PHILADELPHIA - The wife of a man killed in the May 12 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train filed suit in federal court on June 29 on her own behalf and on behalf of her husband's estate (Danna Gildersleeve, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. a/k/a Amtrak, No. 2:15-cv-03626, E.D. Pa.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court must weigh whether a premises owner owes a duty to protect household members from asbestos exposures and whether but-for or substantial-factor causation applies in multiple toxic exposure cases after receiving certified questions from a federal judge on June 22 (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-1930, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80404).
ST. LOUIS - A federal appeals panel on June 23 affirmed dismissal of an Aredia jaw injury case because the deceased plaintiff's widow failed to have a state probate court name her as personal representative of the estate (Jeanine Rapa, et al. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 14-3612, 8th Cir.).
FRESNO, Calif. - In an initial screening order, a California federal judge on June 19 found that a borrower's claims against a bank for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) can proceed (Jeffrey Wayne Taylor v. Chase Bank, No. 1:13-cv-00982, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79978).
RICHMOND, Va. - An insurer has a duty to defend allegations that an additional insured's negligence caused a building collapse, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 10, finding that the scope of coverage under an endorsement extends beyond acts or omissions of the named insured for which the additional insured was vicariously liable (Capital City Real Estate LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, subscribing to Policy Number: ARTE018240, No. 14-1239, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9662).
ATLANTA - After finding that a district court properly found that it lacked jurisdiction over numerous claims asserted by borrowers, including causes of action for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 8 affirmed dismissal of the case (Leonardo Cavero, et al. v. One West Bank FSB, et al., No. 14-14369, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9464).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2 affirmed a lower federal court's dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the previous owners of a self-storage company alleging that they were denied the insurance proceeds they were owed for Hurricane Katrina damage, as well as the ability to maintain an ownership stake in the self-storage company (BCR Safeguard Holding L.L.C., et al. v. Morgan Stanley Real Estate Advisor Inc. et al., No. 14-31068, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9268).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on June 1 found that most of a borrower's claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) should be dismissed, but granted her leave to file an amended complaint to add more details about the qualified written requests she allegedly sent to Bank of America Corp. (BOA) (Michelle McCray v. Bank of America Corp., No. 14-02446, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70657).
PHOENIX - An Arizona state court jury on May 22 awarded $2.5 million to the estate of a woman who contracted Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after developing a bedsore while in a nursing home (The Estate of Doris L. Cote, et al. v. Five Star Quality Care Inc., et al., No. CV2012-094285, Ariz. Super., Maricopa Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - The mother of a 2-year-old boy who died when a bedroom dresser tipped over, crushing him, filed suit May 21 in state court against the Ikea Group, which sold her the dresser, alleging design defect and negligence on the part of the retailer (Jacquelyn Collas, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Curran Collas v. The Ikea Group, et al., No. 150502365, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A former student of the late, famed golfer Moe Norman was preliminarily enjoined, in part, by an Oklahoma federal judge on May 20 from using the "Moe Norman" trademark in connection with golf services (Estate of Moe Norman et al. v. Greg Lavern, No. 14-1435, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65611).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A trial court focused too intently on a decedent's testimony in finding insufficient evidence of exposure from two shipping companies in an asbestos action and applied the wrong causation standard for a Jones Act case, a Pennsylvania appeals panel held May 18 (Timothy Criswell, executor of the estate of Earl J. Criswell v. Atlantic Richfield Co. and Sunoco Inc., No. 2175 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).
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).
NEW YORK - A $20 million asbestos award exceeds what New York courts consider reasonable, meaning a widow must retry the damages phase of her action or stipulate to a $6 million award, a New York justice held May 15 in otherwise affirming the verdict (Charlene Hillyer, as executrix for the estate of Charles F. Hillyer v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190132/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
GREENBELT, Md. - After finding that it was unlikely that a borrower will succeed on her claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a Maryland federal judge on May 14 refused to grant her a temporary restraining order prohibiting the foreclosure of her property (Sandra Fowler v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc., et al., No. 15-1084, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63076).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on May 12 granted a motion to dismiss numerous claims asserted by a borrower attempting to avoid foreclosure, finding that his claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) were time-barred and that he failed to state a claim to support his other allegations (Benjamin Coleman v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, et al., No. 15-1080, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61875).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge ruled May 7 that a professional liability insurer did not wrongfully deny coverage for a real estate developer's professional negligence claim against an architect insured (McDowell Building LLC v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 12-2876, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60350).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 7 affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss a complaint filed by the administrator of an estate in relation to the foreclosure of his wife's property, finding that the defendants in the case had the authority to foreclose on the home (William B. Shannon, as Administrator of the Estate of Frankie Sue Shannon v. The Albertelli Firm P.C., dba Financial Freedom Acquisition LLC, dba Financial Freedom, One West Bank, FSB, No. 14-11832, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7552).
PHILADELPHIA - Plaintiffs never officially settled an asbestos action because they never provided an affirmative response to the offer, a federal magistrate judge held May 6 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Willard Bartel and David Peebles as co-administrators of the estate of Robert Young v. University of Miami, No. MDL 875, 11, 32162, E.D. Pa.).
ATLANTA - A group of firms that represent plaintiffs in litigation against the tobacco industry in Florida state court filed an amicus curiae brief with the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 4 in support of a petition urging the court to reconsider its ruling that strict liability and negligence claims asserted in Engle progeny suit are preempted by federal law (Earl E. Graham, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Faye Dale Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-14590, 11th Cir.).