FORT WORTH, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 6 dismissed a lawsuit brought by bankrupt American Airlines Inc. against the National Mediation Board (NMB), ruling that based on instructions from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the district court lacked jurisdiction in the matter (American Airlines Inc. v. National Mediation Board, No. 12-276, Chapter 11, N.D. Texas). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
NEW YORK - The U.S. government on Nov. 6 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to bankrupt Residential Capital LLC's motion seeking to sell its assets (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California jury on Nov. 2 awarded punitive damages of $6 million against Kaiser Gypsum Co. Inc., after finding the company 5 percent liable for a man's asbestos-related disease and awarding more than $7 million in compensatory damages on Oct. 25 (Melvin Desin v. Asbestos Corporation Limited, et al., No. CGC-11-275881, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.). View a complimentary copy of the verdict form available in the pdf attached below.
PHILADELPHIA - In a suit in which a borrower alleges a "foreclosure rescue scam," a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 2 granted the motion for summary judgment filed by OneWest Bank FSB, which assumed a loan in question when it acquired the assets of the failed IndyMac Mortgage Services (IndyMac), ruling that the borrower's allegations do not relate to any actions taken by OneWest and are therefore subject to The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), 12 U.S.C.S. § 1821, mandatory receivership claims process (Shakiela Clark v. El Jeffre Blackfoot-Bey, et al., No. 10-2683, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158065).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A shareholder plaintiff and a pharmaceutical company on Nov. 5 debated in front of the U.S. Supreme Court whether a securities lawsuit may proceed as a class action even if the plaintiff is unable to plead materiality (Amgen Inc., Kevin W. Sharer, Richard D. Nanula, Roger M. Perlmutter and George J. Morrow v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, No. 11-1085, U.S. Sup.).
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. - In what he called an issue of first impression, a federal judge in West Virginia on Nov. 5 granted a shareholder's motion to remand a securities class action lawsuit to state court, ruling that the Securities Act of 1933 "only permits the removal of securities class actions alleging state law violations, as defined in" 15 U.S. Code Section 77p(b), "which must be dismissed whether they are before state or federal courts" (Olivia Niitsoo v. Alpha Natural Resources Inc., et al., No. 12-4377, S.D. W.Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158049).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - American Suzuki Motor Corp., the distribution arm for Suzuki Motors in the United States, on Nov. 5 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, citing $346 million in liabilities and only $233 million in assets (In Re: American Suzuki Motor Corporation, No. 12-22808, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the petition available within the full article.
CINCINNATI - A Kentucky federal court can order an attorney to account for money she collected in a civil fraud suit against three fen-phen attorneys, a panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 2 (United States of America v. William J. Gallion, et al., No. 11-6187, 6th Cir.).
BOSTON - An employer that decided to consolidate two lab operations into one had to first bargain with the union representing the affected employees, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 2, upholding a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) (National Labor Relations Board v. Solutia, Inc., No. 12-1129, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22634).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge erred in finding that a luggage lock system patent was not indirectly infringed, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 5 (Travel Sentry Inc. v. David Tropp, No. 11-1023, 1367, Fed. Cir.).
DETROIT - A telephone company will pay more than $700,000 to settle the claims of five employees who allege that the company misclassified them to avoid having to pay them overtime, according to an order signed Nov. 2 by a Michigan federal judge (Wendy A. Arrington, et al., v. Michigan Bell Telephone Company, No. 10-10975, E.D. Mich.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157362).
PITTSBURGH - A purchaser of flat glass that alleged that manufacturers engaged in price fixing in violation of federal antitrust laws presented evidence tending to exclude independent conduct sufficient to overcome the manufacturers' motion for summary judgment, even though the evidence was "weak," a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Nov. 1 (In re: Flat Glass Antitrust Litigation [II], No. 8-180 MDL No. 1942, W.D. Pa. [Jeld-Wen, Inc. v. AGC America, et al.,] No. 11-658, W.D. Pa.]; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156465).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Nov. 1 granted an insurer's motion to reopen its case or to enforce a settlement agreement pertaining to its coverage obligations for an underlying environmental contamination suit pending in Louisiana state court because the federal court has a greater interest than the state court in enforcing the settlement (Republic Insurance Co. v. The Housing Authority of New Orleans, No. 08-4748, E.D. La.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156736).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 1 denied an airline's motion to dismiss a Texas couple's breach of contract claim alleging failure to compensate them for a delayed flight as required by the airline's conditions of contract and Regulation No. 261/2004 of the European Parliament and European Council (EU 261) (Theodoros Giannopoulos, et al. v. Iberia Líneas Aéreas de España, S.A., et al., No. 11-775, N.D. Ill.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156446).
