PALM BEACH, Fla. - A trial judge erred in dismissing a suit filed by a smoker who died during the pendency of the action, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled Aug. 13, holding that the plaintiff's daughter was entitled to amend the action as representative of her mother's estate to add a claim for wrongful death (Kimberly Roden, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 4D11-421, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).
PHILADELPHIA - No evidence exists of asbestos exposure preceding the 1975 inclusion of mesothelioma in the Louisiana's workers' compensation law and an estate's wrongful death claim against a second defendant is untimely, the Pennsylvania judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held in a pair of rulings released Aug. 8 (Frank Williams Jr., et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 09-70101, E.D. Pa.).
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Aug. 12 found that Amerisave Mortgage Corp. and others violated the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), ordering them to pay $20,892,234 in penalties (In re In the Matter of: Amerisave Mortgage Corporation; Novo Appraisal Management Corp. and Patrick Markert, No. 2014-CFPB-0010, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Aug 6 said he would not reopen a professional negligence case against an insolvent insurer's auditors after earlier closing the case after a reached settlement (State of Oklahoma, ex rel. John Doak, Insurance Commissioner, as Receiver for Pegasus Insurance Company, Inc., v. Estate of William D. Thornell, et al., No. 12-cv-00708, W.D. Okla.).
RICHMOND, Va. - After finding that due to a group of class claimants' failure to move for judgment before a jury rendered a verdict in favor of a bank and real estate firm on their claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 found that a trial court did not err when it refused to grant them a new trial (Denise Minter, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 13-2131, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15041).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Aug. 4 found that a lower court did not abuse its discretion in awarding $27,334 in sanctions against an attorney representing insureds in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage under a real estate agents and brokers errors and omissions insurance policy (1st American Warehouse Mortgage, Inc., et al v. Topa Insurance Co., et al., No. B246716, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5497).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on July 31 granted a health insurer's motion for summary judgment in a wrongful denial of benefits case, saying the plan excluded coverage for treatments considered experimental or investigative and studies confirmed a lack of support for the treatment involved to treat abdominal cancers (Doug Burton, in his capacity as executor of the Estate of Marsha Burton v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, No. 13-2099, D. Kan.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104328).
ST. LOUIS - A smoker's recovery of damages against tobacco defendants in state court bars recovery after his death against the same defendants by representatives of his estate, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 30 (Christi Thompson, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-3005, 8th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - The doctrine of occupational assumption of risk bars a suit by the estate of a man who suffered fatal injuries when he was struck by a horse in the course of his employment as a farrier, the Fourth District California Court of Appeal ruled July 24 (Nancy L. Barrett, et al. v. James Leech, No. D06399, Calif. App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5185).
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 18 affirmed a lower federal court"s ruling that an underlying complaint contained allegations of "real estate services" related to the sale of property and, therefore, were sufficient to trigger an insurer"s duty to defend under a real estate errors and omission insurance policy (Greenwich Insurance Co. v. Sharon Bankofier, et al., No. 13-35127, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13770).
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 18 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an underlying complaint contained allegations of "real estate services" related to the sale of property and, therefore, were sufficient to trigger an insurer's duty to defend under a real estate errors and omission insurance policy (Greenwich Insurance Co. v. Sharon Bankofier, et al., No. 13-35127, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13770).
MILWAUKEE - Asbestos plaintiffs' filing of briefs exceeding local length guidelines was an apparent attempt at helping a judge and do not demonstrate the type of "egregious" or "bad faith" conduct required to disregard them, a Wisconsin appeals court held July 15 (Estate of George Gregovich, et al. v. Auer Steel & Heating Supply, et al., Nos. 2013AP1234, 2013AP2741, Wis. App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Wisc. App. LEXIS 554).
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on July 15 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation, finding that a property owner could proceed against a bank solely on his claim under the Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA) in relation to the foreclosure of his home (Rodney Griffin v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 2:14-cv-02335, W.D. Tenn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95952).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 found that an excess commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend its insured against underlying claims arising from a failed real estate project in Orlando, Fla., after the primary insurer wrongfully denied coverage, reversing and remanding a lower federal court's ruling in part (IMG Worldwide Inc., et al. v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., Nos. 13-3832/13-3837, 6th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A boiler maker's challenges to product identification by a woman allegedly exposed to asbestos as a social worker and real estate agent goes to credibility and does not warrant judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted July 8 (Harriet Noble and Robert Berger v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No 190074/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
HOUSTON - The estate of a deceased funeral director fails to meet the requirements necessary to serve as class representative for a proposed class of black funeral home employees who claim that they were denied promotions due to their race, a Texas federal judge ruled July 3 (Milton Holmes, et al. v. Service Corporation International, No. 10-4841, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90501).