LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Calif. Appeals Court Affirms Hospital Does Not Have To Arbitrate Payment Suit

    LOS ANGELES - A California appeals court in an Oct. 11 unpublished opinion affirmed that the City of Long Beach did not have to arbitrate a health care reimbursement dispute because it was not a party to the contract that contained the disputed arbitration provision (Promise Hospital of East Los Angeles v. CIGNA Corp., et al., No. B243126, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 8).

    Magistrate Judge Says In Camera Inspection Needed To Determine Privilege

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio on Oct. 11 held that an in camera inspection is necessary to determine if the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege applies to communications regarding a plaintiff company's letter sent to its customers about the conduct of two of its former employees accused of taking proprietary information with them when they stopped working for the company (Safety Today Inc. v. Susan Roy, et al., No. 12-cv-510, S.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147765).

    Attorney: Bankruptcy Judge In ResCap Case Should Be Disqualified For Bias

    NEW YORK - An attorney who represented a creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Residential Capital LLC (ResCap) on Oct. 13 moved to disqualify the bankruptcy judge from presiding over any future developments in the case on grounds he has shown personal bias against the attorney and her former client (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

    Judge Stays Government's Suit Over Arkansas Pipeline Spill During Shutdown

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A federal judge in Arkansas on Oct. 10 granted the federal government's request to stay proceedings in its lawsuit against ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. over damages caused by the rupture of the Pegasus Pipeline in Mayflower, Ark, on March 29 in light of the government shutdown (United States of America v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Company, et al., No. 13-cv-00355-JMM, E.D. Ark.).

    Consumer Sues Banks Over Participation In Illegal Payday Loan Scheme

    PHILADELPHIA - A consumer sued three banks in Pennsylvania federal court on Oct. 14, alleging that the banks engaged in a payday lending scheme in states where such loans are illegal in violation of state and federal law (Patricia Booth v. BMO Harris Bank N.A., et al., No. 13-5968, E.D. Pa.).

    Supreme Court Agrees To Review 6 Greenhouse Gas Cases, Limits Question

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S Supreme Court on Oct. 15 granted petitions for writs of certiorari in six cases involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of greenhouse gases but limited the question as to whether the agency properly found that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered its permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA) for stationary sources that emit greenhouse gases (Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1146, American Chemistry Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1248, Energy-Intensive Manufacturers Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1254, Southeastern Legal Foundation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1268, Texas, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1269, Chamber of Commerce v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1272, U.S. Sup.).

    U.S. Supreme Court Dismisses Government Worker's Age Bias Appeal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 15 in a per curiam, one-sentence decision dismissed the appeal of a government worker's age discrimination case "as improvidently granted" (Lisa Madigan, et al. v. Harvey Levin, No. 12-872, U.S. Sup.; 2013 U.S. LEXIS 7251).

    Judge Rejects Primary Jurisdiction In 'Natural' Products Cases, Denies Stay

    SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 10 declined General Mills Inc.'s request to stay three cases challenging the advertising of "natural" products, saying primary jurisdiction did not apply (Judith Janney, et al. v. General Mills, Gabriel Rojas v. General Mills Inc., Sean Bohac v. General Mills Inc., Nos. 12-03919, 12-5099, 12-5280, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147024, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147019, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147530).

    Judge: Pelvic Mesh Defendant Can Conduct Limited Discovery Into Surgery 'Scheme'

    CHARLESTON, W. Va. - Pelvic mesh defendant American Medical Systems Inc. (AMS) will be allowed to conduct limited discovery into a medical lien buyer that is allegedly involved in a "scheme" to perform explant surgeries for litigation purposes, a federal magistrate judge in West Virginia ruled Oct. 11 (In Re: American Medical Systems, Inc., Pelvic Repair Systems Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2325, No. 2:12-md-2325, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.).

    Bankrupt Hotel: Auctioneer Is Disinterested Person Under Bankruptcy Code

    TRENTON, N.J. - Bankrupt hotel Lafayette Yard Community Development Corp. (LYCDC) on Oct. 14 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey arguing that its arrangement with the man it proposes to handle the auctioning of the bankruptcy estate is appropriate because he is a disinterested person as defined by the Bankruptcy Code (In Re: Lafayette Yard Community Development Corporation, No. 13-30752, Chapter 11, D. N.J. Bkcy.).

    Lipitor/Diabetes Cases Have Reached 'Critical Mass,' Plaintiffs Again Seek MDL

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two months after the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation denied her motion to centralize federal lawsuits alleging that the Lipitor cholesterol drug causes diabetes in women, a plaintiff on Oct. 10 again moved for a multidistrict litigation, saying that the growth of the cases to 62 in multiple courts with multiple plaintiffs' counsel has now created a "critical mass" (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin Calcium] Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2502, JPMDL).

    California Federal Judge Grants Leave To Amend In Patent Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO - A patent infringement plaintiff won permission Oct. 11 to drop 19 patent claims from its lawsuit in a California federal court, while adding infringement allegations with regard to three new claims (U.S. Ethernet Innovations LLC v. ACER Inc. et al., No. 10-3724, N.D. Calif.).

