AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on May 18 said that because the Texas Department of Insurance did not clearly err in its contention that stop-loss insurance is direct insurance and not reinsurance, it was reversing a lower court's ruling that stop-loss insurance is reinsurance (Texas Department of Insurance, et al. v. American National Insurance Company, et al., No. 10-0374, Texas Sup.; 2012 Tex. LEXIS 420).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana ruled May 16 that the court had personal jurisdiction over a French company because the company had sufficient minimum contacts with Louisiana through its actions as a disability insurance plan administrator and that the plan's arbitration clause, which required a claimant appealing an adverse benefit determination to arbitrate in France and pay costs, was unenforceable under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C.S. § 1001 et seq. (Otha Michael Williams v. Association de Prevoyance Interentreprises, et al., No. 11-1664, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68488).
CLEVELAND - A federal judge in Ohio on May 18 approved CadleRock Joint Venture LP and Safeco Insurance Company of America's settlement of a suit in a Ohio federal court in which CadleRock accused Safeco of committing fraud by issuing lease bonds tied to a Ponzi scheme (CadleRock Joint Venture LP v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, No. 02-16020, N.D. Ohio). Subscribers may view the order available within the full update.
ATHENS, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on May 18 denied Chase Home Finance LLC's motion to dismiss a man's wrongful foreclosure action after finding that his filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection did not take away his standing to bring suit against the loan servicer and that a foreclosure notice letter did not satisfy the state's statutory requirements (Richard R. Rule, et al. v. Chase Home Finance LLC, No. 11-CV-146, M.D. Ga.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69699).
SHREVEPORT, La. - The Second Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal on May 16 upheld summary judgment for a hospital in a personal injury action, concluding that the plaintiff relied on "allegations and uncorroborated, self-serving testimony" (Vera Cavet-Vanderpool v. Louisiana Extended Care Hospital of West Monroe, No. 47,141-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir.; 2012 La. App. LEXIS 655).
LAS VEGAS - A federal judge in Nevada on May 18 rejected a plaintiff's request to realign the parties in his wrongful foreclosure suit so that a defendant loan servicing company would be listed as a plaintiff after finding that it would be inappropriate (Joseph A. Gibilterra v. Aurora Loan Services LLC, et al., No. 12-CV-685 JCM, D. Nev. 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69595).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Arguing against a motion to dismiss, a pair of shareholders said in a Delaware state court on May 16 that they had adequately pleaded that a majority of a company's board of directors faced a substantial likelihood of liability, bringing into doubt their disinterestedness (Steven South, et al. v. Phillips S. Baker Jr., et al., No. 7294-VCL, Del. Chanc.). Subscribers may view the brief in opposition to motion to dismiss available within the full update.
NEW YORK - Electronic book purchasers may continue their class action lawsuit against Apple Inc. and several e-book publishers alleging that the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to fix prices of digital books in violation of federal and state antitrust laws, the federal judge in New York overseeing the multidistrict litigation ruled May 15 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re: Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, Nos. 11 MD 2293, 11 Civ. 5576, 11 Civ. 5609, 11 Civ. 5621, 11 Civ. 5707, 11 Civ. 5750, 11 Civ. 5896, 11 Civ. 5898, 11 Civ. 5976, 11 Civ. 6019, 11 Civ. 6079, 11 Civ. 7507, 11 Civ. 7534, 11 Civ. 7323, 11 Civ. 8329, 11 Civ. 8608, 11 Civ. 9016, 11 Civ. 9014, 11 Civ. 9559, 11 Civ. 9560, 11 Civ. 9561, 11 Civ. 9562, 11 Civ. 9563, 11 Civ. 9564, 11 Civ. 9565, 11 Civ. 9566, 11 Civ. 9567, 12 Civ. 0476, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68058).
CHARLESTON. W.Va. - The judge presiding over a domestic water well contamination and personal injury lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia entered orders May 17 dismissing the claims against one natural gas extraction defendant because the parties reached a settlement and against a second defendant on a motion for summary judgment for failing to state a claim (Dennis Hagy, et al. v. Equitable Production Co., et al., No. 10-1372, S.D. W.Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69099).
PHOENIX - Finding that a shareholder must unambiguously show when she purchased and for how long she held stock in the corporation on behalf of which she brought a shareholder derivative lawsuit, a federal judge in Arizona on May 16 gave the shareholder 10 days to substantiate her standing to bring the suit (Darlene Smith v. John G. Sperling, et al., No. 11-cv-00722, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68325).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on May 15 dismissed a pair of shareholders' derivative lawsuit, finding that they did not state any valid reason for failing to make demand on a board of directors prior to filing suit (Bonnie Mitchell, et al. v. David P. Reiland, et al., No. 11-cv-01059, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68085).
