OAKLAND, Calif. - Because a bicycle manufacturer's liability insurance policy clearly stated that coverage was restricted to a particular coverage territory, a California federal judge on Sept. 10 ruled that the insurer did not breach its contract by refusing defend cases filed in the United Kingdom (Diamond State Insurance Co. v. Marin Mountain Bikes Inc., et al., No. 4:11-cv-05193, N.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128663).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Digital Domain Media Group Inc., (DDMG) the visual effects company that won Academy Awards for its work on films such as "Titanic," filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Sept. 11 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (In Re: Digital Domain Media Group Inc., No. 12-12568, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the declaration available within the full article.
WILMINGTON, Del. - A creditor of bankrupt Digital Domain Media Group Inc. (DDMG), the visual effects company that worked in the film "Titanic," on Sept. 12 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to DDMG's motion seeking to sell its assets (In Re: Digital Domain Media Group Inc., No. 12-12568, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
NEW YORK - A school district's typist was speaking as an employee when she reported financial malfeasance to the school district's superintendent and board of education, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 10, reversing a trial court's finding that the employee's speech was protected (Risa A. Ross v. Peter F. Breslin, et al., No. 10-5275, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18983).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York erred in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against Goldman Sachs & Co. and two of its subsidiaries, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 6, saying that a pension fund has standing to assert claims on behalf of mortgage-backed securities purchasers because those claims "implicate 'the same set of concerns'" as the plaintiff's claims (NECA-IBEW Health & Welfare Fund v. Goldman Sachs & Co., et al., No. 11-2762, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18814).
DETROIT - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan engaged in self-dealing in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., by charging self-insured welfare plans and their sponsors an administrative fee and unilaterally determining the amount of the fee, a federal judge in Michigan ruled Sept. 7 in granting summary judgment against Blue Cross on prohibited transaction claims (Borroughs Corporation, et al, v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Nos. 11-12565, 11-12557, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127587).
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on Sept. 7 refused to dismiss Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) 15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq., claims against a collection agency and certain of its employees, ruling that consumers properly pleaded their claims (Lorinda Smith, et al. v. LVNV Funding LLC, et al., Nos. 11-379, 12-1, 12-2,12-45, 12-77, 11-510, 11-291, 11-356, 11-355, 12-56, 12-155, 12-168, 12-184 and 11-288, E.D. Tenn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127185).
CHICAGO - A commercial general liability insurer's lawsuit disputing coverage for underlying claims that a retail crafting store insured's failure to safeguard its credit and debit personal identification number (PIN) pad terminals caused a data security breach was stayed by an Illinois federal judge on Sept. 10, three days after the parties announced that they reached an agreement in principal (Arch Insurance Company v. Michaels Stores Inc., et al., No. 12-00786, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.). Subscribers may view the notification of docket entry available within the full article.
NEW ORLEANS - A former university employee failed to show that she was the victim of disability discrimination when she was terminated after her doctor determined that she could not work the number of hours her job required, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 7, also dismissing a request to review a trial court's imposition of sanctions to reimburse the university for $1,000 of costs and attorney fees (Sabrina Kay Taylor v. University of Phoenix/Apollo Group, No. 11-20681, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18865).
BOSTON - A Native American inmate's claims that he has been denied access to religious ceremonies should be dismissed, a Massachusetts federal magistrate judge said in a Sept. 7 report and recommendation (Derek Sincere Black Wolf Cryer v. Harold W. Clarke et al., No. 1:09-10238-PBS, D. Mass.). View related prior history, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140843.
PITTSBURGH - An excess insurer owes coverage to its insured for claims arising out of a petroleum asphalt spill because under the applicable Maryland law, a pollution exclusion clause bars coverage only in cases of traditional environmental pollution, and petroleum asphalt is not listed as a pollutant, contaminant or hazardous substance under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C.S. § 9601, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Sept. 7 (The Travelers Indemnity Co. v. MTS Transport LLC, No. 11-01567, W.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127505).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on Sept. 7 determined that a pro-rata, time-on-the-risk allocation method must be applied to an asbestos coverage dispute because a joint-and-several allocation method would unfairly allow the insured to choose which insurer should cover the claims at issue (Mt. McKinley Insurance Co., et al. v. Corning Inc., et al., No. 602454/02, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.). View related prior history, 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4330.
