No Coverage For Underlying Negligence Suit, Missouri Panel Says

    ST. LOUIS - An insurer has no duty to defend its insureds against an underlying suit because the underlying suit's allegations of negligence are based on intentional conduct, which is not covered by the policy, the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals, Third Division, said April 30 (Ken and Janet Allen, et al. v. Continental Western Insurance Co., No. ED99111, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Mo. App. LEXIS 506).

    Patent Claim For More Than $4.12 Million Against K-V Discovery Is Valid, Lab Says

    NEW YORK - A pharmaceutical laboratory on May 1 filed a brief opposing bankrupt K-V Discovery Solutions Inc.'s attempt to reclassify certain bankruptcy claims, arguing that it has a valid claim for more than $4.12 million related to a patent that it says a division of K-V Discovery infringed (In Re: K-V Discovery Solutions Inc., No. 12-13346, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

    Justice Finds Chevron Has No Canadian Assets To Pay $18.2 Billion Ruling

    TORONTO - A Canadian judge on May 1 stayed an action filed by a group of Ecuadorian claimants in relation to alleged environmental exposures, finding that Chevron Corp. has no assets in Canada to satisfy an $18.2 billion judgment issued in their favor in Ecuador (Yaiguaje v. Chevron Corporation, No. CV-12-9808-00CL, Ontario Super.).

    Conn. Federal Judge Denies Alternative Punitive Damages In Prempro Cancer Verdict

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on May 2 denied a Prempro breast cancer plaintiff's request to enter an alternative judgment on punitive damages (Margaret B. Fraser, et al. v. Wyeth, Inc., et al., No. 3:04-1373, D. Conn.).

    Reorganization Plans For GIT, NARCO Become Effective

    PITTSBURGH - The plans of reorganization for refractory products manufacturers Global Industrial Technologies Inc. (GIT) and North American Refractories Co. (NARCO), which include multimillion-dollar trusts to pay asbestos and silica personal injury claims, became effective April 30, more than 11 years after the companies filed Chapter 11 petitions, according to notices filed May 1 in a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court (In re: Global Industrial Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 02-21626, and In re: North American Refractories Co., et al., W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).

    Travel Agency Employees Awarded More Than $20M For Harassment, Retaliation

    TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal jury on April 30 awarded eight former travel agency employees, in a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a total of $20,251,963 based on their allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation (United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Four Amigos Travel, Inc., et al., No. 11-1163, M.D. Fla.).

    Maryland Court Rejects Damages For Plaintiffs Never Officially Added To Action

    BALTIMORE - The statute of limitations bars recovery by plaintiffs named but never officially added to four consolidated asbestos actions, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals held May 2 (The Wallace & Gale Asbestos Settlement Trust v. Sonia Carter, et al., No. 2018, September Term, 2011, Md. Spec. App.; 2013 Md. App. LEXIS 53).

    Judge Approves Revlon Directors' And Officers' Shareholder Suit Settlement

    WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on April 30 approved a $400,000 settlement of a shareholder derivative lawsuit against directors and officers of Revlon Inc. (Richard Smutek, derivatively on behalf of Revlon Inc., v. Ronald O. Perelman, et al., No. 10-cv-00392, D. Del.).

    Creditors: MF Global Plan Of Liquidation Violates Code; Bankruptcy Court Erred

    NEW YORK - Creditors Sapere Wealth Management LLC, Granite Asset Management and Sapere CTA Fund L.P. (collectively, the Sapere entities) on May 2 filed a statement of issues on appeal pertaining to the bankruptcy court's confirmation of the plan of liquidation proposed by MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH), contending the plan violates the Bankruptcy Code (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

    Federal Judge Dismisses Government's Suit Against Student Loan Debtor

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on April 30 dismissed the U.S. government's collection suit against a student loan debtor for failure to timely serve the debtor, adopting a federal magistrate judge's recommendation (United States of America v. Bobby L. Stubbs II, No. 12-0154, S.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62297).

    Showing Of Insurer's Bad Faith Can Support Equitable Subrogation, Mo. Panel Finds

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If an excess insurer can establish that a nurse's primary insurer breached its duties to her in an underlying wrongful death case, it may be able to succeed in its equitable subrogation claim, a Missouri appeals panel found April 30, reversing an entry of summary judgment in the primary insurer's favor (Missouri Public Entity Risk Management Fund v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., No. WD75446, Mo. App., West. Div.; 2013 Mo. App. LEXIS 527).

    Texas Appeals Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Defective Driveway Case

    AUSTIN, Texas - The Third District Texas Court of Appeals on May 1 upheld the dismissal of a woman's defective construction and personal injury claims, ruling that the defendants were not responsible for the injuries the woman sustained after attempting to ride her bike over a driveway entrance (Gayle Rosenthal v. Sam Boyd, et al., No. 03-11-00037-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 5345).

    Policy Termination Negates ERISA Claims In Life Insurance Dispute, Judge Rules

    PIKEVILLE, Ky. - Because a decedent's life insurance policy had been canceled prior to her death, a Kentucky federal judge on April 30 held that the policy beneficiaries' claims brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) failed (Sandra Morris, et al. v. Appalachian Regional Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 7:12-cv-00101, E.D. Ky.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61196).

