Judge Finds Noise Complaint Triggered Insurer's Duty To Defend Nightclub

    NEW ORLEANS - An underlying complaint against a New Orleans nightclub sufficiently alleged bodily injury and property damage to trigger the club's insurer's duty to defend under a general liability policy, a Louisiana federal judge ruled Oct. 15, partly denying the insurer's motion to dismiss a bad faith claim against it (Bourbon Heat LLC v. Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp., No. 2:13-cv-02623, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148191).

    3rd Circuit Reinstates Jury's Ruling For Employee On Perceived Disability Claim

    PHILADELPHIA - A New Jersey federal judge erred when she granted an employer's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict setting aside a jury's ruling for a former employee on his perceived disability claim, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 17 (Russell P. Swiatek, et al. v. Bemis Company, Inc., et al., No. 11-4333, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21024).

    Arbitrator Awards Anacor Pharmaceuticals $100 Million In Interim Final Award

    PALO ALTO, Calif. - A pharmaceutical firm on Oct. 18 announced that an arbitrator has awarded it $100 million in a dispute over an agreement related to certain development services.

    New York Court Affirms Full Death Benefit In Non-Work-Related Cancer Case

    NEW YORK - Nothing in the state workers' compensation law requires apportioning a death benefit between work-related asbestos disease and non-work-related causes of death, the New York Court of Appeals held Oct. 15 (In the matter of Gaudenzia, Hroncich v. Con Edison, et al., No. 145, N.Y. App.; 2013 N.Y. LEXIS 2852).

    Federal Judge Denies Stay Of Coverage Lawsuit Pending Insurer's Liquidation Action

    TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Oct. 15 declined to stay proceedings further in a coverage action over payment bonds issued for a military base project despite a liquidation order against an insolvent insurer (United States for use of Tarmac America LLC v. Pro Way Paving Systems LLC, et al., No. 12-867, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148907).

    Panel Dismisses Breach Of Contract, Negligence Claims Against Insurance Broker

    LOS ANGELES - Homeowners failed to show that they were listed as additional insureds under a contractor's policy, a California appeals panel ruled Oct. 15, affirming the entry of summary judgment to an insurance broker on breach of contract and negligence claims (Gerald V. Hollingsworth Jr., et al. v. Lincoln General Insurance Co., No. B240536, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7386).

    Judge: Competition Law Claim Involving GM Steering Component Proceeds

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A man's claim that General Motors LLC knowingly sold vehicles with defective steering components then replaced those parts with equally defective replacements supports a claim under all three prongs of the California unfair competition law (UCL), a federal judge held Oct. 16 (Chris Aguilar, et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 13-437, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149108).

    3rd Circuit: Grocery Store Needed Union's Consent To Raise Wages

    PHILADELPHIA - A grocery store chain violated its collective bargaining agreement when it gave wage increases and higher starting wages to certain employees in one of its Pennsylvania stores without first obtaining consent from the union, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 16 (Giant Eagle, Inc. v. United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 23, No. 12-4588, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20917).

    Federal Judge Dismisses Suit Challenging Legality Of Consumer Protection Bureau

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Oct. 17 granted summary judgment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in a suit in which litigation support company Morgan Drexen Inc. challenged the CFPB's constitutional right to exist (Morgan Drexen Inc., et al. v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, No. 13-1112, D. D.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149387).

    Shareholder, Directors, Officers Ask Court To OK Settlement Of Derivative Suit

    NEW YORK - A shareholder and certain of a company's directors and officers asked a New York federal court on Oct. 16 to give preliminary approval of a settlement reached regarding a shareholder derivative lawsuit (Carl Braun v. Zhiguo Fu, et al., No. 11-cv-4383, S.D. N.Y.).

    Judge: Discovery Needed To Determine If Delay Of UIM Claim Is Bad Faith

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - Finding "potentially unacceptable delays" in an insurer's handling of its policyholders' underinsured motorist (UIM) claim, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 15 said it was "premature to dismiss" the insureds' bad faith claim and denied the insurer's motion to that end (Barry Shaffer, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 1:13-cv-01837, M.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147875).

    Trial Order Proposed In American Airlines, US Airways Merger Antitrust Lawsuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. on Oct. 17 filed a joint proposed procedural order for the upcoming antitrust trial on the DOJ's claims that the proposed merger of the two airlines violates federal law. The proposed order calls for closing arguments to be held Jan. 6 (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).

