NEW YORK - The issuers of a storm weather report told a New York federal court on Nov. 20 that a reinsurer's claims against them are not supported by the facts and should be dismissed (Mariah Re Ltd. $(In Liquidation$), acting by and through Geoffrey Varga and Jess Shakespeare, in their capacities as Liquidators thereof v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-cv-04657, S.D. N.Y.).
PHOENIX - Evidence of an allegedly incomplete inspection of a storm-damaged home could constitute evidence of an insurer's bad faith, an Arizona federal judge held Nov. 18, partly denying the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Margo Hanks v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:12-cv-00880, D. Ariz.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163802).
RICHMOND, Va. - A split Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 14 denied a petition for a panel rehearing filed by a discount retail chain facing a reinstated gender bias and equal pay class action (Luanna Scott, et al. v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., No. 12-1610, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. 22961).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court jury on Nov. 18 awarded more than $10 million to a family whose son was born with a cleft palate allegedly caused by his mother's use of the antiepileptic drug Topamax during pregnancy, according to one of the law firms representing the family (Brayden Gurley, et al. v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceutical, Inc., No. 110502251, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
JACKSON, Miss. - The Mississippi Supreme Court on Oct. 31 overturned a Court of Appeals decision reinstating wrongful death claims against two defendants in a medical malpractice action, concluding that the plaintiff improperly raised issues regarding process service on appeal (Barbara Lewis v. Forest Family Practice Clinic, et al., No. 2011-CT-00828-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2013 Miss. LEXIS 575).
SEATTLE - Finding no evidence that an insurer "fully and fairly" investigated a policyholder's claims for injuries and expenses related to auto accidents, a Washington federal judge on Oct. 29 mostly denied the insurer's motion for summary judgment on bad faith and related state law claims against it (Richard Bird v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 2:12-cv-01553, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155176).
SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian justice on Oct. 28 dismissed an action filed by a tenant who alleged that asbestos at a rental property put him and his family in danger, finding that his landlord had complied with previous court orders requiring him to remediate the site (El-Saeidy v NSW Land & Housing Corporation, $(No $) $(2013$) NSWSC 1554, New South Wales Sup.).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 24 granted motions to strike filed by various entities related to the management and operation of an air force base, finding that an expert declaration made on behalf of a family, who alleged that they sustained injuries caused by mold in military housing, contained opinions that were not previously provided in the case (Benjamin L. Pratt Jr., et al. v. Landings at Barksdale, et al., No. 09-1734, W.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136817).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Sept. 18 denied the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Service's request to vacate and dissolve a partial finding of contempt issued against the cabinet for failing to properly process requests by Medicaid patients to transfer from one in-network Coventry Health and Life Insurance Co. facility to another facility in light of Coventry's impending termination of its provider contract with Appalachian Regional Healthcare Inc. and ARH Breckenridge Health Services Inc. (collectively, ARH) Appalachian Regional Healthcare, et al. v. Coventry Health and Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-114, E.D. Ky.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133126).
TRENTON, N.J. - A company told a New Jersey federal court on Sept. 16 that it had an independent investigation of a shareholder's allegations performed and that the allegations were found to be without merit (The George Leaon Family Trust, derivatively on behalf of Johnson & Johnson, v. Mary Sue Coleman, PH.D., et al., No. 12-cv-04401, D. N.J.).
CHICAGO - A magistrate judge did not err in finding expert testimony unreliable in a fatal railroad collision and in granting the defendants summary judgment, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Sept. 11 (Tanya Nunez v. BNSF Railway Co., No. 12-3018, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 18882).
NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished, consolidated opinion, a New Jersey appeals court on Sept. 9 affirmed four financial agency decisions of the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) terminating appellants from the New Jersey Family Care Medicaid Program (NJFC) (B.D. v. New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, No. A-2456-11T3; M.M., et al. v. New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, No. A-4744-11T2; T.J. v. New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services; No. A-5761-11T1, G.G. v. New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, No. A-0109-12T1, N.J. Sup. Ct., App. Div.).
