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).
CLEVELAND - A widow likely knew of a change in the executor of her late husband's estate at least a year before she filed a motion challenging it as improper, an Ohio appeals court held July 3 in affirming dismissal of an asbestos action with prejudice (National City Bank, executor, etc. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., et al., No. 100178, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 2918).
BOSTON - A request by RE/MAX LLC for a temporary restraining order barring a former franchise and two real estate agents from operating under the "RE/MAX" trademark was denied July 7 by a Massachusetts federal judge (RE/MAX of New England Inc. and RE/MAX LLC v. Prestige Real Estate Inc. et al., No. 14-12121, D. Mass.).
WHEELING, W.Va. - EQT Production Co. (EQT), an oil and gas exploration company, on June 27 filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia arguing that the District Court should not grant summary judgment in favor of a group of energy companies that contend that they have rights to "gas estates" based on leases that they contend share a common chain of title (TransEnergy Inc., et al. v. EQT Production Company, No.13-93, N.D. W.Va.).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on June 30 granted motions to dismiss filed by a lender and others in relation to the foreclosure of a home, finding that the claims asserted under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) failed (Johnnie Hayes, et al. v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., No. 13-80610, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88708).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Homeowners' claims for negligent misrepresentation, negligent construction and fraud against village communities occurred and were known prior to the insurance policy dates and are therefore excluded from coverage, an Ohio appeals panel affirmed June 30 (Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. v. Village Communities Real Estate Inc., et al., No. 14AP-35, Ohio App., 10th Dist.; 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 2855).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A majority of the Oklahoma Supreme Court on June 24 found that a medical malpractice insurer may not agree to cancel a "claims made" insurance policy with the knowledge that a potential malpractice claim is pending without violating the state statutory prohibition on retroactive annulment of policy following the injury, death or damage for which an insured may be liable (Tracey Chandler, personal representative of the estate of David Wurtz, deceased v. Mark W. Valentine, et al., No.108614, Okla. Sup.; 2014 Okla. LEXIS 78).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 24 affirmed the dismissal of a woman's class action lawsuit against CitiMortgage Inc., finding that her attorney's submission of three letters described as qualified written requests (QWRs) under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to the wrong address did not trigger the loan servicer's duties to respond under the act (Patricia Roth, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 13-3839-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11854).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on June 18 denied a motion to certify a class claiming that Fidelity National Financial Inc. violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) by engaging in a scheme to collect kickbacks from express document delivery services, finding that individual issues, such as whether the class member's loan was subject to the statute, will predominate over class-wide issues (Keith Turner, et al. v. Fidelity National Financial Inc., No. 14-cv-01240-ODW, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83791).
CHICAGO - Deeming an appeal by the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle one that "borders on the quixotic," the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 16 affirmed findings by an Illinois federal judge that the editor of an anthology of stories inspired by the Sherlock Holmes character does not need a license to publish his work (Leslie Klinger v. Conan Doyle Estate Ltd., No. 14-1128, 7th Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on June 13 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by a successor trustee in a lawsuit regarding the allegedly improper foreclosure on real property, ruling that although consumers adequately pleaded their Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), they have failed to plead claims under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and a claim for negligence (John Stricklin v. Litton Loan Servicing L.P., et al., No. 13-1354, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80670).
NEW YORK - The Residential Capital Borrower Claims Trust on June 16 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, contending that a couple's $32.85 million claim against the bankruptcy estate should be disallowed because it was not timely filed and it demonstrates conduct that was "dilatory and in bad faith" (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A plaintiff's engineering expert testifying on behalf of the estate of a man who was burned by exploding hot asphalt is not qualified to opine about the asphalt kettle's alleged defects, a federal judge held June 11 (Karen Fimbres, et al. v. Garlock Equipment Co., No. 3:11-CV-226-CRS-JDM, W.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79384).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A Louisiana appeals court partially reversed a trial court's decision to award the purchasers of home damages for mold-related and water issues, adding an award of attorney fees against the seller of the home and her real estate agent and broker (Jack M. Bailey Jr., et al. v. Laura Gay DeLaCruz, et al., No. 49,032-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir.; 2014 La. App. LEXIS 1552).
SEATTLE - An insurer and its owner had no legal interest in funds secured following the closure of the liquidation estate against the insurer, a Washington appeals panel ruled June 10, affirming that the insurer and owner had no standing to challenge a decision by the State Department of Revenue (DOR) (Pacific Marine Insurance Co. and Robert A. Bell v. State of Washington, No. 43719-8-II, Wash. App., Div. II; 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1378).
BRISBANE, Australia - An Australian court on June 6 allowed an appeal of a decision that compensation claims by the estate of a man who died of mesothelioma were time-barred, finding that the estate had a right to action for personal injury (Hall v. WorkCover Queensland, No.  QCA 135, Queensland App.).