LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Insurer Owes No Defense Of Kidnapping, Racketeering Claims Against University

RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found July 10 that an insurer has no duty to defend its university insured against underlying claims that it conspired to kidnap a minor because the underlying complaint fails to allege an "occurrence" and triggers the policy's intentional and criminal acts exclusions, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling against the insurer (Liberty University, Inc. v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 14-2254, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11888).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: Newman Does Not Apply To Insider Trading Claims Against Gupta

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on July 2 denied former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Director Rajat K. Gupta's motion to vacate his sentence on criminal charges stemming from his role in a massive insider trading scheme, ruling that the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling in United States v. Newman does not apply to the instant action (United States of America v. Rajat Gupta, No. 11-cr-0907, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Stays Insurance Fraud Suit During Criminal Investigation Of Defendants

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on June 5 agreed to stay an insurance company's declaratory judgment suit against defendants accused of intentionally setting fire to an insured property during a criminal investigation of the defendants, finding that the stay would not prejudice the insurer and that allowing the cases to go on concurrently would result in significant overlap (EMC Property and Casualty Company v. 205 Customz LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-00293, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72949).

Mealey's Insurance - Intentional Act Exclusion Bars Insurer's Duty To Defend, Panel Affirms

ST. PAUL, Minn. - An insurer did not have a duty to defend allegations against an insured for trespass, nuisance and strict liability, a Minnesota appeals panel affirmed May 18, finding that the policy's intentional-act exclusion and criminal-act exclusion apply (Estate of Gladys I. Norby, et al. v. Waseca Mutual Insurance Co. n/k/a Austin Mutual Insurance, No. A14-1146, Minn. App.; 2015 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 461).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Legislator: Criminal Probe Needed In Paulsboro Train Derailment Case

CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey legislator on May 13 sent a letter to the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey renewing his call for a criminal investigation into the train derailment that spilled vinyl chloride into the Mantua Creek in 2012 (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Class Suit Over Background Checks Survives Dismissal Motion

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on April 23 declined to strike class allegations brought by applicants and employees of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) who allege that the authority's background check policy that disqualifies from employment individuals with a criminal history disproportionately excludes black applicants and employees (Erick Little, et al. v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, et al., No. 14-1289, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53367).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Suit Over Background Checks Survives Dismissal Motion

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on April 23 declined to strike class allegations brought by applicants and employees of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) who allege that the authority's background check policy that disqualifies from employment individuals with a criminal history disproportionately excludes black applicants and employees (Erick Little, et al. v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, et al., No. 14-1289, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53367).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - U.S. Supreme Court Declines Review Of Gupta Insider Trading Conviction

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 20 declined review of the conviction of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Director Rajat K. Gupta on criminal charges stemming from his role in a massive insider trading scheme (United States of America v. Rajat Gupta, No. 11-cr-0907, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - McNeil Pleads Guilty, Pays $25M For Making Adulterated Children's Medicines

PHILADELPHIA - The McNeil-PPC Inc. subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson on March 10 pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor criminal charge of making adulterated children's over-the-counter medicines and agreed to pay a criminal fine and forfeiture totaling $25 million (United States of America v. McNeil-PPC, Inc., No. 15-82, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - ICSID Refuses To Rule On Admissibility Of Jurisdictional Objection

WASHINGTON, D.C. - After determining that the disputed issues in an arbitration and in ongoing criminal proceedings in Romania are not related, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 13 released its decision denying a motion for summary decision on the admissibility of Romania's jurisdictional objection to arbitration (Hassan Awdi, Enterprise Business Consultants, Inc. and Alfa El Corporation v. Romania, No. ARB/10/13, ICSID).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: No 'Palpable Defect' In Ruling Dismissing Fraud Claims Against Insurers

DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 3 refused to reconsider an earlier ruling that dismissed a wrongfully convicted criminal's claim that he relied on insurers' false statements when he settled an underlying civil rights case against a city and its police detective (Arrowood Indemnity Co., f/k/a Royal Indemnity Co. v. The City of Warren, Michigan, et al., No. 13-13938, E.D. Mich., Southern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12304).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - $18M Seized In Forfeiture In NECC Criminal Case, U.S. Attorney Says

BOSTON - Federal prosecutors said Jan. 6 that they seized more than $18 million from accounts connected to the owners of the New England Compounding Center (NECC) (United States of America v. Barry J. Cadden, et al., No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - N.J. Federal Judge Denies Bid To Delay Suit Against Wal-Mart For Truck Accident

TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 12 denied a motion by the driver of a tractor-trailer owned by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. that struck a limousine in which actor-comedian Tracy Morgan was riding for an emergency order delaying proceedings in Morgan's civil action against Wal-Mart until after the court rules on his request for leave to intervene to seek a stay of the action pending the outcome of criminal charges against him (Tracy Morgan, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-04388, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Subpoena Of Investigation Records Quashed In Suit Over Sports Representation