    Dewey & LeBoeuf, Creditor Agree To More Than $1.04M Claim Related To 401(k) Plan

    NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of former law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Oct. 17 issued an order approving a stipulation in which the administrator of the former law firm's 401(k) plan will have an allowed claim against the bankruptcy estate valued at $1,044,310.46 (In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

    ERISA Preempts Claim To Proceeds Under Community Property Law, 9th Circuit Says

    SAN FRANCISCO - A surviving spouse's state law claim to proceeds of a life insurance policy pursuant to community property law is preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Oct. 15 in an unpublished opinion (Devon Larie Orr v. Michelle Orr, No. 12-35560, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20809).

    4th Circuit Vacates Labor Board Ruling Due To Lack Of Quorum

    RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 16 vacated an order by the National Labor Relations Board finding that an automotive components manufacturer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) after determining the NLRB lacked a quorum at the time the order was issued (Gestamp South Carolina, L.L.C. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 11-2362, National Labor Relations Board v. Gestamp South Carolina, L.L.C., No. 12-1041, 4th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20898).

    3rd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Claims Lacking Exposure History

    PHILADELPHIA - While an administrative order's broad language could support asbestos plaintiffs' interpretation, no reason exists to disturb a judge's conclusion that the order requires submission of asbestos exposure histories, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Oct. 17 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability, et al., Nos. 12-3822, 13-3823, 12-3824, 12-3825, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21025).

    Pennsylvania Supreme Court Won't Review $10.5M Prempro Breast Cancer Verdict

    PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 16 denied drug manufacturer Wyeth's petition to appeal a $10.5 million hormone replacement therapy verdict in favor of a breast cancer plaintiff (Connie J. Barton v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., Nos. 176 EAL 2012 and 177 EAL 2012, Pa. Sup., Eastern Dist.).

    Boston Scientific, Guidant Pay $30M To Settle False Claims Involving Heart Devices

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Boston Scientific Corp. and its Guidant subsidiaries have agreed to pay $30 million to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging that between 2002 and 2005 the defendants caused the submission of false claims to Medicare for implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) that they knew were defective, the U.S. Justice Department said in an Oct. 17 press release (United States of America, ex rel. James Allen v. Guidant Corporation, et al., No. 22-22, D. Minn.).

    Plaintiff's Counsel: $2.46 Billion Judgment In Fraud Suit Is Record

    CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Oct. 17 entered a $2.46 billion judgment - the largest judgment following a securities class action trial, according to the lead plaintiff's counsel - against Household International Inc. (now HSBC Finance Corp.) and three of its former executives over allegedly fraudulent lending practices and financial reporting (Lawrence E. Jaffe Pension Plan v. Household International, Inc., et al., No. 02-5893, N.D. Ill.).

    Unions: Detroit's Bankruptcy Not Filed In Good Faith, Should Be Dismissed

    DETROIT - The union representing police officers and firefighters in the bankrupt City of Detroit on Oct. 17 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan arguing that the bankruptcy should be dismissed because the city did not file it in good faith (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).

    Federal Circuit Affirms: Patent Rights Exhausted

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Delaware federal judge did not err in finding that plaintiff Keurig Inc. exhausted its rights in two patents relating to beverage brewing, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 17 (Keurig Inc. v. Sturm Foods Inc., No. 13-1072, Fed. Cir.).

    Real Estate Fraud Case Remanded; 1st Circuit Finds Damages Expert Unreliable

    BOSTON - A trial court erred in allowing a damages expert to provide unreliable calculations of hedonic and other damages suffered by a schizophrenic trash truck driver who was induced into a fraudulent scheme by a group of lenders, brokers and closing agents to be a straw buyer for two homes that later went into foreclosure, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 15 (Robert Smith, et al. v. Dorchester Real Estate, et al., Nos. 11-2349; 11-2378; 11-2389, 1st Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20785).

    Judge: Provider Neither Competitor Not Consumer Of Insurer; Unfair Claim Fails

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Claims that a health insurer misrepresented its power to authorize and provide coverage for treatment form the basis for a California unfair competition law (UCL) unlawful-prong claim, but because the provider is neither a consumer nor a competitor, its unfair-prong claim fails, a federal judge held Oct. 15 (Centre for Neuro Skills v. Blue Cross of California dba Anthem Blue Cross, et al., No. 13-743, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148432).

    Electric Utility Files International Arbitration Over Steam Generator Claims

    ROSEMEAD, Calif. - A California electric utility on Oct. 16 announced that it has filed a request for arbitration with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), asserting claims related to allegedly defective steam generators.

    36th District Court: Detroit Bankruptcy Stay Needed For 'Unusual Circumstances'

    DETROIT - The 36th District Court of Michigan, which the bankrupt City of Detroit contends should be covered by the automatic stay in order to remain operational during the pendency of the bankruptcy proceeding, on Oct. 16 filed a brief contending that "unusual circumstances" require the extension of the automatic stay (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).