man who sued Consolidated Rail Corp. and its parent companies over a freight train derailment that sent 20,000 gallons of vinyl chloride into a creek and, he claimed, exposed him to the toxic substance.

GM, Co-Leads Blast Bid For Ignition Switch MDL Shakeup

Co-lead counsel in multidistrict litigation over General Motors' deadly ignition switch defect told a New York federal judge Tuesday to ignore "untimely, unsupported, and untrue allegations" by a fellow plaintiffs’ attorney seeking to remove them from the case and upend a settlement fund for victims, shortly after GM voiced its own opposition.

Call For Participants: Transportation Law360's Advisory Board

Law360 is looking for avid readers of its Transportation publication to serve as members on its 2016 editorial advisory board.

AVIATION

Residents Ask 3rd Circ. To Save NJ Airport Suit Against FAA

A Pennsylvania-area community organization on Monday asked the Third Circuit to relight its lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration in New Jersey federal court for failing to issue environmental reviews of increased Frontier Airlines flights out of a New Jersey airport.

Airline Delay Class Actions Grounded By 7th Circ.

The Seventh Circuit on Tuesday upheld dismissals of two proposed class actions over flight delays, saying in one case that responsibility lies with the airline whose flight was held up, not the booking airline, and in the other case that no contract was formed with the booking airline's regional partner.

AUTOMOTIVE

BMW Fined For Allegedly Lax Lending In Australia

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said Tuesday it has hit BMW's local consumer car lender with a $391,000 fine for not taking adequate steps to protect drivers from getting loans they cannot afford.

Chicago Parking Meter Co. Exec Admits Taking Bribes

A former executive for the parking meter company that operates the majority of Chicago's street parking indicated in documents filed on Tuesday that he will plead guilty to charges that he accepted bribes in exchange for a $36 million contract to build and operate the meters.

9th Circ. Urged To Reverse Ford Win In Rollover Trial

A woman seeking to hold Ford liable for the death of her husband after his 2002 Ford Explorer Sport Trac rolled over has told the Ninth Circuit that a pretrial order handicapped her ability to prevail in the suit, urging the court to grant her a new trial after a jury favored the automaker.

Toyota Recalls 320K SUV, Lexus Models For Air Bag Defect

Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. on Tuesday announced a recall of 320,000 vehicles across six different models, including Lexus, due to certain side curtain air bags that can deploy unexpectedly, increasing the risk of injury to drivers and passengers.

Mercedes Ends Leaky AC Suit With Extended Warranty

Mercedes on Monday reached a settlement deal with a proposed class of 8,000 California drivers of its cargo and passenger vans suing over an allegedly defective rear air conditioner by agreeing to pay for any out-of-pocket repairs and extending a current repair warranty on the vans.

VW, Honeywell Denied New Trial In $5M Crash Case

A Georgia federal judge on Tuesday refused to grant a new trial to Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and Honeywell International Inc. after a jury awarded nearly $5 million to a woman who was injured in an unintended-acceleration accident, touting not only the strength of the evidence, but also the jurors’ diversity and “collective wisdom.”

ITC To Investigate Toyota, Others Over Infotainment Systems

The U.S. International Trade Commission has opened an investigation into allegations that Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen and other automotive companies and suppliers are importing vehicles with infringing infotainment system technology, according to a Federal Register notice set to run Wednesday.

Drivers Tell 2nd Circ. GM Bankruptcy Shouldn't Bar Suits

Two groups of consumers pressed the Second Circuit Monday to reverse rulings that General Motors' bankruptcy protections block most car owners from suing New GM for billions over an ignition switch defect.

Nissan Escapes Suit Over Rust-Prone Floorboards

An Illinois federal judge on Monday tossed a proposed class action against Nissan over rusting floor panels in certain Altima vehicles, saying the court doesn’t have jurisdiction over the out-of-state drivers and the remaining allegations fail to state a claim.