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Supreme Court of Delaware on Sept. 7 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an excess insurer has no duty to reimburse its insured for defense costs or indemnity claims related to the insured's defense of underlying antitrust lawsuits (Intel Corporation v. American Guarantee & Liability Insurance Co., et al., No. 692, 2011, Del. Sup.; 2012 Del. LEXIS 480).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 10 ordered a new trial, before a new judge, in a dispute over infringement and ownership of the "Neurovision" trademark (Neurovision Medical Products Inc. v. NuVasive Inc., No. 11-55120, 9th Cir.). Subscribers may view the decision available within the full article.
ATHENS, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on Sept. 7 denied a consumer's motions to set aside a previous judgment dismissing his Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C.S. § 1681, claims against Capital One Bank and a debt collector, as well as the consumer's motion to appeal in forma pauperis, ruling that the claims were properly dismissed as time-barred (Adolfus O'Bryan Giles v. Capital One Bank, et al., No. 12-70, M.D. Ga.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127378).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of Ritz Camera & Image LLC on Sept. 10 approved a liquidation sale for all of the company's assets (In Re: Ritz Camera & Image LLC, No. 12-11868, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Transocean Ltd., the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that exploded in April 2010, resulting in a historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, said in a Form 8-K filed Sept. 10 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that a number of obstacles have interfered with its ability to finalize a possible $1.5 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve civil and criminal claims stemming from the accident. Subscribers may view the form available within the full article.
ST. LOUIS - A welfare benefit plan may not enforce its subrogation provision as an implied contract or in equity under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq., against a law firm that acknowledged the validity of the provision during its representation of a plan beneficiary in a civil lawsuit but that did not agree to be bound by the provision, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 7 (Treasurer, Trustees of Drury Industries, Inc. Health Care Plan and Trust v. Sean Goding, et al.,, No. 11-2885, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18815).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Court of Federal Claims lacks jurisdiction to review a complaint by a former federal probation officer who claims that he was wrongfully terminated, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 7 ((Alfredo Semper v. United States, No. 2012-5003, Fed. Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18880).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Sept. 10 granted Citibank (South Dakota) NA's motion to dismiss a suit asserting breach of contract, fraud and violations of Connecticut's Creditor Collection Practices Act (CCPA) and Connecticut's Unfair Trade Practices Act (CUTPA) arising from a plaintiff's student loans, which are held by the bank (Julie Parola v. Citibank [South Dakota] NA, No.11-01017, D. Conn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128396).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on Sept. 7 reversed a trial judge's ruling that dismissed a sewer authority's lawsuit against contractors who designed and installed an oil pipeline that leaked in 2004 for spoliation of evidence after finding that the record was inadequate as to whether a lesser sanction was available and more appropriate (New Jersey Municipal Environmental Risk Management Fund, et al. v. Killiam Associates Consulting Engineers, et al., No. A-1336-10T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2089). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
ST. LOUIS - The proximate cause of water damage to insureds' home was faulty construction, which is excluded under a homeowners insurance policy, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 7 (Joseph Friedberg and Carolyn Friedberg v. Chubb & Son Inc. and Chubb Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 11-3603, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18817).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Allowing an employee to work from home for up to four days a week due to irritable bowel syndrome is not a reasonable accommodation because the essential functions of her job could not be done from home, a Michigan federal judge held Sept. 10 in granting the employer summary judgment on claims by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ford Motor Company, No. 11-13742, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128200).
MILWAUKEE - An insurance policy that included an absolute pollution exclusion must be reformed because the insured made an express request for coverage of sudden accidental occurrences arising from its hazardous waste facility, a Wisconsin federal judge said Sept. 7 (WRR Environmental Services Inc. v. Admiral Insurance Co., No. 10-C-843, E.D. Wisc.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127199).
TULSA, Okla. - A federal judge in Oklahoma on Sept. 6 granted a motion for finding of good faith settlement filed by a third-party defendant in a construction defects case involving a building that sustained water damage as a result of defects in the exterior wall sheathing, approving the $575,000 settlement (Southcrest L.L.C. v. Bovis Lend Lease Inc., et al., No. 10-362, N.D. Okla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126250).