Mealey's IP/Tech - Petitioner To High Court: Intent Must Be Weighed When Determining A 'True Threat'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A man convicted of making threats against his co-workers and others via online postings tells the U.S. Supreme Court in his Aug. 15 petitioner brief that a violation of the 16 U.S. Code Section 875(c) prohibitions against threatening communications requires a showing of intent to harm...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge In Paulsboro, N.J., Train Derailment Case Denies Class Certification

CAMDEN, N.J. - The federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by residents seeking damages for vinyl chloride contamination allegedly caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical in Paulsboro, N.J., on Aug. 20 denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification and granted the...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Auto Insurance Company's Claims Against Owner Of MRI Firm

MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Aug. 19 dismissed a lawsuit brought by three insurance companies against a mobile magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) company and its owner, finding that his ownership of the company without a license to practice medicine did not violate the state's corporate...

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer's Refusal To Settle Does Not Constitute Bad Faith, Judge Rules

LAS VEGAS - An insurer did not act in bad faith by failing to accept a settlement offer within the limits of an insured's bodily injury provision for her automobile insurance policy for another driver injured in an auto accident, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Aug. 19, granting summary judgment...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Judge Rejects Insurers' Challenge To Approval Of Plant's Revised Plan

SAN FRANCISCO - A bankruptcy court correctly held that changes made by Plant Insulation Co. to its Chapter 11 plan of reorganization on remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals are sufficient to satisfy a U.S. Bankruptcy Code requirement that the asbestos trust established by the plan has...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California High Court Accepts Take-Home Asbestos Exposure Cases

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Supreme Court will address whether household members can bring suit for take-home exposure to asbestos after granting two petitions for review on Aug. 20, according to its docket (Haver v. BNSF Railway Co., No. S219919, Kesner v. Superior Court [Pneumo Abex LLC], No...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California DA Seeks Relief From Stay In GM Bankruptcy To Oppose Suit's Removal

NEW YORK - Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on Aug. 19 for limited relief from the automatic stay in the General Motors Corp. bankruptcy proceedings to allow him to seek remand of his California suit against...

Mealey's Health Law - ACA Challengers Tell 10th Circuit Potential Rule Change Doesn't Deter Appeal

DENVER - The government's promise that amended rules are forthcoming does not alleviate the ongoing harm imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate, the law's challengers argue in telling the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 that they...

Mealey's Health Law - Pa. Federal Judge Latest To Find Rights Violated By ACA Birth-Control Mandate

PITTSBURGH - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate places a substantial burden on nonprofit plaintiffs' religious practices, and they are likely to succeed in their challenge to it, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Aug. 20 (Most Reverend Lawrence E. Brandt, et...

Mealey's Insurance - Summary Judgment Not Proper In Insurance Bad Faith Suit, Judge Rules

PHOENIX - Partial summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit is not warranted because an insurer failed to show that it was prejudiced and because a jury "could reasonably find that [the insurer] acted unreasonably and knew it," a federal judge in Nevada ruled in an opinion made available...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 156 Plaintiffs May File Complaint Over Injuries Predating GM Sale, MDL Judge Rules

NEW YORK - A group of 156 plaintiffs may file an omnibus complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against General Motions LLC for deaths and injuries that occurred prior to the sale of General Motors Corp., the judge overseeing the GM ignition-switch multidistrict litigation...

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Bank Of America To Pay Nearly $17B Over Handling Of Subprime Mortgages

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Bank of America Corp. will pay nearly $17 billion to settle claims that it and its current and former subsidiaries, Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch, engaged in fraudulent activity with regard to their origination, underwriting and sale of subprime mortgages and mortgage...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - JPMDL Consolidates NHL Brain-Injury Suits In Minnesota Federal Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued an order on Aug. 19 transferring to the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota three suits filed against the National Hockey League (NHL) by former players (In re: National Hockey League Players' Concussion Injury...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Deceased Smoker's Daughter Testifies About His Smoking In Fla. Wrongful Death Case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla - The daughter of a deceased smoker testified in a wrongful death action in state court Aug. 19 that her father "was always smoking" and "was always trying to quit" (Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-026337, Fla. 17th Jud...

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 6th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of TILA, RESPA Claims Against PNC

CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 18 affirmed a court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of a bank in relation to the foreclosure of a property, finding that a homeowner's claims for violations of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and other claims should be...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurance Company's Unjust Enrichment Claim In Fraud Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 19 dismissed with prejudice an insurance company's unjust enrichment claim against a physician-owned surgical facility and its management companies after finding that it failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, but also allowed...

Mealey's Health Law - Class Claims Insurer 'Tricked' Subscribers Into Skinny Networks

LOS ANGELES - Blue Cross of California misrepresented which providers its plans covered while transferring subscribers into limited-access Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) "skinny networks" consisting of the cheapest medical services providers in an effort to save money, an...

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Hurricane Wilma Coverage Dispute

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Aug. 20 held that insureds failed to present any evidence rebutting the presumed prejudice their insurer suffered as a result of their untimely proof of loss of their Hurricane Wilma damage, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Butter Flavoring Maker Wins Case Of Alleged Lung Injuries From Microwave Popcorn

SIOUX CITY, Iowa - A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa on Aug. 20 issued an official judgment enforcing a jury verdict in favor of popcorn manufacturers and determined that they were not liable for injuries that a couple claimed were caused by exposure to diacetyl...

Mealey's Insurance - Calif. Federal Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss, Finds Evidence Supports Claims

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 19 denied a disability insurer's motion to dismiss a claimant's suit on the basis that the claimant adequately pleaded facts in support of her claims against the insurer (Karen Alberts v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 14-01587...

Mealey's Insurance - Denial Of Benefits Was Not Arbitrary Or Capricious, Michigan Federal Judge Says

DETROIT - A disability insurer's denial of long-term disability benefits was not arbitrary or capricious because the insurer properly relied on the available medical evidence in reaching its decision, a Michigan federal judge said Aug. 18 (Mae-Lyn DeBoard v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Deceased Smoker's Daughter Testifies About Quitting Attempts In Florida Case

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The daughter of a deceased smoker testified in a wrongful death action in Florida's 17th Judicial Court for Broward County Florida on Aug. 20 that her father was unable to quit smoking because he was addicted to cigarettes (Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co...

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 11th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Action Filed Over Home Foreclosure

ATLANTA - After finding that a homeowner failed to state a claim in relation to her action to enjoin lenders from foreclosing on a property, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 21 affirmed the dismissal of the case (Linda Stabb v. GMAC Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 13-15900, 11th Cir.; 2014 U...

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Affirms Arthritis Treatment Patent Invalid As Obvious

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two patents owned by The Mathilda and Terrance Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Trust (Kennedy) were properly invalidated by a New York federal judge, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 21 (AbbVie Inc. v. The Mathilda and Terrance Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit: Diesel Emissions Not 'Disposal' Under RCRA; Citizen Lawsuit Fails

PASADENA, Calif. - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 20 affirmed a lower court's ruling that the emission of diesel particulate matter into the air did not constitute "disposal" under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) (Center for Community Action...