Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Appeals Court Upholds EPA's Decision To Add Site To Superfund List

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 8 denied CTS Corp.'s petition challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision in 2011 to add a site in Asheville, N.C. that was formerly owned by a subsidiary of the company to the National Priorities List, finding that the agency's decision was not arbitrary and capricious (CTS Corporation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12-1256, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12804).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Claim Handler's Actions In Denying Insurance Claim Not Bad Faith

    PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on July 3 denied a plaintiff's partial motion for summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit against a workers' compensation claims handler and its handling agent, ruling that the handling agent did not act in bad faith in denying the plaintiff's claim and continuing to investigate (Christy Larson v. Hartford Insurance Co. of the Midwest, et al., No. 12-2356, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90876).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Massachusetts Enjoined From Making Doctors Certify Need For Zohydro Opioid Drug

    BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on July 8 preliminarily enjoined Massachusetts from requiring doctors to write a letter of medical necessity (LMN) for the new opioid drug Zohydro until the state can define how alternative pain treatments must first fail before Zohydro is dispensed (Zogenix, Inc. v. Deval Patrick, et al., No. 14-11689, D. Mass.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92382).

    Mealey's Insurance - 5th Circuit Finds Court Erred In Deciding Defense Costs Issue In Mold Case

    NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 partially reversed a summary judgment ruling in relation to defense costs incurred in an underlying coverage action for mold claims, finding that the trial court erred when it failed to consider whether a residential company had met its deductible after it accounted for defense costs incurred by an insurance company (Trammell Crow Residential Co. v. American Protection Insurance Co., No. 13-10451, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12785).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Exclusion Bars Coverage For Class Action Lawsuit Over Unsolicited Text Ads

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A commercial general liability insurance policy's violation of statutes exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying class action lawsuit alleging that pizza franchise insureds unlawfully sent unsolicited text messages to cellular telephones in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Washington State Consumer Protection Act (WSCPA), a Kentucky federal senior judge ruled July 3, granting the insurers' motion for summary judgment (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, et al. v. Papa John's International, Inc., et al., No. 3:12-CV-00677-CRS, W.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90792).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Failure To Produce Insurance Policies, Documents May Merit Sanctions, Judge Rules

    SCRANTON, Pa. - A townhouse association's failure to timely provide insurance policies and related documents and its "plainly inadequate" privilege log may merit sanctions and an award of expenses to two plaintiffs suing the association for negligence related to a 2009 explosion, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate ruled July 3 (Community Association Underwriters of America Inc., et al. v. Queensboro Flooring Corp., No. 3:10-cv-01559, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90939).

    Mealey's Insurance - Failure To Produce Insurance Policies, Documents May Merit Sanctions, Judge Rules

    SCRANTON, Pa. - A townhouse association's failure to timely provide insurance policies and related documents and its "plainly inadequate" privilege log may merit sanctions and an award of expenses to two plaintiffs suing the association for negligence related to a 2009 explosion, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate ruled July 3 (Community Association Underwriters of America Inc., et al. v. Queensboro Flooring Corp., No. 3:10-cv-01559, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90939).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Alabama Retailer To Pay Customers For Printing Card Numbers On Receipts

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on July 3 granted final approval of a settlement that will provide awards of $80 to $1,000 to consumers who had more than five digits of their credit and debit card numbers printed on receipts from an Alabama retailer and who file a claim (Patrick Amason, et al. v. The Pantry, Inc., et al., No. 09-2117, N.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90537).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Escrow Account Class Claims Governed By HOLA, Not UCL, Judge Finds

    SAN DIEGO - A California woman cannot pursue class action claims that Wells Fargo Bank N.A. failed to properly maintain escrow accounts in violation of the state unfair competition law (UCL) because the claims are preempted by the Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA), a federal judge ruled July 3 (Michelle Hayes v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 13-1707, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91149).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Escrow Account Class Claims Governed By HOLA, Not UCL, Judge Finds

    SAN DIEGO - A California woman cannot pursue class action claims that Wells Fargo Bank N.A. failed to properly maintain escrow accounts in violation of the state unfair competition law (UCL) because the claims are preempted by the Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA), a federal judge ruled July 3 (Michelle Hayes v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 13-1707, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91149).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Privacy Class Claims Against Viacom, Google Dismissed In Nickelodeon Website Case

    NEWARK, N.J. - The plaintiffs in a putative privacy class action against Viacom Inc. and Google Inc. related to collection of minors' information via Nickelodeon's websites was dismissed July 2, with a New Jersey federal judge finding claims brought under federal and state laws to be unsupported and improperly pleaded (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, MDL No. 2443, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91286).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Gives Preliminary Approval To NFL Brain-Injury Settlement

    PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania July 7 preliminarily approved a settlement between the National Football League and retired players claiming football-related brain injuries (In Re: National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2323, No. 2:12-md-2323, Kevin Turner, et al. v. National Football League, et al., No. 14-29, E.D. Pa.)

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage For Oil Spill, Mass. Appeals Panel Says

    BOSTON - An insurer has no duty to provide coverage beyond $5,000 for property damage caused by an oil spill because the policy's pollution exclusion bars additional coverage, the Massachusetts Appeals Court said July 2 (Frank Izdebski v. Hanover Insurance Group Inc., Nos. 12-P-1950, 12-P-1951, Mass. App.; 2014 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 814).