    Federal Judge Compels Arbitration In London In Patent Infringement Coverage Suit

    PHILADELPHIA - An excess insurance policy binds the excess insurer and its insured to arbitrate a patent infringement coverage dispute in London pursuant to a condition in the insured's primary policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Oct. 11 (Illinois Union Insurance Co. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., et al., No. 13-3869, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147247).

    Magistrate Judge Finds Company Unable To Show Documents Are Privileged

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on Oct. 10 ordered a plaintiff company in a patent infringement lawsuit to turn over four documents created by its technical consultant regarding the company's purchase of U.S. patent No. 6,088,753 (the '753 patent) after finding the information not protected by the attorney-client privilege (MediaTek Inc. v. Freescale Semiconductor Inc., No. 11-cv-05341 YGR, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147032).

    Insurer Justified In Rescinding Marine Policy, Federal Judge Says

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - A Puerto Rico federal judge on Oct. 9 entered judgment in an insurer's favor after determining that the insurer was justified in rescinding an ocean marine insurance policy because the insured misrepresented the value and condition of an insured drydock (Catlin $(Syndicate 2003$) at Lloyd's v. San Juan Towing & Marine Services Inc., Nos. 11-2093, 11-2116, D. Puerto Rico).

    Georgia Federal Judge Finds Insurance Agency Is Not Liable For Alleged Negligence

    VALDOSTA, Ga. - An insurance agency as a captive agent of an insurer did not owe any duty to insureds and, thus, cannot be held liable for any alleged negligence in the procurement of coverage, a Georgia federal judge ruled Oct. 10 (MLR Investment Group LLC and Gilberto Martinez v. Pate Insurance Agency Inc., No. 12-118, M.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146512).

    Alabama High Court Remands For Trial Court To Determine Class Representative Issue

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on Oct. 11 remanded a class action lawsuit against an insurer for a lower court to determine whether a new named plaintiff should be certified as the class representative (Alabama Mutual Insurance Corporation v. City of Vernon, et al., No. 1110738, Ala. Sup.; 2013 Ala. LEXIS 146).

    Insurance Broker Breached Oral Contract In Failure To Procure Coverage, Panel Says

    LOS ANGELES - An insurance broker breached an oral or implied contract by failing to use reasonable efforts to procure insurance with theft coverage, a California appeals panel affirmed Oct. 9 (Online Carstereo.com v. Behrooz Meimand Insurance Services Inc., No. B243365, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7259).

    Georgia Federal Judge Tosses Pharmacy Employee's Declaratory Judgment Claim

    ATLANTA - A Georgia federal judge on Oct. 10 granted a pharmacy chain's motion for summary judgment as to a former employee's declaratory judgment claim but denied a motion to decertify a wage-and-hour claim (Philip Bradford, et al. v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., No. 12-1159, N.D. Ga.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146501).

    Investors: MF Global Defense Cost Cap Should Not Be Raised To $40 Million

    NEW YORK - The representatives of a class of customers who sued MF Global Inc. (MFGI), an affiliate of bankrupt MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH), on Oct. 11 filed a brief arguing that the "soft cap" the bankruptcy court imposed on expenses should not be lifted to permit the payment of defense costs (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, Chapter 11, S.D, N.Y. Bkcy.).

    Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment In Illinois Asbestos Case

    SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Testimony vaguely identifying a brand of insulation does not establish its presence "all over" a ship, nor do a man's alleged travels aboard the ship, an Illinois appeals court held Oct. 11 (Virginia Bowles, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 4-12-1072, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2013 Ill. App. LEXIS 718).

    5th Circuit Affirms: Debtor's Homestead Exemption Was Attempt To Defraud Creditors

    NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 14 affirmed a bankruptcy court's ruling that a debtor acted with intent to defraud his creditors when he claimed an unlimited homestead exemption on a property he owned in Texas when it was purchased with money borrowed against a property he owned in Missouri that has a limit on the amount a debtor can claim with a homestead exemption (Thomas A. Cipolla v. Daniel Roberts $(In Re: Thomas A. Cipolla$), No. 13-50133, Chapter 7, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20751).

    Trustee Adequately Alleges Competition Law Claims Against Lender, Judge Says

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Allegations that a lender treated a trustee as a borrower during some transactions while not treating her as such during loan modification discussions support California unfair competition law (UCL) claims, a federal judge held in an opinion filed Oct. 11 (Barbara McGarvey v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 13-1099, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147542).

    California Federal Judge Grants Equitable Tolling In Wage-And-Hour Complaint

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 10 granted a lead plaintiff's request for equitable tolling of prospective plaintiffs' claims in a class complaint filed by a trainer accusing his employer of requiring workers to work "off the clock," failing to reimburse certain business expenses and failing to provide meal and rest breaks (Osabemi-Ye Adedapoidle-Tyehimba, et al. v. Crunch LLC, et al., No. 13-225, N.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147531).

    Texas High Court Denies Insurer's Petition For Review In Asbestos Coverage Suit

    AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Oct. 11 denied an insurer's petition for review, refusing to consider whether a trial court erred in determining that underlying asbestos personal injury claims constitute one occurrence (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London and Certain London Market Insurance Cos. v. Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., No. 13-0621, Texas Sup.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 7856).