IRS Can Re-Examine Titan Docs In Audit, 7th Circ. Says

The Seventh Circuit on Monday affirmed a lower court ruling that the IRS was not statutorily prohibited from inspecting documents it had already examined in a previous audit of tire manufacturer Titan International Inc., as the earlier audit was for a different tax year.

RAIL

MTA Takes Sandy Damages Arbitration Fight To 2nd Circ.

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority said Monday it will appeal a decision that the agency cannot force a London arbitration for a dispute with reinsurer Infrassure Ltd. over $20 million in damages Hurricane Sandy caused the city’s public transit system.

TRUCKING

SkyBitz Latest To Duck Cargo Tracker Patent Suits

Asset and fleet tracking company SkyBitz Inc. sidestepped a patent suit Tuesday brought by the inventor of a remote tracking system, marking the latest such case to be tossed after a Texas federal judge found two of the patent’s claims invalid.

MARITIME

Seaport Biz Out Of Calif. Hits Ch. 11 Amid NLRB Spat

A seaport company at the Port of Oakland in California filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday in Delaware, two weeks after revealing it was going to mothball operations and feared the “potential liability” connected to a National Labor Relations Board dispute.

EXPERT ANALYSIS

What's Going On With The Sharing Economy In Spain?

The sharing economy is now in fashion worldwide and Spain is no exception. Platforms such as Uber, Blablacar and Airbnb have revolutionized the economy and will soon be part of a whole range of applications that will change the way we offer and consume goods across every sector. Nevertheless, this sudden emergence of "sharing" models is causing considerable friction, says Alexander Benalal of Bird & Bird LLP.

Common Interest Protection In Commercial Transactions

The Second Circuit's decision in Schaeffler v. U.S., which involved Schaeffler Group withholding privileged debt restructuring documents from the IRS, falls in line with an emerging consensus of jurisdictions flexibly applying the common interest doctrine to commercial and corporate transactions, says Stephen Ram of Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth PC.

LEGAL INDUSTRY

6 Ways To Botch A Client Pitch

Attorneys may be masters of the courtroom, but they'll miss out on lucrative business opportunities if they don't learn to master the art of the pitch. Here, experts share how attorneys can nail the client pitch meeting by avoiding six key pitfalls.

Why You Need To Get Over Your Fear Of E-Discovery

Given the growing ubiquity of electronic discovery, it is time that all litigators be competent in the basics of using the technology, a panel of legal technology experts urged on Tuesday.

Know Your E-Discovery Facts Before Going To The Judge

Before attorneys try to make the case that requested electronic discovery will be too burdensome for a case, they should be well steeped in the technology issues that make that so and come prepared with specific data, several judges said at a legal technology conference in New York on Tuesday.

DLA Piper’s Non-US Offices Usher In Pay Meritocracy

Non-U.S. DLA Piper partners have overwhelmingly voted to do away with the current pay structure and replace it with a merit-based system of divvying up profits, a move that the LLP’s co-CEO on Tuesday predicted will ultimately be a boon for the firm’s financial health.

Friedlander, Slights Said To Be Up For Del. Chancery Seat

A major plaintiffs' attorney and a former judge for the state's complex commercial division, both celebrities among the Delaware bar, are being considered to assume retiring Vice Chancellor John W. Noble's seat on the First State's venerable Chancery Court, a source familiar with the situation told Law360 on Tuesday.

IP Luminary Recounts Forging Path With Her Own Firm

When Lisa Dunner, the past chair of the American Bar Association’s intellectual property law section, decided to leave Sterne Kessler Goldstein & Fox PLLC to strike out on her own in 2003, she was one of the first women at the time to open a trademark and copyright firm, and it has been a venture that continues to reward her to this day.

Ex-Fox Rothschild Atty's Insider Trading Trial Kicks Off

An ex-Fox Rothschild LLP partner used inside information about an imminent insurance industry merger the firm was handling in 2011 in order to engineer a stock trade ahead of the deal, a federal prosecutor told a jury during opening arguments in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

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