SALEM, Ore. - A jury would have to conduct impermissible "guesswork" to arrive at the conclusion that a man suffered exposure to asbestos based on testimony that he used or purchased "some" asbestos products, an Oregon appeals court held April 10 in affirming motions to dismiss (Stephen Greer, personal representative of the estate of Russell Greer v. Ace Hardware Corp., Union Carbide Corp., and Georgia-Pacific Corp., Backstrom Builders Center and The Miller Lumber Co., Nos. 143981, A145112, Ore. App.; 2013 Ore. App. LEXIS 395).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 1 affirmed a decision that granted summary judgment in favor of a real estate company, a seller of a house and others on all of the claims asserted against them by a couple who alleged that they concealed mold and water problems at the house (Jason A. Milner, et al. v. Robin Biggs, et al., No. 12-3526, 6th Cir.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The U.S. trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler (RRA) on April 1 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida objecting to the proposed plan filed by the Chapter 11 liquidation, trustee contending that it gives TD Bank a greater claim against the bankruptcy estate than it should be given (In Re: Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, No. 09-34791, Chapter 11, S.D. Fla. Bkcy.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on March 28 granted Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co.'s motion for a more definite statement in a suit brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., finding that pleading breach of contract and declaratory relief separately so that each distinct real estate transaction at issue is contained in a separate count "would promote clarity, better frame the issues, and adhere to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure" (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co., No. 12-2247, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44621).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge did not err in rejecting allegations of copyright infringement and breach of fiduciary duty levied by the estate of a bluesman, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 29 (Estate of Joe Brown v. Arc Music Group et al., No. 12-1287, 7th Cir.).
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on March 25 granted motions by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as the receiver for a failed bank, to dismiss three consolidated suits related to a $17 million real estate loan in part because the banks that filed the suits did not first exhaust their claims with the FDIC (FirsTier Bank, Kimball, Nebraska v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 11-3231, Adams Bank & Trust v. FirsTier Bank, Louisville, Colorado, et al., No. 12-0240, Adams Bank & Trust v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FirsTier Bank), et al., No. 11-3404, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41311).
NEW YORK - A former partner of bankrupt law firm Dewey &LeBoeuf on March 25 filed a brief arguing that the firm's objection to his claims against the bankruptcy estate should not be granted because the firm seeks to improperly reclassify them as either equity interests or subordinated claims (In Re: Dewey &LeBoeuf, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois jury on March 22 awarded $8 million to the estate of a woman who was killed when she was struck by a truck on a highway, a source told Mealey Publications (Steven McHale v. Transfreight LLC, et al., No. 2010L2934F, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
LONDON - An English justice on March 13 awarded 82,000 pounds in damages to the estate of a former power station worker who died of mesothelioma, finding that his former employee failed to warn him about the risks associated with asbestos exposure (Edna Hill and Lisa Billingham, executrixes of the estate of Derek Billingham, v. John Barnsley & Sons Limited, et al., No. $(2013$) EWHC 520 $(QB$), England and Wales High, QBD).
DENVER - A panel of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 12 ruled that fraudulently transferred property is not part of the bankruptcy estate until it is recovered (Eric C. Rajala v. Robert H. Gardner, et al., No. 12-3113, Chapter 7, 10th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4941).
CLEVELAND - Mixed evidence of a man's cigarette-smoking habit between 1992 and 1996 still permits a finding that he was not a smoker under Ohio's asbestos litigation legislation when he was diagnosed in 2008, an Ohio appeals court panel held March 7 (Pearl Fields, as representative of the estate of Paul H. Fields v. CSX Transportation Inc., No. 98612, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 722).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on March 7 denied cross-motions for summary judgment in a suit in which the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as the receiver for the failed IndyMac Bank FSB sued a real estate appraiser for breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Judith A. Warren, et al., No. 11-3260, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31848).
