PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on March 3 reduced a judgment by $700 entered in an insured's favor in an environmental contamination coverage dispute to correct a calculation error and also awarded the insured more than $500,000 in prejudgment interest (Ash Grove Cement Co. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et. al., No. 09-239, D. Ore.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27129).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on March 5 adopted in part a magistrate judge's ruling, finding that a woman sufficiently showed that she suffered noneconomic damages as a result of a loan servicer's alleged violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) but overturned the magistrate judge's conclusion that the plaintiff created a genuine issue of fact regarding the defendant company's alleged failure to properly respond to one of her qualified written requests (QWR) for information (Cheryl Rak v. Saxon Mortgage Services Inc., et al., No. 12-13801, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27941).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An insured failed to assert claims for fraud, negligence, constructive fraud, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract against insurers and insurance agents, a North Carolina federal judge ruled March 4, granting motions to dismiss (Forshaw Industries Inc. v. Insurco Ltd., et al., No. 13-88, W.D. N.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27732).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 5 affirmed a bankruptcy court ruling that the proceeds a debtor gained from selling his homestead were not exempt from the bankruptcy estate (Mary K. Viegelahn v. Mark Alan Frost $(In The Matter of: Mark Alan Frost$), No. 12-50811, Chapter 13, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4158).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt Old HB Inc., formerly known as Hostess Brands Inc., on March 4 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for an order compelling discovery from a group that acts as a third-party administrator of workers' compensation claims (In Re: Old HB Inc. f/k/a/ Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
LOS ANGELES - California's health exchange forced the cancellation of 1 million residents' health plans and threatens millions more, despite the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (ACA) exclusion of existing policies from its coverage mandates, a state senator claims in a March 4 complaint (Edward Gaines, Gaines Insurance Agency Inc., et al. v. Peter Lee, in his official capacity as Executive Director of the California Health Benefit Exchange, et al., No. BS147414, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on March 4 declined to certify a class of individuals who received allegedly unauthorized faxes from a marketing company, determining that individual issues predominate and that the class is unascertainable (Arnold Chapman, et al. v. First Index, Inc., No. 09-5555, N.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27556).
ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on March 5 denied a prisoner's motion to amend his complaint to add claims for hazardous exposures against various new defendants, finding that the allegations were new and must be asserted in another lawsuit (Contrell Plummer v. Wexford Health Sources Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-682, S.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27889).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Whether petroleum byproducts containing benzene are "an offensive substance" within the meaning of the Municipal Code of Roxana, Ill., was certified for interlocutory appeal March 5 by an Illinois federal judge (Village of Roxana v. Shell Oil Co., et al., No. 3:12-cv-577, S.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27759).
DETROIT - A copyright infringement plaintiff on March 5 won the right to amend its pleading to add a plaintiff's husband as a defendant (Malibu Media LLC v. April House, et al., No. 13-12218, E.D. Mich.).
PITTSBURGH - The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania judge presiding over consolidated lawsuits alleging personal injury and property damage claims against the operator of a coal-fired electricity plant in western Pennsylvania entered an order March 5 denying cross-motions to exclude general and specific causation expert opinions in a thallium exposure lawsuit (Michael Hartle, et uxor v. FirstEnergy Generation Corp., No. 08-1019, W.D. Pa.;2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27755).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A former college athlete filed a complaint in a Louisiana federal court on March 3, contending that he is suffering from brain injuries from his days as a football player more than 40 years ago (Michael Howard Anderson v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 14-cv-133, M.D. La.).
CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Alpha Natural Resources Inc. and 66 of its subsidiaries on March 5 entered into a proposed consent decree in West Virginia federal court in which the companies agreed to pay $27.5 million as a civil penalty for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) and spend an estimated $200 million to install and operate wastewater treatment plants to reduce discharges of polluted water from coal mines in five states (United States of America, et al. v. Alpha Natural Resources Inc., et al., No. 14-11609, S.D. W. Va.).
PHILADELPHIA - An excess insurer had a duty to defend a manufacturer of a connector device that allegedly was at fault in a gas leak, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed March 5, finding that the manufacturer had exhausted coverage under its primary insurer (Titeflex Corp. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh PA, et al., No. 2047 EDA 2012, Pa. Super.; 2014 Pa. Super. LEXIS 112).
SEATTLE - A Washington appeals panel on March 3 upheld dismissal of a homeowners association's bad faith claim against the previous owner's insurer, finding that the plaintiff failed to establish any breach of duty or resulting damages by the insurer in an underlying dispute over water intrusion damages (Water's Edge Associates, et al. v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, et al., No. 71066-4-I, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 464).
NEW ORLEANS - The installation of tarps and the use of adhesives following water damage caused by a hurricane constitute repairs and workmanship for purposes of interpreting an insurance policy's faulty workmanship exclusion, a Louisiana federal judge ruled March 5, granting partial summary judgment to insurers (Cedar Ridge LLC v. Landmark American Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-672, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28183).
FLINT, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on March 3 denied a motion to dismiss and granted a motion for class certification in a case filed by residential communities in the City of Detroit challenging the city's policy of charging them the higher commercial rates for water and sewage instead of residential rates (LaSalle Town Houses Cooperative Association, et al. v. City of Detroit, et al., No. 12-13747, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26490).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on March 5 dismissed certain state law claims from a multidistrict litigation alleging that HSBC Bank USA NA improperly charged overdraft fees to debit card customers, holding that cardholders cannot bring claims in states where they have no connection (In Re: HSBC Bank USA N.A. Debit Card Overdraft Fee Litigation, No. 13-2451, E.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. States House of Representatives on March 5 passed, by a 250-to-160 vote, legislation seeking to delay the penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate in the president's health care legislation.
GAINESVILLE, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on March 5 denied OneBeacon Midwest Insurance Co.'s (OneBeacon) motion to reconsider a dismissal order and for leave to file an amended complaint in a suit OneBeacon brought seeking a declaration that it did not owe coverage to directors and officers of the failed Habersham Bank, finding that OneBeacon "has not shown that its proposed amendments will vest this Court with jurisdiction" (OneBeacon Midwest Insurance Co. v. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., No. 12-0106, N.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27870).
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Division III Washington Court of Appeals on March 4 affirmed summary judgment for the defendants in a medical malpractice case, agreeing that the plaintiff failed to present proper expert testimony (Camille L. Martin v. M. Shane McNevin, et al., No. 31493-6-III, Wash. App., Div. 3; 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 476).
NEW YORK - In an amended complaint filed March 3 in New York federal court, musician Kanye West named several previously unidentified defendants in his trademark infringement lawsuit seeking to halt use of a "cryptocurrency" using the moniker "Coinye West" (Kanye West, et al. v. 0daycoins.com, et al., No. 1:14-c-00250, S.D. N.Y.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt USEC Inc., a global energy company that provides low-enriched uranium (LEU) for commercial nuclear power plants, on March 5 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for approval of its Chapter 11 reorganization plan (In Re: USEC Inc., No. 14-10475, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 5 heard oral arguments in a securities class action lawsuit seeking a determination as to whether the Supreme Court should overturn or limit its holding in Basic Inc. v. Levinson (485 U.S. 224 $(1988$)) (Halliburton Co., et al. v. Erica F. John Fund Inc., No. 13-317 U.S. Sup.).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina federal magistrate judge on March 3 ordered an infringement plaintiff to turn over all documents it submitted to, or received from, the U.S. Copyright Office in securing protection for a copyrighted software system (SAS Institute Inc. v. World Programming Limited, No. 10-25, E.D. N.C.).