Montana Supreme Court Revives Claims For Defects In Family's Log Home

HELENA, Mont. - In a 6-1 decision, the Montana Supreme Court on July 8 overturned summary judgment for a log home builder named as the defendant in a construction defects action, concluding that questions remain whether the plaintiffs' claims are time-barred (Greg Johnston, et al. v. Centennial Log Homes & Furnishings Inc., No. 12-0405, Mont. Sup.; 2013 Mont. LEXIS 224).

Asbestos Claimants Accuse United Gilsonite Of Fraudulent Conveyance

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - Asbestos claimants in the Chapter 11 case of United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL) on June 24 sought permission from a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court to pursue fraudulent conveyance and breach of fiduciary duty claims against the family-owned company's officer as part of the claimants' plan of reorganization for UGL that includes selling the business (In re: United Gilsonite Laboratories, 11-2032, M.D. Pa. Bkcy.).

Australian Court Vacates $1.3 Million Meso Verdict For Transportation Worker

SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian appeals court on June 3 vacated a $1,318,506.24 verdict awarded to a former public transportation worker for his mesothelioma, allowing an appeal filed by the State of New South Wales in relation to certain damages that were awarded for gratuitous domestic services he provided to family members (State of New South Wales v Perez, $(2013$) NSWCA 149, New South Wales App.).

Sly And The Family Stone's Music Production Company Files For Bankruptcy

LOS ANGELES - The former manager of musician Sly Stone, the frontman for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Sly and the Family Stone, on June 4 put Stone's production company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing assets between $1 million and $10 million, as well as debts in that same range of value (In Re: Even St. Productions Ltd., No. 13-24363, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Coverage Barred For Carbon Monoxide Damages, Minnesota High Court Affirms

MINNEAPOLIS - The majority of the Minnesota Supreme Court on May 31 affirmed that damages resulting from the improper installation of a boiler and carbon monoxide detector are excluded from coverage pursuant to an insurance policy's pollution exclusion because under Minnesota law, a pollution exclusion is not limited to only environmental pollutants under Minnesota law (Midwest Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Michael D. Wolters, et al., No. A11-181, Minn. Sup.; 2013 Minn. LEXIS 304).

U.S. Supreme Court Declines To Hear Planned Parenthood Funding Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 28 declined to reconsider the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' affirmation of a trial court's grant of a preliminary injunction against the Indiana State Department of Health in enforcing a state law stripping Medicaid funds from Planned Parenthood of Indiana Inc. because the agency provides abortions (Secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, et al. v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana Inc., Nos. 12-1039, 12-1159, U.S. Sup.).

Judge Says Shareholders Failed To Prove Presuit Demand Futility

AKRON, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on May 10 dismissed a shareholder derivative lawsuit, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to show that presuit demand upon a company's board of directors would have been futile (Robinson Family Trust, et al. v. Paul G. Greig, et al., No. 12-cv-01713, N.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66995).

English Court Orders Plumber To Pay 11,870 Pounds For Unsafe Work

LONDON - The United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on May 13 announced that an English magistrates' court fined a plumber after he potentially exposed his son and a family to asbestos.

Louisiana Court: Household Asbestos Case Proceeds On Residence, Laundry Testimony

NEW ORLEANS - A man's reference to his father's residence as the "family home" and evidence that he helped with the family laundry creates sufficient questions to allow his household asbestos exposure claims to proceed, a Louisiana appellate court held May 8 (Joseph Francis Rendon v. Union Carbide Corp., et al., No. 2012-CA-1397, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2013 La. App. LEXIS 905).

California Judge Won't Dismiss, Transfer Trademark Case

SAN DIEGO - Citing evidence that a trademark infringement defendant has sold and shipped products to California consumers while maintaining an interactive website and an in-store presence, a federal judge on April 23 denied dismissal of the dispute on personal jurisdiction grounds (Guava Family Inc. v. Guava Kids LLC, No. 12-2239, S.D. Calif.).

Supreme Court Denies Review Of 7th Circuit Indiana Medicaid Dental Care Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 22 denied a writ of certiorari to the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration's appeal of a federal appeals court decision requiring the state Medicaid agency to cover all "medically necessary" dental care. The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 26 affirmed a federal court order granting a class of Medicaid plaintiffs from Indiana preliminary injunctive relief in their challenge of the state's cap on "medically necessary" dental care under the state's Medicaid program (Sandra M. Bontrager, et al., v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, et al., No. 12-1037, U.S. Sup.).

Magistrate: Insurer Cannot Use Attorney-Client Privilege Against Its Own Insured

INDIANAPOLIS - Even though an insurer and its insured are now adverse parties in an insurance bad faith dispute, an Indiana federal judge on April 22 held that the insurer could not invoke the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine to prevent disclosure of documents from its privilege log to its insured, who was the party for whom those documents were originally created (Randall L. Woodruff v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 1:12-cv-00859, S.D. Ind.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56883).

Va. Provider Must Repay Medicaid For Services By Unqualified Workers

RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia Court of Appeals on April 16 affirmed a trial court order granting summary judgment to the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) ordering the Family Redirection Institute Inc. (FRI) to reimburse the state Medicaid program for payments made to FRI for services by unqualified mental health care professionals (Family at Redirection Institute Inc. v. Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, No. 1274-12-2, Va. App.; 2013 Va. App. LEXIS 116).