DALLAS - Bankrupt Major League Baseball team the Texas Rangers on Nov. 2 moved in Texas state court to compel former owner Thomas O. Hicks to release information regarding his source of funding for certain transactions that the baseball club contend forced it into bankruptcy (Texas Rangers Baseball Partners, et al. v. Thomas O. Hicks, et al., No. 11-10069, 116th Texas Dist., Dallas Co.). Subscribers may view the motion available within the full article.
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt steel company WP Steel Venture on Nov. 2 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for approval of a deal to sell its West Virginia plant for $4.4 million (In Re: WP Steel Venture LLC, No. 12-11661, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the motion available within the full article.
SAN DIEGO - Studies allegedly buttressing a woman's California unfair competition law (UCL) Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, claims investigated glucosamine's impact on specific disease symptoms, not the general benefits promised by the product she purchased, a federal judge held in dismissing the claims on Nov. 1 (Kay Eckler, et al. v. Wal-Mart Store Inc., No. 12-727, S.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157132).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Nov. 2 per curiam opinion affirmed the conviction, sentences and restitution orders for a couple charged with submitting fraudulent Medicare, Medicaid and insurance claims through their ambulance service (United States of America v. Robert Earl Read, et al., No. 11-40643, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 22617).
SEATTLE - Because the claimant in an underlying sexual and physical abuse case was a family member and, therefore, an insured under her parents' homeowners policy, a Washington federal judge on Nov. 1 found that the insurer did not owe any duty to defend or indemnify the parents in their daughter's claims against them (Sitlalit Ramirez-Yanez v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 2:12-cv-00732, W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157138).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Commercial general liability insurers have a duty to defend an insured in an underlying Chinese drywall lawsuit, a Florida federal judge ruled Nov. 2, denying reconsideration of his ruling that also found that "faulty workmanship" and "products liability" exclusions do not preclude coverage (Great American Fidelity Insurance co. and Great American E&S Insurance Co. v. JWR Construction Services Inc., et al., No. 10-61423, S.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157581).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Nov. 5 denied an insured's motion to correct a prior court order in an asbestos coverage dispute because the insured sought to substantively alter the intended judgment and not simply correct a clerical order (Bondex International Inc., et al., v. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co., et al. No. 03-1322, N.D. Ohio; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158368).
RICHMOND, Va. - Answering certified questions from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Virginia Supreme Court on Nov. 1 determined that four exclusions in an all-risk insurance policy bar coverage for damages caused by defective Chinese drywall (Travco Insurance Co. v. Larry Ward, et al., No. 120347, Va. Sup.; 2012 Va. LEXIS 203). View related prior history, 2012 Va. LEXIS 203 .
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Nov. 5 allowed most of a suit alleging that JPMorgan Chase & Co. (Chase) lied to the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) about the quality of $33 billion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) to proceed, ruling that the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) had adequately supported most of its claims (Federal Housing Finance Agency v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., et al., No. 11-6188, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
NEW ORLEANS - Several defendants failed to persuade the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 2 to vacate a jury's verdict of copyright infringement liability on grounds that the verdict was inconsistent and irreconcilable (Luisa Ramirez and Tony Guerrero v. Freddie Martinez Sr., et al., No. 10-20806, 5th Cir.). Subscribers may view the decision available within the full article.
DAYTON, Ohio - A shareholder argued in an Ohio federal court on Nov. 5 that it is correct for him to bring his breach of fiduciary duty and other claims against a company's directors and officers directly and not derivatively (J. Robert Smith, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v. Robins & Myers, Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-00281, S.D. Ohio). Subscribers may view the brief available within the full article.