DALLAS - A Texas Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 30 affirmed a $37,500 judgment in a construction contract dispute, ruling that there was sufficient evidence that supported the finding that the contractor breached the agreement and did not substantially perform work on the construction project (Aharon Chen v. Parkwood Creek Owner's Association Inc., No. 05-10-01511-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 7347).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of CHL Ltd. on Aug. 31 approved $20 million in interim post-petition financing, which could increase to as much as $35 million pending final approval by the bankruptcy judge (In Re: CHL Ltd., No. 12-12437, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Aug. 30 entered a judgment of more than $37 million in disgorgement and more than $37 million in civil penalties against the defendants in an action filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission arising from what she called a "massive" Ponzi scheme that netted more than $54 million from investors (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Mantria Corporation, et al., No. 09-02676, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123521).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Supreme Court on Aug. 29 decertified the lone appellate opinion releasing a brake-grinding machine manufacturer from liability for a man's exposure to asbestos while shaping allegedly asbestos-containing brakes with the product (Fern Barker, et al. v. Hennessy Industries Inc., No. S204106, Calif. Sup.).
SALT LAKE CITY - Reversing a trial court's grant of summary judgment to an auto insurance provider in an underinsured motorist (UIM) benefits dispute, the Utah Supreme Court on Aug. 28 took the opportunity to "clarify that a bad faith claim need not be resolved on summary judgment whenever an insurance company argues that the claim was fairly debatable," stating that such a disposition is only appropriate when "reasonable minds could not differ as to whether the insurer's conduct measured up to the required standard of care" (Chad Jones v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, No. 20012 UT 52, Utah Sup.; 2012 Utah LEXIS 116).
NEWARK, N.J. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against drug maker Merck & Co. Inc. and certain of its current and former officers and directors have failed to plead their federal securities law claims against the defendants, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Aug. 29 in granting the defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings (In re Merck & Co. Inc. Securities, Derivative & ERISA Litigation, MDL No. 1658, Nos. 05-1151 and 05-2367, D. N.J.). View related prior history, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 19230.
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 29 reversed a district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of National City Bank (NCB) against a borrower for breach of promissory note, fraudulent and innocent misrepresentation and civil conspiracy (National City Bank v. Syatt Realty Group Inc., et al., No. 11-1777, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18373).
LOS ANGELES - An insurance policy's Wage and Hour Claim Exclusion endorsement is invalid and unenforceable, and the insurer owes coverage for underlying claims arising under California Labor Code Section 2802, a California federal judge ruled Aug. 29, further finding that triable issues of fact preclude the entry of summary judgment in favor of the insurer on the insured's bad faith claim (Classic Distributing And Beverage Group Inc. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. CV 11-07075 GAF (RZx), C.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
AIKEN, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on Aug. 28 certified a class of pension plan participants after the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the plan violated the anti-cutback provision of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by denying a retiree's request for benefits that included an early retirement supplemental benefit because the plain language of the plan included the supplement in its definition of accrued benefit (Noorali Sam Savani v. Washington Safety Management Solutions, LLC., et al., No. 1:06-cv-02805, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121687).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Aug. 28 dismissed without prejudice claims that PayPal Inc. violated federal antitrust law by permanently suspending the accounts of certain dating Websites for violation of its Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) while not suspending the accounts of other similar Websites, but the judge allowed unfair competition and common-law breach claims to continue (Infostream Group, Inc., et al. v. PayPal, Inc., No. C 12-748 SI, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122255).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Resetting a hypothetical negotiation date and barring evidence of a settlement agreement from admission into evidence, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 30 cleared the way for a third trial on damages owed by Quanta Computer Inc. (QCI) for infringing optical disc drives (ODDs) (LaserDynamics Inc. v. Quanta Computer Inc., Nos. 11-1440, 1370, Fed. Cir.). Subscribers may view the decision available within the full article.
SEATTLE - Defendants must provide a couple alleging asbestos exposure with records regarding the sale of component parts to the U.S. Navy but only for the period during which the husband served, a Washington federal judge held Aug. 29 (Roland L. Stevens and Shirley J. Stevens v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 11-6073, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123305).
