ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on May 16 granted a debt collector's motion for summary judgment, ruling that a consumer failed to show that the collector's actions in attempting to collect on a debt violated provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (Donna J. May v. NCEP LLC, No. 13-1583, E.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67514).
PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on May 19 ruled that a debt collector is not entitled to sanctions against an attorney representing plaintiffs in an action against it because the debt collector has failed to show that it is entitled to any sanctions (Michael A. Collier, et al. v. Gurstel Chargo PA, No. 12-2161, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68452).
PASADENA, Calif. - A majority of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 19 found that a lower federal court abused its discretion by not allowing a jury to resolve contested but otherwise admissible expert testimony in a flood coverage dispute, reversing and remanding for a new trial (Pyramid Technologies Inc., et al. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 11-56304, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9210).
NEW YORK - A unanimous Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed summary judgment on May 19 for insurance companies sued by a polyurethane foam insulation supplier for property damage and personal injuries; the panel concluded that the judge below did not err when he concluded that pollution exclusion clauses in the subject policies relieve the insurers of duties to defend and to indemnify in the underlying class action (Lapolla Industries Inc. v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-4436, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4436).
CHICAGO - The federal judge in Illinois overseeing litigation involving alleged collusion between four wireless service providers and CTIA, the Wireless Association over the price charged for text messaging on May 19 awarded summary judgment to the defendants and denied the plaintiffs' motion for spoliation sanctions, finding that they were unable to show that T-Mobile and the CTIA engaged in the requisite bad faith (In re: Text Messaging Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1997, Case No. 08 C 7082, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68237).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on May 19 granted final approval of a settlement under which United Airlines Inc. will pay $6.15 million to end a class complaint filed by a pilot who alleges he and others were denied full pension contributions while on long-term military leave (James Daniel Tuten, et al. v. United Airlines, Inc., No. 12-1561, D. Colo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68336).
SAN FRANCISCO - Eight retired professional football players filed a class complaint on May 20 in a California federal court, accusing the National Football League (NFL) of recklessly treating players will narcotics to keep them on the field and, in doing so, "substitute$(ed$) players' health for profit" (Richard Dent, et al. v. National Football League, No. 14-2324, N.D. Calif.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A couple's expert testimony is nearly the opposite of the "every exposure" testimony rejected by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the state's appeals court held May 19 (Richard Rost and Joyce Rost v. Ford Motor Co., No. 404 EDA 2012, Richard Rost and Joyce Rost v. Ford Motor Co., No. 642 EDA 2012, Pa. Super.).
NEW YORK - A New York justice partially granted a motion for consolidated trial of eight cases May 15, breaking the plaintiffs' two groups into five (Richard Babravich and Bonnie Babravich, et al. v. A.C. and S. Inc., et al., No. 1040278/00, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A couple cannot revive claims that their mortgage lender violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) by misrepresenting the terms of their loan because they did not establish that their failure to prosecute the claims or to timely request that dismissal of the claims be vacated was due to excusable neglect, a federal magistrate judge held May 19 (Marcy Zamora, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 13-00134, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68544).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 19 declined to decide whether several corporations made baseless patent infringement claims to extort licensing fees in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) after finding that the allegations against the companies do not support a claim for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (FindTheBest.com, Inc. v. Lumen View Technology LLC, et al., No. 13-6521, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68508).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A settlement releasing liability for a generic "laundry list" of potential exposures and diseases does not prevent a Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) action alleging mesothelioma because there is no evidence that a man knew of the dangers, a Tennessee appeals court held May 16 (Delores Blackmon, et al. v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., et al., No. W2013-01605-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.; 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 287).
SAN FRANCISCO - While not limitless, an employer's duty to prevent asbestos exposures extends at least to frequent houseguests of employees, a California appeals court held May 15 (Johnny Blaine Kesner Jr. v. The Superior Court of Alameda Co., Pneumo Abex LLC, Johnny Blaine Kesner Jr. v. Pneumo Abex LLC, Nos., A136416, Calif. App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 424).
PHOENIX - A Division I Arizona Court of Appeals panel on May 15 affirmed the involuntary commitment of a woman who said she was driving 100 mph to get away from mold, finding that her experts could not link the considerable mold in her home to her mental condition (In re MH 2013-002179, No. 1 CA-MH 13-0058, Ariz. App., Div. 1; 2014 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 617).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 19 set the terms a permanent injunction should take against a Blue Cross Blue Shield entity found to have failed to provide adequate notice and appeal notices before recouping money from previously paid claims, saying the injunction would provide relief only to members of the chiropractic association involved and not all providers associated with the defendant and that the injunction would provide only prospective relief instead of the retroactive relief requested by the plaintiff (Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, et al., No. 09-5619, N.D. Ill.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 19 denied BP Exploration & Production Inc.'s request for an en banc hearing over a March 3 ruling in which a divided panel allowed payments under the $9.2 billion settlement agreement the company reached with business and economic loss plaintiffs to continue without the submission of causation evidence (In re Deepwater Horizon, Nos. 13-30315, 13-30329, 13-31220, 13-31316, 5th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on May 16 released its provisional order adopting the terms of an agreement in an arbitration commenced by a resource company against two other entities in an investment dispute related to the development of gas fields in the People's Republic of Bangladesh (Niko Resources $(Bangladesh$) Ltd. v. People's Republic of Bangladesh, et al., Nos. ARB/10/11 and ARB/10/18, ICSID).
SEATTLE - A group of plaintiffs that had sued their dentist for malpractice have plausibly alleged that the dentist's professional liability insurer acted in bad faith by not pursing a global settlement with them and risking an excess judgment against its insured, a Washington federal judge ruled May 16, partly denying the insurer's motion to dismiss (Kathryn Cox, et al. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 2:13-cv-02288, W.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68081).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 15 found that a federal district court's subject matter jurisdiction in an employment practices liability insurance dispute was not properly established, vacating and remanding the lawsuit to establish whether the parties would be prejudiced by dismissing one of the plaintiffs and to determine another plaintiff's citizenship (Payroll Management Inc., et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 13-14726, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9025).
SAN FRANCISCO - A plumbing company that was authorized to repair and replace faulty water heaters pursuant to a class action settlement is a third-party beneficiary under the agreement, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 16, reversing a trial court's summary judgment ruling for the water heater manufacturers (Delta Mech., Inc. v. Garden City Grp., Inc., et al., No. 12-15285, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 9128).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although affirming a claim construction by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 19 nonetheless reversed a decision by the board to dismiss an interference proceeding on grounds of insufficient written description support in a dispute over drug treatments for spinal nerve injuries (Edward Tobinick v. Kjell Olmarker and Bjorn Rydevik, No. 13-1499, Fed. Cir.).