GREENSBORO, N.C. - A sports management consulting firm saw its subpoena on the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State (NCSOS) quashed Nov. 26, with a North Carolina federal magistrate finding the subpoena to be overbroad, burdensome and pertaining to privileged information from criminal investigations that were unrelated to the present lawsuit (Champion Pro Consulting Group Inc., et al. v. Impact Sports Football LLC, et al., No. 1:12-cv-00027, M.D. N.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165825).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - High Court Denies Certiorari In Insider Trading Suit; Justice Writes Statement

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 10 declined review of an insider trading conviction, and Justice Antonin Scalia issued a three-page statement asking for a case to be brought to the Supreme Court that addresses the extent of the Securities and Exchange Commission's power to interpret criminal law (Douglas F. Whitman v. United States, No. 14-29, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lago Agrio Plaintiffs Seek International Criminal Court Investigation Of Chevron

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Ecuadorian residents who contend that Chevron Corp. is avoiding paying them the $18.5 billion judgment they are owed for personal injuries caused by the company's oil operations in the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador on Oct. 23 sent an official letter to the International Criminal Court (ICC), asking the ICC prosecutor to open an investigation against Chevron for crimes against humanity related to the company's "inhumane" actions "to ensure that it will never have to pay a cent to affected peoples." The residents allege that Chevron has engaged in murder, forced deportation and other acts that constitute crime against humanity, which are punishable by the ICC.

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Tennessee Appeals Court: Records In Police Investigation Not Discoverable

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Because the records sought by various media outlets related to an on-campus rape at Vanderbilt University are "relevant to a pending or contemplated criminal action," a Tennessee Court of Appeals panel majority on Sept. 30 held that the records were not discoverable under an exemption to the Tennessee Public Records Act (TPRA), reversing a trial court's ruling (The Tennessean, et al. v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson Co., et al., No. M2014-00524-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.; 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 616).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Contractor Not Liable For Worker's Criminal Activity, Illinois Court Rules

ELGIN, Ill. - An insulation contractor is not liable for injuries suffered by a homeowner during a burglary committed by one of the contractor's temporary workers, the Second District Illinois Appellate Court ruled Sept. 30 (Rosemary O'Rourke v. Bruce McIlvaine, et al., No. 2-13-1191, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lawmaker Asks U.S. Attorney To Pursue Criminal Charges In Paulsboro Chemical Spill

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey legislator on Sept. 23 sent a letter to the U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey calling for review of the official report of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as part of an investigation into potential criminal conduct related to a spill of vinyl chloride and other chemicals that occurred when a train derailed while crossing the bridge over Mantua Creek in Paulsboro, N.J., in 2012 (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Revives Public Information Officer's Gender Bias Claims

NEW ORLEANS - The former director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's (TDCJ) Public Information Office, who was demoted for various time-keeping violations, may proceed with her gender bias claims, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 9, reversing a trial court's summary judgment ruling for TDCJ (Michelle Lyons v. Texas Department of Criminal Justice, No. 13-20543, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17394).

Mealey's Insurance - No Coverage For Exonerated Criminal Defendant's Suit Disputing Doctor's Testimony

JACKSON, Miss. - A lawsuit brought by an exonerated criminal defendant over testimony that a doctor insured gave as an expert witness is not covered under the doctor's medical malpractice insurance policy, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed Aug. 28 (Dr. Steven Hayne v. The Doctors Company, et al., No. 2013-CA-00252-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2014 Miss. LEXIS 432).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Exide Technologies Subpoenaed Related To Probe Of Activities At Lead-Battery Plant

VERNON, Calif. - Exide Technologies on Aug. 14 filed a report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in which it indicated that the company has been subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California to appear before a grand jury concerning a criminal investigation of its lead-battery recycling facility. A spokesman with the U.S. Attorney's Office said he could neither confirm nor deny that a grand jury probe was under way.

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Reduces Insured's Judgment To $50,000 In Suit Prompted By Stolen Monitors

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 25 found that the criminal acts of a fraudulent "carrier" that resulted in an insured's loss of 2,500 LCD computer monitors valued at $310,172 are subject to an insurance policy's exclusion for carrier dishonesty, reducing a lower court's judgment in favor of an insured from $300,000 to $50,000 (Intransit Inc., d/b/a Uti Transport Solutions v. Travelers Property and Casualty Company of America, No. 13-35002, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 14210).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Vascular Solutions Settles Civil Suit For $520,000; Criminal Probe Continues

AUSTIN, Texas - Vascular Solutions Inc. has agreed to pay $520,000 to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit with the federal government and a whistle-blower for alleged off-label promotion of its varicose vein device, according to a July 17 filing in Texas federal court and a company financial report (United States of America, et al., ex rel. DeSalle Bui v. Vascular Solutions, Inc., No. 1:10-cv-883, W.D. Texas, Austin Div.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Won't Dismiss Hacking, Conspiracy Counts Against Online Black Market Creator

NEW YORK - Because a defendant intentionally designed and operated his "Silk Road" website "for the purpose of facilitating unlawful transactions," he can be found guilty of criminal conspiracy, a New York federal judge ruled July 9, denying the defendant's motion to dismiss a four-count indictment against him in what she called a case of first impression (United States of America v. Ross William Ulbricht, No. 1:14-cr-00068, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93093).