INDIANAPOLIS - An insurer owes coverage to an insured's landlord for environmental contamination damages because the policies' provision for wrongful entry or invasion is ambiguous and cannot be construed to exclude coverage for the landlord's coverage claims, the Indiana Court of Appeals determined Aug. 28 (FLM LLC et al. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co. No. 49A02-0902-CV-127, Ind. App.; 2012 Ind. App. LEXIS 411).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 30 reversed a District Court's judgment as a matter of law on an employer's overtime liability and remanded the case for a new trial (FLM LLC et al. v. The Cincinnati Insurance Co. No. 11-13708, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18384).
DAYTON, Ohio - Merely visiting a website without obtaining a benefit from it does not bind a user to the site's "terms and conditions" or its forum selection clause, an Ohio federal magistrate judge ruled Aug. 28, finding that the court lacked jurisdiction over the site owner's federal Lanham Act claims and granting the defendants' motions to dismiss (Traton News LLC v. Traton Corp., et al., No. 3:11-cv-00435, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121947).
MIAMI - A Florida Court of Appeal panel on Aug. 29 ruled that a jury's verdict for the plaintiff in a product liability action was "fundamentally inconsistent," reversed the trial court's denial of the defendants' motion to set aside the verdict and remanded the case for entry of judgment in favor of the defendants (Tricam Industries Inc., et al. v. Diana Coba, No. 3D11-50, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 14462).
NEW YORK - The Chapter 11 trustee in the bankruptcy proceeding of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) on Aug. 29 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York opposing a motion by the trustee in the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) 15 U.S.C.S. § 78aaa, proceeding of MFGH's affiliate, MF Global Inc. (MFGI) (In Re: MF Global Inc., No. 11-2790, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58792.
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 29 upheld a district court's rejection of a construction worker's claims that his employer breached a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) by charging his allotment of overtime hours for the purposes of determining his future eligibility for overtime work and improperly reassigning the worker from the night shift to the day shift (Scibilia v. Verizon Communications, Inc., et al. No. 11-1675, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18292).
SAN FRANCISCO - A total prior work exclusion in a commercial general liability insurance policy precludes coverage for a construction defective action, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 30, finding that an insurer has no duty to defend (Ghilotti Bros. Inc. v. American Safety Indemnity Co., No. 10-17231, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18432).
BANGOR, Maine - A Maine federal bankruptcy judge on Aug. 28 denied confirmation of a plan of reorganization which sought the use of self-insurance funds and would impose a self-insurance channeling injunction upon the Maine Self-Insurance Guaranty Association (MSIGA), the Maine Superintendent of Insurance and other state agencies (In re: Irving Tanning Co., et al., No. 10-11757, D. Maine Bkcy.; 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 3960).
DETROIT - A woman's gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims against her former employer and supervisor fail because she was having a consensual sexual relationship with the supervisor and was not replaced with a male worker, a Michigan federal judge held Aug. 29 (Janine Souther v. Posen Construction, Inc., and Rick Minard No. 11-cv-13966, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122940).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 overturned summary judgment for the defendant in a premises liability action, concluding that a reasonable jury could find an amusement park liable for a woman's slip-and-fall injuries (Teresa Holt, et al. v. The Dollywood Co., No. E2011-02481-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.; 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 590).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 28 vacated and remanded a case against Mexican glassmaker Vitro S.A.B. de C.V, ruling that creditors had grounds to file an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding against it for its failure to pay its debts on time (Knighthead Master Fund LP v. Vitro Packaging LLC [In Re: Vitro Asset Corp.], No. 11-2603,Chapter 11, N.D. Texas). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
NEW YORK - A group of pilots with American Airlines and the now-defunct Trans World Airlines (TWA) on Aug. 29 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to American's motion seeking authority to rejects its collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) with the pilots (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Aug. 29 granted preliminary approval of a $590 million settlement between shareholders, Citigroup Inc. and certain of its current and former executive officers and directors on claims that the defendants misrepresented Citigroup's exposure to billions of dollars of risky collateralized debt obligations that were backed by residential subprime mortgages (In re Citigroup Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 07-9901, S.D. N.Y.).
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