BUFFALO, N.Y. - Three Niagara Falls, N.Y., families living in a neighborhood adjacent to the Love Canal remediation area who allege personal injury and property damage arising from the release of so-called signature Love Canal toxins released during a sewer maintenance project were granted remand Aug. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York under the well-pleaded complaint doctrine (Joann Abbo-Bradley, et al. v. City of Niagara Falls, et al., No. 13-487, W.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119413).
SAN FRANCISCO - Arizona cannot bar state Medicaid patients from obtaining covered family planning services from health care providers who also perform elective abortions, a panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 22 in affirming summary judgment against the state government (Planned Parenthood Arizona Incorporated, et al. v. Tom Betlach, et al., Nos. 12-17558 and 13-15506, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 17584).
PANAMA CITY, Fla. - The Federal Tort Claims Act claims of five bellwether plaintiffs in an action filed by federal corrections officers and their families for exposure to heavy metals from an electronics recycling business in a Florida prison were dismissed Aug. 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida because the claims were filed outside the two-year, FTCA statute of limitations (Chelsie Bailey, et al. v. United States, No. 12-104, N.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118629).
CINCINNATI - A split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 reinstated a dispatcher's lawsuit against his former employer under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), finding that because the city's volunteer firefighters were actually employees, the city had the requisite number of employees for application of the FMLA (Paul Mendel v. City of Gibraltar, No. 12-1231, 6th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 16922).
CINCINNATI - A family squabble over a hit gospel song will proceed, in part, in Tennessee federal court, Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 14 (Jackson S. Brumley, et al. v. Robert Brumley, No. 12-5386, 6th Cir.).
DENVER - An injured motorist's allegations that his insurer conducted an insufficient investigation and failed to explain its valuation of his claim allow his bad faith and unreasonable delay claims to survive the insurer's motion to dismiss, a Colorado federal judge ruled Aug. 13 (Gregory Toy v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 1:12-cv-01683, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114100).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 13 partially granted a motion for conditional certification of a class of salaried store managers and managers-in-training who allege that they should have been compensated for overtime (Alina Tamas, et al. v. Family Video Movie Club, Inc., No. 11-1024, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114130).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 13 reversed and remanded a bankruptcy court's ruling and held that a family that sued a debtor company for wrongful death was not entitled to file a claim in the bankruptcy proceeding because it was preempted by the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (HMTA), 49 U.S. Code Section 5101 (Kenneth Elder Sr. v. Amtrol Holdings Inc. $(In Re: Amtrol Holdings Inc.$), No. 10-3273, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 16703).
WASHINGTON, Pa. - A confidential $750,000 settlement agreement concluded in June 2011 between a Washington County, Pa., family and natural gas extraction companies was filed Aug. 12 in the Washington County, Pa., Court of Common Pleas, 27th Judicial District; the case records were unsealed in March, but the settlement agreement was missing from the case file when it was delivered to the Washington County prothonotary in August 2011 (Stephanie Hallowich, et vir v. Range Resources Corp., et al., No. 10-3954, Pa. Comm. Pls., 27th Dist., Washington Co.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge properly found that Marvel Characters Inc. is entitled to summary judgment in its copyright dispute with the family of famed illustrator Jack Kirby because the drawings at issue were "works made for hire" within the meaning of Section 304(c) of the Copyright Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 8 (Marvel Characters Inc. et al. v. Lisa R. Kirby et al., No. 11-3333, 2nd Cir.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.- A Florida jury on July 31 ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR) to pay $22.5 million in punitive damages to the husband and children of a woman who died of lung cancer (Jan Grossman, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, No. 08-80000 (19), No. 2008-CV-25828 (19), Fla. Cir., Broward Co.).
NEW ORLEANS - Two former employees of the owner and operator of an apartment complex failed to show that one of the employees was improperly fired due to his disability or that the other employee was improperly fired for helping hire the disabled worker, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 31 (John Gober v. Frankel Family Trust, et al., Alissa Moore v. Frankel Family Trust, et al., No. 13-50035, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15782).
INDIANAPOLIS - Citing the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Gunn v. Minton (133 S. Ct. 1059 $(2013$)), an Indiana federal judge on July 29 dismissed a patent license dispute over implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) (Mirowski Family Ventures LLC v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 11-736, S.D. Ind.).