WASHINGTON, D.C. - Judicial challenges brought by the Utility Air Regulatory Group (UARG) and state of Texas to final rules issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2009 and 2012 regarding opacity standards for certain types of steam generating units were dismissed by a panel of the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 11, after finding that the challenges were not properly before the court because they were first raised in petitions that have not yet been decided by the agency (Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 12-1166, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4468).
JACKSON, Miss. - The Mississippi Court of Appeals on March 11 affirmed summary judgment for the defendant in a premises liability action, agreeing that the plaintiffs failed to present evidence of a dangerous condition in a hotel room (Karen Garson, et al. v. Circus Circus Mississippi Inc., No. 2013-CA-00498-COA, Miss. App.; 2014 Miss. App. LEXIS 123).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding a lack of jurisdiction over the National Port Authority of Liberia (NPA) and the Republic of Liberia, a District of Columbia federal judge on March 11 dismissed a British Virgin Islands construction company's amended petition to confirm a $44,347,260 international arbitration award (GSS Group Ltd., a/k/a Global Security Seals Group Ltd. v. Republic of Liberia, et al., No. 12-0332, D. D.C.).
MIAMI - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides a simple opt-out procedure for employers with religious objections to the contraceptive mandate, and those with such objections should not be permitted to bar insurers from complying with the law, the government told a Florida federal judge in a March 10 motion to dismiss (Ave Maria School of Law v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-795, M.D. Fla.).
RICHMOND, Va. - Determining that a West Virginia woman's claims against her insurer sounded in tort and were governed by West Virginia law, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 10 reversed a lower court's dismissal of the insured's claims related to her husband's life insurance policies brought under the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act (WVUTPA) (Audrey Dianne Kenney v. The Independent Order of Foresters, No. 13-1788, 4th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4402).
MILWAUKEE - A federal judge in Wisconsin on March 7 granted consumers more than $17,000 in attorney fees and costs in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuit, reducing the overall award by more than $10,000 (William Crafton, et al. v. Law Firm of Jonathan B. Levine, No. 12-602, E.D. Wis.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29690).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court judge did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 7, holding that the lead plaintiff in the action failed to properly plead falsity and scienter, (David Applestein, et al. v. Medivation Inc., et al., No. 12-15960, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4318).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lawsuits filed by an Iraq War contractor to compel the United States to participate in and to reimburse litigation costs incurred defending personal injury claims alleged by National Guard members and British military personnel for sodium dichromate and hexavalent chromium exposure at Qarmat Ali in Iraq were dismissed March 7 by the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for failing to state a claim (Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. v. United States, No. 13-169, Fed. Clms.; Kellogg Brown & Root Services Inc. v. United States, No. 13-780, Fed. Clms.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on March 10 refused to review the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' reversal of the dismissal of putative class actions alleging that financial institutions violated the Electronic Fund Transfer Act (EFTA) by not posting ATM fees notices (Mutual First Federal Credit Union, et al. v. Jarek Charvat, No. 13-679, U.S. Sup.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Confusion over the sequence of events perfectly illustrates why the existence of an unserved forum defendant bars removal of an asbestos action involving exposure from dentistry work, a New Jersey federal judge held March 10, granting remand (Kay Hokanson, et al. v. Kerr Corp; Patterson Companies Inc., et al., No. 13-4534, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30477).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 10 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to provide directors and officers liability coverage to a bank and its employees who were accused of preparing and executing fraudulent deeds of trust (Western Heritage Bank, et al. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 13-2077, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4383).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A Mississippi couple on March 7 filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that they are wrongfully being held responsible for more than $50,000 in medical claims after the company responsible for making premium payments for their Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) provided for under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) failed to make the payments (Thomas and Wanda Carruth v. The Outsource Group, et al., No. 14-33, S.D. Miss.).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 10 affirmed exclusion of expert testimony that a golf cart that overturned and paralyzed a teen was defectively designed (Matthew and James Valente v. Textron, et al., No. 13-1456-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 4380).`
OKLAHOMA CITY - Religious groups demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success in their Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA) challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate, an Oklahoma federal judge held March 10 (Reaching Souls International Inc., et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 13-1092, W.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30497).
FORT SMITH, Ark. - An Arkansas federal judge on March 10 dismissed a subrogation dispute, saying the plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies as required by the Medicare Act before filing the suit (Darrell Richard Cupp v. Dane F. Johns, et al., No. 14-2016, W.D. Ark.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30537).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 7 decertified a class seeking damages under the state's Unfair Trade Practice and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) and awarded summary judgment to First American Title Insurance Co. after finding that the plaintiffs were unable to present sufficient evidence that they justifiably relied on statements made by the company when refinancing their mortgage loans (Anthony L. Slapikas, et al. v. First American Title Insurance Company, No. 06-0084, W.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29974).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on March 7 found that a lower court erred in finding that a directors and officers liability insurer had a duty to indemnify its insured for a $3 million settlement with former patients who sought compensation for the insured's decision to discontinue an experimental breast cancer vaccine program, concluding that only the primary and excess health care liability insurer has a duty to indemnify the insured (Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science v. Lexington Insurance Co., et al., No. 06 CH 14486, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.).
DENVER - A request by a copyright infringement plaintiff for the identity of "all persons" who had access to the Internet at the home of a defendant must be answered, a Colorado federal magistrate judge ruled March 7 (reFX Audio Software Inc. v. Keith Estes, No. 12-3146, D. Colo.).
DALLAS - The CEO of bankrupt bitcoin exchange operator MtGox Co. Ltd. on March 10 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas seeking recognition as the foreign representative for the company, and seeking a stay of litigation pending against the company related to its loss of investors' money related to the theft of digital currency (In Re: MtGox Co. Ltd.,. No. 14-31229, Chapter 15, N.D. Texas Bkcy.).
SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian justice on March 7 refused to award set-off costs in an action in which a tenant alleged that a property was unsafe, finding that a housing authority had made an offer to settle the costs of the case, which was refused (El-Saeidy v NSW Land & Housing Corporation, $(No$) $(2013$) NSWSC 1554, New South Wales Sup.).
CHICAGO - The lead plaintiff in a shareholder derivative lawsuit argued in a federal court in Illinois on March 6 that an arm's-length negotiated settlement should be preliminarily approved (In re Abbott-Depakote Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 11-cv-08114, N.D. Ill.).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - Insureds have failed to provide a timely proof of loss for their $204,000 additional claim for damage to the foundation and floor system of their premises that sustained flood damage caused by Hurricane Irene, a New York federal judge ruled March 6, granting a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment (Christine Zuk, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 12-CV-4186 $(SJF$)$(AKT$), E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30005).