JACKSON, Tenn. - The Tennessee Court of Appeals at Jackson on May 16 affirmed a trial court order denying Medicaid benefits to a Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), saying the beneficiary's financial resources exceeded the $4,000 limit set by state law (Alene S. Neal v. The State of Tennessee, Department of Human Services, No. W2011-01123-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App., at Jackson; 2012 Tenn. App. LEXIS 312).
BALTIMORE - In a suit in which the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee for a bank holding company sued the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. regarding the bank's alleged coordinated lending scheme, a federal judge in Maryland on May 16 partially granted the FDIC's motion to dismiss (Charles R. Goldstein, Chapter 7 trustee for K Capital Corporation v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, No. 11-1604, D. Md.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68491).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio federal magistrate judge on May 16 concluded that recent Ohio case law does not require the plaintiffs in a breach of contract and bad faith suit against their insurer to join the insurer's adjuster to maintain their bad faith claim (Scott Elliot Smith LPA, et al. v. Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America, No. 2:12-cv-00065, S.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68181).
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on May 16 certified a nationwide class and 11 regional subclasses of PNC Bank N.A. account holders accusing the bank of using a software scheme to illegally collect excessive overdraft fees (In re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, No. 09-md-2036, S.D. Fla.).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on May 15 rejected debt collectors' motion to dismiss a consumer class action lawsuit, ruling that the defendants' failure to properly identify the creditor in a debt collection letter violates federal debt collection laws (Joshua Walls v. United Collection Bureau Inc., et al., No. 11-6026, N.D. Ill; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68079).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 17 affirmed the dismissal of a couple's lawsuit challenging the foreclosure of their home and a loan servicer's failure to modify their loan after finding that the federal judge did not err by finding in favor of the defendants (Robert De Franchesi, et al. v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, et al., No. 11-10860, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9925).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a divided ruling issued May 17, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) did not erroneously disregard a related Federal Circuit ruling in upholding the rejection of a patent upon re-examination (In re: Baxter International Inc., No. 11-1073, Fed. Cir.).
SEATTLE - Advanced decay of fin walls was not a separate, ensuing loss that was covered under a homeowners insurance policy, a majority of the Washington Supreme Court held May 17, also finding that the policy precludes coverage for the insureds' damages caused by rot and construction defects (Max B. Sprague and Krista Sprague v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, No. 85794-6, Wash. Sup.; 2012 Wash. LEXIS 375).
DAYTONA Beach, Fla. - An insured's failure to submit to an examination under oath (EUO) did not prejudice an insurer, a Florida appeals panel held May 18, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer in a dispute over Hurricane Charley property damage (Whistler's Park Inc. v. The Florida Insurance Guaranty, etc., No. 5D10-2410, Fla. App., 5th Dist.).
SEATTLE - While a builders risk insurance policy excludes losses caused by faulty workmanship, the ensuing loss clause covers an insured's damages caused by a collapse, the Washington Supreme Court ruled May 17 (Vision One LLC, et al. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., et al., No. 85350-9, Wash. Sup.; 2012 Wash. LEXIS 374).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Bayer Corp. LLC has agreed to settle a consumer fraud lawsuit involving its Bayer Aspirin with Heart Advantage and Bayer Women's Low Dose Aspirin + Calcium for $15 million, according to a May 16 preliminary approval motion filed in a New York federal multidistrict court (In Re: Bayer Combination Aspirin Products Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 09-md-2023, E.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge erred in concluding that a pomegranate juice maker must demonstrate injury sufficient for restitution under the California unfair competition law (UCL) in order to pursue injunctive relief, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held May 17 (Pom Wonderful LLC, v. The Coca-Cola Co., No. 10-55861, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 17 agreed to hear an appeal of a New York federal court judge's partial dismissal of a shareholder class action lawsuit over alleged misrepresentations made by Citigroup Inc. and others regarding the investment quality of certain subprime mortgage-backed securities sold to the investors (Citigroup Inc., et al. v. International Fund Management S.A., et al., No. 12-1194, 2nd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 17 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an errors and omissions (E&O) insurer owes no coverage to an insured school board for underlying lawsuits initiated against it because the underlying claims arise out of a breach of contract, which is clearly excluded by the policy (North Plainfield Board of Education v. Zurich American Insurance Company, et al., Nos. 11-1961 and 11-2323, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 9909).