ORLANDO, Fla. - A jury in Florida's Ninth Judicial Circuit Court returned a defense verdict Nov. 5 in a suit by a woman who alleged that her husband's death from lung cancer was related to his years of cigarette smoking (Annie Bishop, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2013-CA-007820-O, Fla. 9th Jud. Cir., Orange Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Plaintiffs in five suits alleging that defects in air bags manufactured by Takata Corp. were not revealed in a timely manner asked the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Nov. 3 to consolidate their actions in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (In re: Takata Airbag Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2599, JPMDL).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 3 issued an order administratively closing a class suit brought by cruise passengers who allege bacteria-related injuries after soaking in hot tubs on Carnival Corp. ships (Tab Lankford, et al. v. Carnival Corp., d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc., No. 12-24408, S.D. Fla.).
MIAMI - The attorney for the widow of a man who died of lung cancer after smoking for more than 45 years told a jury in the Florida 11th Judicial Court on Oct. 31 that his client's husband "needed to smoke" because he was addicted to nicotine (Diane Schleider, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 13-2013-CA-006984, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Dade Co.).
LAKELAND, Fla. - Florida insureds' failure to disclose an engineer's report to their homeowners insurer before filing a breach of contract suit did not constitute a concealment that precluded coverage, a Florida appeals panel held Oct. 29, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Christian Herrera v. Tower Hill Preferred Ins. Co., No. 2D13-2402, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 granted the State of Florida leave to file a bill of complaint alleging that a Georgia's water consumption from the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) Basin is harming Florida's ecosystem and water-dependent industries (Florida v. Georgia, No. 152, Orig., U.S. Sup.).
MIAMI - Having Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate challengers notify the government does not warrant a change in outcome from cases decided under the previous rule, which had them notify third-party administrators, a Florida federal judge held Oct. 28 (Ave Maria School of Law v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 13-795, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152738).
LAKELAND, Fla. - An insurance policy did not require insureds to provide a report regarding their sinkhole claim to their insurer unless they had the report at the time of the claim, but before the insurer denied it, a Florida appeals panel held Oct. 29, reversing the final summary judgment in favor of the insurer (Christian Herrera and Sharon Herrera v. Tower Hill Preferred Insurance Co., No. 2D13-2402, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 17638).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Two California men and one Florida man filed a class complaint on Oct. 24 accusing Apple Inc. of selling defective 2011 MacBook Pros and failing to successfully fix the defective laptop computers while they were under warranty (Zachary Book, et al. v. Apple, Inc., No. 14-4746, N.D. Calif.).
MIAMI - The newly issued rule allowing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate objectors to notify the government rather than third-party administrators is sufficiently similar to the original unsatisfactory process to warrant enjoining it, a Florida federal judge held Oct. 28 (Ave Maria University v. Sylvia Burwell, et al., No. 13-630, M.D. Fla.).
MIAMI - The bare metal defense bars liability for replacement parts used on valve makers' products, but a man has demonstrated sufficient evidence of potential asbestos exposure from Crane Co.'s Cranite gaskets, a federal judge in Florida held Oct. 19 (James A. Oneal and Linda Oneal v. Alfa Laval Inc., et al., No. 13-61510, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148918).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A directors, officers and private company liability insurer has no duty to satisfy a $40,410,729 judgment entered against an insured in a coverage dispute arising from defaulted land development bonds, a Florida federal judge held Oct. 21 (Bond Safeguard Insurance Co, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA., No. 6:13-cv-561-Orl-37DAB, M.D. Fla., Orlando Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148953).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Oct. 20 deferred to a jury the issue of whether an attorney insured's inaccurate answers on an application for professional liability coverage were given with the intent to deceive, denying summary judgment motions in a coverage dispute arising from the law firm's mortgage-related services (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America v. Mader Law Group, LLC, et al., No. 8:13-cv-2577-T-26TGW, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148955).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on Oct. 22 awarded a smoker $25.3 million in punitive damages after finding that cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. caused his chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (Kenneth Kerrivan, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 3:09-cv-13703, M.D. Fla.).
ATLANTA - Finding no reversible error, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 21 upheld a trial court's denial of an employee's motion to vacate and/or modify an arbitration award that denied her claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related claims brought against her former employer (Ludema Cruz Dorward v. Macy's Inc., d.b.a. Macy's Florida Stores, LLC, No. 13-14783, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20097).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida jury's failure to award noneconomic damages in a suit alleging smoking-related illness that resulted in a $330,000 award for lost wages and medical costs is "against the great weight of the evidence," a federal judge ruled Oct. 20 (In re: Engle Progeny Cases, No. 3:09-CV-10000-WGJ-JBT, William Harford v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 3:09-CV-13631, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148769).
BRADENTON, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on Oct. 17 returned a unanimous defense verdict for a pediatrician in a medical malpractice case involving the death of a 15-year-old girl (Virginia Chapman, et al. v. Snehal V. Parikh, M.D., et al., No. 12CA03280, Fla. Cir., 12th Jud., Manatee Co.).