KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge has dismissed for lack of privity a breach of implied warranty claim over a street-sweeping machine that burst into flames when it was only three months old but in an April 11 ruling allowed the plaintiff municipality to amend its complaint to bolster a claim for breach of express warranty (City Of Winfield, Kansas v. Key Equipment & Supply Company, et al., No. 6:11-cv-1358-CM-KGS, D. Kansas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50559).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. on April 10 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to a motion by the company's shareholders that sought the appointment of an official committee of equity security holders pursuant to 11 U.S. Code Section 1102(a) (In Re: Eastman Kodak Company, No. 12-10202, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief within the full update.
ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 9 affirmed a ruling that held that a debtor failed to show that numerous properties she owned qualified for the homestead exemption in the Bankruptcy Code (Jody May Walters v. Bank of the West $(In Re: Jody May Walters$), No. 11-2449, Chapter 7, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7071).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Finding that a shareholders in a suit against a corporation, certain directors and officers of the corporation and a group of companies proposing to buy out the corporation adequately pleaded breach of fiduciary duty claims, a Delaware chancellor on April 11 denied the defendants' motions to dismiss (In Re: Answers Corporation Shareholder Litigation, No. 6170-VCN, Del. Chanc.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full update.
NEW YORK - The filing of financial crisis-related securities lawsuits continued to drop in 2011, while securities lawsuit filings regarding mergers and acquisitions (M&A) emerged as a growing area of litigation, according to an annual study issued by Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) on April 11.
PHILADELPHIA - Claims by California diet clinic operators that they were defrauded under the state's unfair competition law (UCL) by American Home Products' marketing of the since-withdrawn diet drugs Pondimin and Redux were dismissed April 9 by the fen-phen multidistrict litigation judge (In re: Diet Drugs (phentermine/fenfluramine/dexfenfluramine) Products Liability Litigation, MDL NO. 1203, Geoffrey Drew, M.D., et al. v. American Home Products Inc., No. 00-21044, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49319).
FRESNO, Calif. - A federal judge in California on April 9 granted JP Morgan Chase Bank N.A.'s motion to dismiss a suit in which a plaintiff says the bank induced him into accepting a "risky" subprime mortgage loan on which he defaulted, leading to a foreclosure on his property (Ayon v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 12-00355, E.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49650).
NEW YORK - The U.S Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, sued Apple Inc. and five book publishers in federal court in New York on April 11, alleging that Apple and the publishers engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices of digital books in violation of federal antitrust laws; three of the publishers agreed to settle the lawsuit (United States of America v. Apple, Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-02826-UA, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the complaint, proposed final judgment and competitive impact statement within the full update.
LOS ANGELES - Although lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a Chinese company and several of its current and former officers and directors have properly pleaded some of their federal securities law claims against two of the company's officers and directors, it has failed to plead those claims with regard to a third because they failed to show that the director was a control person (In re China Education Alliance, Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 10-9239, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49055).
SEATTLE - An excess directors and officers liability insurer fails to conclusively establish that its insured's former chief financial offer (CFO) anticipated a financial reporting fraud claim by the Securities and Exchange Commission before applying for insurance, a Washington federal judge found April 9, concluding that a fact issue as to whether the insurer was reasonable in denying coverage precludes summary judgment in favor of the insurer on two claims (Isilon Systems Inc. v. Twin City Fire Insurance Company, No. 10-1392 MJP, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50320).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on April 9 gave preliminary approval to a $6 million settlement of a shareholder derivative lawsuit in which directors and officers of a company were accused of misrepresenting certain information to the shareholders (Marta/ATU Local 732 Employees Retirement Plan v. Melvin J. Brenner, No. 11-cv-00663, W.D. Wash.). Subscribers may view the order within the full update.
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on April 10 granted in part a plaintiff bank's motion for summary judgment in a suit in which the bank accuses a law office of breach of contract and other violations arising from a line of credit the bank extended to the firm (Regions Bank v. Law Offices of Sherin Thawer PC, et al., No. 11-01285, N.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50120).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Fox Sports Net 2 LLC filed an objection to the amended reorganization plan for the bankrupt Los Angeles Dodgers on April 10, arguing that the proposed plan, which hinges on the sale of the team for $2 billion to an investment group, will impair the network's rights under the existing telecast agreement (In Re: Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, No. 11-12010, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). See related: 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149582.