NEW YORK - The U.S. trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Hostess Brands Inc. on March 6 filed a brief arguing that the attorneys and professionals seeking more than $8.89 million in fees and expenses should receive only a percentage of that money because it is unclear at this stage if there will be enough funds in the bankruptcy estate to pay all the claims (In Re: Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - The U.S. government on March 6 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware contending that the Chapter 11 reorganization plan of bankrupt Southern Air Holdings Inc. should be denied based on its treatment of administrative and subordinated claims against the bankruptcy estate (In Re: Southern Air Holdings Inc., No. 12-12690, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on March 1 denied the request of real estate investment trust Archstone Enterprise LP shareholders to block the sale of Archstone, an entity in which the bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. holds a substantial interest, finding that the shareholders have not presented evidence of a fraudulent transfer (Steven A. Stender, et al. v. ERP Operating Limited Partnership, et al., No. 13-0496, D. Colo.).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge granted summary judgment to Donald Trump on Feb. 28 related to the real estate and reality television mogul's counterclaims against a purported cybersquatter, finding that domains incorporating Trump's trademark were registered in bad faith (Web-Adviso, et al. v. Donald J. Trump, No. 1:11-cv-01413, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28174).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge erred in finding that a defendant had not infringed an asserted claim in a since-expired patent covering an online zoom feature, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 3 (Move Inc. v. Real Estate Alliance Ltd., No. 12-1342, Fed. Cir.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A woman's asbestos action against six out-of-state companies that purchased 21 ships from her deceased husband's employer over the course of 40 years may largely proceed, a Rhode Island judge held Feb. 22 (Nancy Santos, as executrix of the estate of John Joseph Souza v. A.C. McLoon Oil Co., et al., No. PC 2009-5475, R.I. Super., Providence Plantation).
NEW YORK - The trustee and a group of creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of MF Global Holdings (MFGH) on Feb. 22 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to more than $138.11 million in claims brought by a separate group of creditors against the MFGH estate on grounds that they are superseded by other claims valued at more than $162.97 million (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Feb. 15 dismissed a couple's lawsuit claiming that BAC Home Loans Servicing LP (BAC) violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by failing to notify them that it had changed its name from Countrywide Home Loans Inc., after finding that the name change did not result in any alterations to the plaintiffs' account or to the address where payments are sent (Peter Yakowicz, et al. v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, et al., No. 12-1180, D. Minn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20586).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 19 declined to address whether maritime law allows for pain and suffering damages in a survival action, rejecting a petition by John Crane Inc., according to the docket (John Crane Inc. v. Margaret Diane Hardick, executor of the estate, etc., et al., No. 12-739, U.S. Sup.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent rejected "each and every" exposure testimony only as in and of itself establishing exposure and did not go so far as requiring its exclusion where other evidence also exists, a state appeals court held in allowing expert testimony on Feb. 14 (Michelle Wolfinger, administratrix of the estate of Robert Wolfinger v. 20th Century Glove Corp. of Texas, et al., No. 1393 EDA 2011, Pa. Super.).
NEW YORK - The U.S. trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of GSC Group Inc. on Feb. 15 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for approval of a deal in which the law firm representing GSC would pay $1.5 million to the bankruptcy estate to settle claims against the estate as well as the U.S. trustee's allegations that the firm made false representations to the Bankruptcy Court (In Re: GSC Group Inc., No. 10-14653, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of school supply company School Specialty Inc. on Feb. 13 filed a brief objecting to School Specialty's proposed bidding procedures, arguing that they "threaten an appropriate allocation of estate value" (In Re: School Specialty Inc., No. 13-10125, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - The liquidating trustee for the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) litigation against bankrupt MF Global Inc. (MFGI) and a commodities broker on Feb. 14 stipulated to the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the broker contesting the trustee's attempt to recover $20 million he said the broker owed the bankruptcy estate (Koch Supply & Trading LP v. James W. Giddens $(In Re: MF Global Inc.$), No. 11-2790, Adv. No. 12-05596, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).