Fracking Suit Settlement Unsealed In Pennsylvania; Access To Court Records Upheld

WASHINGTON, Pa. - A confidential settlement agreement between a Washington County, Pa., family and natural gas extraction companies was unsealed by a Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas for Washington County judge March 20 on the grounds that businesses do not have a constitutional right of privacy that overcomes the common-law presumption of access to government documents (Stephanie Hallowich, et vir v. Range Resources Corp., et al., No. 10-3954, Pa. Comm. Pls., Washington Co.).

Texas Appeals Panel Drops Claims For Drowning Deaths At City-Owned Beach

HOUSTON - The First District Texas Court of Appeals on March 7 dismissed wrongful death claims brought against a municipality that owns a recreational area where three family members drowned, concluding that the claims are barred by governmental immunity (The City of Texas City v. Edith Suarez, No. 01-12-00848-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 2272).

Louisiana Appeals Panel Upholds $250,000 Verdict For Family Of Cancer Patient

SHREVEPORT, La. - The Second Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal on March 6 affirmed a jury verdict for the family of a woman who allegedly died after a reoccurrence of cancer was misdiagnosed, ruling thatit did notfind that the jury abused its discretion in awarding the plaintiffs $250,000 in damages (Carolyn Coody, et al. v. Dr. J. Michael Barraza, et al., No. 47,732-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir.; 2013 La. App. LEXIS 369).

Justice Finds Scottish Court Has Jurisdiction Over Family's Mesothelioma Case

EDINBURGH, Scotland - A justice on March 5 refused challenges asserted by two English steamship companies that the Scottish Court of Session Outer House lacked jurisdiction over a case filed against them by the family of a man who died of mesothelioma, finding that the court retained jurisdiction even though the claimants had withdrawn their claims against a Scottish company (Mary Adamson Lorimer Stewart and others v. Trafalgar House Steamship Company Ltd. and others, No. $(2013$) CSOH 37, Scottish Sess., Outer House).

Bad Faith Claims Over Coverage For Apartments' Roofs Tossed By Colorado Judge

DENVER - The owner of six apartment buildings that allegedly sustained wind damage failed to show any bad faith related to their insurer's handling of its claim, a Colorado federal judge ruled March 5, disposing of both a common-law and statutory bad faith claim (Windsor Court LLC v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 1:11-cv-01904, D. Colo.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29416).

Federal Judge Declines To Dismiss Medicaid Dispute; Claims Sufficiently Pleaded

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on March 4 denied a motion to dismiss made by a managed care organization in a Medicaid fraud case, saying the plaintiffs met pleading standards for false claims allegations (United States of America, ex rel. Gloria Upton, et al. v. Family Health Network Inc., et al., No. 09-6022, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29620).

Australian Judge Awards Transportation Worker $1.3 Million For Meso Claim

SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian tribunal on Feb. 26 awarded a former transportation worker who developed mesothelioma after asbestos exposure at a bus depot and his family damages, ordering the State of New South Wales to pay him $1,318,506.24 (Perez v State of New South Wales ($(2013$) NSWDDT 1, New South Wales DDT).

8th Circuit: Family Trust Cannot Block FDIC's Sale Of Debtor's Asset

ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 27 ruled that anti-injunction provisions in federal law pertaining to financial institutions prevented a family trust from blocking the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. from selling the asset of a bankrupt bank (Dittmer Properties v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, No. 12-1329, 8th Cir.).

West Virginia Supreme Court Affirms $133,000 Judgment For Carbon Monoxide Injuries

NEW ORLEANS - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals issued an opinion Feb. 22 unanimously affirming the award of $133,000 to a family for carbon monoxide exposure after concluding that the jury award was not against the weight of the evidence (Frank Gallo v. William L. Thompson, et al., No. 11-1482, W.Va. Sup.; 2013 W.Va. LEXIS 166).

Mother's 'Disparagement' Of Son On Facebook Leads To Denial Of Custody Petition

ALBANY, N.Y. - Finding that a mother's Facebook postings "insult$(ed$) and demean$(ed$)" her then 10-year-old son, a New York appellate panel on Feb. 14 affirmed a family court's ruling that granted sole custody of a divorced couple's three children to their father (Melody M. v. Robert M., No. 513361, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 975; 2013 NY Slip Op 959).

Judge Denies Restraining Order For Man Accused Of Defamatory Online Postings

FRESNO, Calif. - The temporary restraining order (TRO) sought by a purported English lord against a man who allegedly has been making defamatory postings against the lord and his family would constitute a prior restraint on the man's First Amendment rights, a Nevada federal judge ruled Feb. 13 (Neil B. Gibson v. Nicholass V. Fleming Jr., et al., No. 1:13-cv-00176, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19629).

Massachusetts Jury Awards $63M To Girl, Parents For Children's Motrin Injuries

BROCKTON, Mass. - A Massachusetts state court jury on Feb. 13 awarded $63 million to a family whose young daughter was severely injured by a reaction to Children's Motrin (Lisa Reckis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. PLCV2007-00064, Mass. Super., Plymouth Co.).