    Mealey's Insurance - 10th Circuit: Service Of Complaint On Secretary Of Labor Is Improper Under ERISA

    DENVER - A disability plan participant improperly served her complaint on the U.S. secretary of labor instead of the plan's designated agent for service of process, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed July 2 in an unpublished opinion, holding that the designation of "Human Resources" identified the individual heading that department within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Linda Bigley v. CIBER, Inc. Long Term Disability Coverage, No. 13-1243, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12498).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Federal Judge Denies Cert To Class Of Funeral Home Employees

    HOUSTON - The estate of a deceased funeral director fails to meet the requirements necessary to serve as class representative for a proposed class of black funeral home employees who claim that they were denied promotions due to their race, a Texas federal judge ruled July 3 (Milton Holmes, et al. v. Service Corporation International, No. 10-4841, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90501).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Grants Couple Extension To Comply With Florida Asbestos Statute

    WILMINGTON, Del. - Concluding that the alternative would certainly doom a couple's asbestos claims, a Delaware judge on July 2 granted them an extension of time to comply with Florida's asbestos statutes (Harry A. Davis and Madonna S. Davis v. Ace Hardware Corp., et al., No. 12-1185, D. Del.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90657).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Ohio Court Affirms Dismissal Of Asbestos Action Naming Incorrect Estate Executor

    CLEVELAND - A widow likely knew of a change in the executor of her late husband's estate at least a year before she filed a motion challenging it as improper, an Ohio appeals court held July 3 in affirming dismissal of an asbestos action with prejudice (National City Bank, executor, etc. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., et al., No. 100178, Ohio App., 8th Dist.; 2014 Ohio App. LEXIS 2918).

    Mealey's Insurance - Florida Appeals Court: An Insurer's Claim File Is Generally Not Discoverable

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Quashing a trial court's order compelling a homeowners insurance provider to produce part of its claim file in a sinkhole coverage dispute, a Florida appellate panel on July 3 held that the general rule in Florida is that insurers' claim files are protected by the work product privilege, regardless of whether a particular claim is resolved or results in litigation (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Thomas Marascuillo, et al., No. 5D13-4218, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 10242).

    Mealey's Insurance - Pollution Exclusion Prevents Coverage For Groundwater Contamination, Judge Says

    INDIANAPOLIS - A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on July 7 ruled that a pollution exclusion in a company's insurance policy "unambiguously excluded" it from coverage for groundwater contamination caused by trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals (Visteon Corporation, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, No. 11-00200, S.D. Ind.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91578).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Resource Company Files ICSID Arbitration Against Slovak Republic

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A Canadian resource company on July 7 announced that it has filed a request for international arbitration against the Slovak Republic.

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Soil Contamination Case Remanded To State Court; Judge Says Criteria Not Met

    LAFAYETTE, La. - A federal magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana on July 3 ruled that a soil contamination case should be remanded to state court because the defendants did not meet the criteria for having it removed to federal court (Elizabeth R. Creadeur v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 14-00695, W.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91253).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Massachusetts Federal Judge Denies Relief In Trademark Case

    BOSTON - A request by RE/MAX LLC for a temporary restraining order barring a former franchise and two real estate agents from operating under the "RE/MAX" trademark was denied July 7 by a Massachusetts federal judge (RE/MAX of New England Inc. and RE/MAX LLC v. Prestige Real Estate Inc. et al., No. 14-12121, D. Mass.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Failure To Produce Insurance Policies, Documents May Merit Sanctions, Judge Rules

    SCRANTON, Pa. - A townhouse association's failure to timely provide insurance policies and related documents and its "plainly inadequate" privilege log may merit sanctions and an award of expenses to two plaintiffs suing the association for negligence related to a 2009 explosion, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate ruled July 3 (Community Association Underwriters of America Inc., et al. v. Queensboro Flooring Corp., No. 3:10-cv-01559, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90939).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Exclusion Bars Coverage For Class Action Lawsuit Over Unsolicited Text Ads

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A commercial general liability insurance policy's violation of statutes exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying class action lawsuit alleging that pizza franchise insureds unlawfully sent unsolicited text messages to cellular telephones in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Washington State Consumer Protection Act (WSCPA), a Kentucky federal senior judge ruled July 3, granting the insurers' motion for summary judgment (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, et al. v. Papa John's International, Inc., et al., No. 3:12-CV-00677-CRS, W.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90792).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lago Agrio Plaintiffs: Ruling Should Be Reversed, Chevron Cannot Show Misconduct

    NEW YORK - The attorney and the law firm representing Ecuadorian plaintiffs who sued Chevron Corp. alleging environmental contamination filed a brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 2, contending that the judgment of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that approved a settlement between some of the Ecuadorian plaintiffs' former attorneys and Chevron should be reversed and vacated because Chevron cannot show that misconduct occurred when an Ecuadorian court awarded the plaintiffs damages of $18.5 billion (Chevron Corporation v. Hugo Gerardo Camacho Naranjo, No. 14-832, 2nd Cir.).