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 9 affirmed a bankruptcy court's ruling that allowed a creditor to recoup a monetary judgment for music royalties from a debtor on grounds that he had breached a settlement agreement before filing for bankruptcy (Harold F. Eggers Jr. v. John Townes Van Zandt II (In Re: Harold F. Eggers Jr.), No. 11-50217, Chapter 13, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 7089).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York on April 10 ruled that the automatic stay could be lifted in the case to allow the payment of certain defense costs using money from insurance policies (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). See related, 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 995.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal bankruptcy judge on April 9 granted a motion by the Chapter 11 trustee of the law firm once headed by convicted Ponzi scheme operator Scott Rothstein to compel the insurer of an accounting firm, which allegedly enabled the Ponzi scheme, to pay $10 million to the bankruptcy estate (In Re: Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, No. 09-34791, Chapter 11, S.D. Fla. Bkcy.). See related, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37248.
WILMINGTON, Del. - A bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware on April 9 issued an opinion detailing some of the allocation of assets in the bankruptcy proceeding of Tribune Co., ruling that equal treatment of the debt held by different groups that hold debentures in the company did not amount to unfair discrimination under 11 U.S. Code Section 1129 (In Re: Tribune Company, No. 08-13141, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). See related 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 1522.
MINNEAPOLIS - A genuine issue exists as to whether an arbitration agreement between a credit cardholder and the card's issuer is in place, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled April 5 in holding in abeyance the card issuer's motion to compel arbitration and stay the action (Carol K. Schneider v. Citigroup Inc. d/b/a Citibank (South Dakota), N.A. a/k/a Home Depot, No. 11-3030, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48392).
PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on April 6 granted a debt collector's motion for summary judgment on a consumer's federal debt collection law claims, ruling that the consumer failed to meet the statute's requirement that dispute of the debt must be made in writing and failed to show that the debt collector further sought any collection on the debt after speaking with the consumer (Sharon Simington v. Clark County Collection Service, No. 10-8236, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48771).
ATLANTA- A bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia on April 5 issued a deficiency notice and gave the Gingrich Group LLC, which operated a health care think tank founded by Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, 14 days to file a statement of financial affairs - and other documents - or risk dismissal of its Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition (In Re: The Gingrich Group LLC d/b/a Center for Health Transformation, No. 12-59065, Chapter 7, N.D. Ga. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the deficiency notice within the full update.
NEW YORK - Ambassador Media Group LLC on April 6 filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, citing debts more than $10.3 million and assets of only $4.59 million (In Re: Ambassador Media Group LLC d/b/a Ambassador Yellow Pages, No. 12-11445, Chapter 7, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the petition within the full update.
NEW YORK - Bankrupt baking company Hostess Brands Inc. on April 6 filed a stipulation in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York granting limited relief from the automatic stay to allow the pension fund belonging to its bakery employees' union to serve notice of accruals of pension credits to participants covered by the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Hostess and the union (In Re: Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the stipulation within the full update.
DETROIT - A federal magistrate judge in Michigan on April 9 denied a plaintiff's request to add a nondiverse law firm as a defendant to her wrongful foreclosure action, finding that the filing of the motion to amend more than two months after her complaint was suspect (Lissa Jacobson v. Aurora Loan Services LLC, No. 11-13441, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49471).
ATHENS, Ga. - A Georgia woman cannot pursue claims under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) based on the denial of her request for a home mortgage loan modification from Bank of America N.A., a federal judge ruled April 9, because the plaintiff is not a third-party beneficiary to a servicer participation agreement between the lender and the federal government (Judith Finch v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 12-CV-14, M.D. Ga.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49294).
OKLAHOMA CITY - According to an order in an Oklahoma federal court made available April 9, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s malpractice suit against the former attorneys for the failed First State of Bank of Altus has been settled (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation v. Andrews Davis PC, et al., No. 11-01221, W.D. Okla.).