    Residential Exclusion Bars Insurance Coverage For Defect Case, Judge Holds

    SAN FRANCISCO - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify an insured or an additional insured for an underlying construction defect case, a California federal judge ruled April 30, finding that the total residential exclusion precludes coverage for residential projects (Atain Specialty Insurance Co. v. North Bay Waterproofing Inc., et al., No. 12-03339, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62493).

    Panel: Exclusion For Coverage Of Errors Arising Out Of Contractual Breach Applies

    CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 30 affirmed a lower court's finding that an insurance policy's exclusion for coverage of "Public Officials' Errors and Omissions arising out of . . . breach of a contractual obligation" applies to preclude coverage for defense costs related to an underlying $5,975,000 settlement reached between the insured and a maintenance company (City of Warren, et al. v. International Insurance Company of Hannover Ltd., No. 12-2201, 6th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 8942).

    Panel: California Insurance Code Section 533.5 Does Not Preclude Defense Duty

    LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel found May 1 that an insurer cannot avoid its contractual duty to defend a medical director insured against federal criminal charges by relying on California Insurance Code Section 533.5, subdivision (b), reversing a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Richard R. Lopez Jr., No. B234082, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.; Div. 7.; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 346).

    New York Appeals Panel Affirms Town Zoning Authority To Regulate Natural Gas Wells

    ALBANY, N.Y. - A unanimous panel of the Third Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division issued an opinion May 2 affirming the authority of local municipalities to adopt zoning regulations that prohibit natural gas and petroleum exploration, production and storage; state regulation of the conduct of the natural gas and petroleum industry does not preempt municipal home rule authority to regulate land use, according to the panel (In the Matter of Norse Energy Corp. USA v. Town of Dryden, et al., No. 515227, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2013 NY Slip Op 03145; 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 3078).

    Dewey & LeBoeuf Executives: $19.5M Deal With Insurer Lacks 'Supportable Basis'

    NEW YORK - Two former executives with bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on May 2 filed a brief objecting to the more than $19.5 million settlement reached among the Dewey & LeBoeuf Liquidation Trust, XL Specialty Insurance Co. and Steven H. Davis, on grounds that the liquidating trustee has failed to provide any evidence in supporting the deal other than his own "self-serving, conclusory statements" that the agreement is favorable to the liquidation trust (In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

    Wisconsin Appeals Panel Finds Health Club's Waiver Unenforceable In Injury Case

    WAUSAU, Wis. - A Wisconsin appeals panel on April 30 overturned summary judgment for a health club named as the defendant in a personal injury action, determining that a waiver signed by the plaintiff "lacked bargaining power opportunity, was overly broad in scope, and exceeded the contemplation of the parties" (Ronald Brooten v. Hickok Rehabilitation Services LLC, et al., No. 2012AP1940, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2013 Wisc. App. LEXIS 370).

    8th Circuit Remands Attorney Fees Award In Trademark Case

    ST. LOUIS - An Arkansas federal judge did not err in entering judgment on a jury's verdict that rejected claims of trademark infringement, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 1 (B&B Hardware Inc. v. Hargis Industries Inc., No. 11-1247, 8th Cir.).

    2nd Circuit Affirms $33.72M Kodak Award In Asia Optical Patent Dispute

    NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 1 affirmed a ruling by a district court awarding bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. more than $33.72 million in a patent licensing dispute with Asia Optical (Eastman Kodak Company v. Asia Optical Company Inc., No. 3206, 2nd Cir.).

    Judge Trims Claims In Grocery Store Chain Securities Class Action

    NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 30 trimmed federal securities law claims brought by lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit who allege that a grocery store chain and others misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities law (Ricky Dudley v. Christian W.E. Haub, et al., No. 11-5196, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61386).

    Panel Affirms Grant Of Class Certification In Securities Lawsuit

    NEW ORLEANS - A federal district court did not err in granting class certification in a securities class action lawsuit because price impact evidence does not bear on the inquiry into whether common issues predominate under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(3), a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 30 (Erica John Fund, et al. v. Halliburton Co., et al., No. 12-1398, 5th Cir.).

    Jury Awards Disabled Farm Workers $240 Million For Abuse And Discrimination

    DAVENPORT, Iowa - An Iowa federal jury on May 1 awarded $240 million to a group of 32 male workers with intellectual disabilities, employed by Hill Country Farms (doing business as Henry's Turkey Service) and represented by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, who claimed that they were subjected to severe abuse and discrimination; the verdict is the largest in the history of the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Hill Country Farms, Inc., d/b/a Henry's Turkey Service, No. 11-41, S.D. Iowa).

    Judge Finds Insured's Common Law Bad Faith Claim Duplicative Of Breach Claim

    PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 30 found an insured's common law bad faith claim against her insurer could not stand as an independent cause of action and was subsumed by an existing breach of contract claim, granting the insurer's motion to dismiss (Kelly E. Tubman v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., No. 2:12-cv-07121, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61022).