TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations of frivolous patent prosecution by Ford Motor Co. were rejected Dec. 5 by a New Jersey federal judge (Marlowe Patent Holdings v. Ford Motor Company, No. 11-7044, D. N.J.).
TRENTON - An insurer's reformation of two of a condominium association insured's four Standard Flood Insurance Policies (SFIPs) was mandated by federal law, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Dec. 4, dismissing with prejudice the insured's breach of contract claim based on those two policies (The Residences at Bay Point Condominium Association Inc. v. The Standard Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-02380 (FLW)(LHG), D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170811).
TRENTON - The New Jersey Supreme Court on Dec. 6 denied a petition for certification of a Superior Court ruling that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 514(a) expressly preempts a medical provider's claims against the ERISA plan for payment of the provider's customary fees for the services it rendered to patients, rather than the discounted fees the plan would have been legally entitled to pay had it not breached its contractual obligation for timely payment (St. Peter's University Hospital v. New Jersey Building Laborers Statewide Welfare Fund, et al. v. Union Labor Life Insurance Company, No. C-224 September Term 2013, N.J. Sup.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appellate panel on Nov. 26 rejected two parolees' facial challenge to a state law under which they were restricted from certain Internet use after serving their respective prison terms, finding that the restrictions were "reasonably crafted," and permitted the parolees to administratively appeal particular details of the restrictions (J.B., et al. v. New Jersey State Parole Board, No. A-5435-10T2, A-1459-11T2, A-2138-11T3, A-2448-11T2 and A-3256-11T2, N.J. Sup., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. LEXIS 172).
TRENTON, N.J. - A trial court judge erred in permitting simultaneous discovery on an underinsured motorist (UIM) claim and a stayed insurance bad faith claim, a New Jersey appellate panel ruled Nov. 21, citing concerns over unnecessary expenditures of time and money, as well as possible prejudice to the insurer (James J. Procopio Jr. v. Government Employees Insurance Co., No. A-2313-12T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. LEXIS 167).
TRENTON, N.J. - The rescission of an insurance policy does not render moot an insured's claims for indemnification and professional negligence against insurance agents regarding denied coverage for hurricane damage, a New Jersey appeals panel held Nov. 20 (Those Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London subscribing to policy number BUY1780 v. Cleopatra LLC d/b/a Eden ROC Motel and Affifa Michael v. KK Insurance Agency Inc. and Kiran M. Sondhi, No. A-1312-12T3, N.J. Super. App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2797).
TRENTON, N.J. - Insureds had no reasonable expectation of coverage under their claims-made liability insurance policy for a claim brought by the Internal Revenue Service because the only exposure suffered by the insureds was a fine, penalty or tax, a New Jersey appeals panel ruled Nov. 15, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (William B. Kessler Memorial Hospital, Inc., et al. v. North River Insurance Co., et al., No. A-2201-12T3, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2756).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal magistrate judge in a Nov. 13 unpublished opinion recommended that the only federal claim in a health care reimbursement suit be dismissed and the case remanded to state court (Catherine Mazzola, M.D., et al. v. AmeriChoice of New Jersey Inc., et al., No. 13-429, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161587).
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - A New Jersey trial judge held Nov. 12 that an accident victim's hedonic damages expert could not testify because his "willingness to pay" opinion was unreliable (Shalome and Joe Johnson v. George Redd, et al., No. HUD-L-855-11, N.J. Super., Hudson, Co.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2739).
TRENTON, N.J. - A school board must file its counterclaim for liquidated damages against an insolvent insurer in the insurer's liquidation proceeding, a New Jersey appeals panel affirmed Nov. 12 (American Motorists Insurance Co. v. North Plainfield Board of Education, No. A-2234-12T1, N.J. Super. App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2714).
CAMDEN, N.J. - An insured's claim that her auto insurance provider uses unlicensed customer service representatives to make policy changes over the phone is not sufficient to support claims for bad faith and breach of contract, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Nov. 7, dismissing most of her putative class claims related to the insurer's practices surrounding its provision of uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage (Shannon L. Ensey v. Government Employers Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:12-cv-07669, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159373).
NEWARK, N.J. - Summary judgment against a former employee of Autodesk Inc. who is alleged to have provided inside information to a hedge fund manager as part of an insider trading scheme is warranted because the employee's relationship with the hedge fund manager demonstrates a "personal benefit to the tipper," a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Nov. 6 (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Clay Capital Management LLC, et al., No. 11-5020, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159130).
PHILADELPHIA - A New Jersey federal judge properly denied a trademark infringement plaintiff a preliminary injunction, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 6 (Kashmir Crown Baking LLC v. Kashmir Foods Inc., No. 13-1357, 3rd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - In light of a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court that found certificates bought at www.restaurant.com to be "consumer contracts" and subject to the regulations of New Jersey's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warrant and Notice Act (TCCWNA), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 4 reversed a trial court's dismissal of a putative class claim brought under the act (Larissa Shelton, et al. v. Restaurant.com Inc., No. 10-2980, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22341).
NEWARK, N.J. - The federal government on Nov. 5 filed a lawsuit in New Jersey federal court seeking to recover response costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) from 58 companies to remediate contamination at the Scientific Chemical Processing Superfund site in Bergen County, N.J. (United States of America v. Air Products & Chemicals Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-06995, D. N.J.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals court in a Nov. 4 unpublished opinion affirmed the dismissal of chiropractors' challenge to a health insurer's policy provision limiting reimbursement of diagnostic imaging services but ordered the case transferred to the state insurance department for review of a claim alleging violation of a state law requiring group health policies to cover services performed by chiropractors if the services are also reimbursed when provided by other health providers (The Association of New Jersey Chiropractors Inc., et al. v. Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. A-6022-11T4, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2677).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 31 granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss a qui tam case brought under the False Claims Act against multiple hospitals and health care providers for allegedly improperly billing Medicare for inpatient admissions (United States of America ex rel. Paul Tahlor, M.D., et al. v. AHS Hospital Corp., et al., No. 088-03042, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156226).
TRENTON, N.J. - Efforts by a trademark infringement and counterfeiting defendant to enforce an arbitration clause were unsuccessful Oct. 28, when a New Jersey federal judge found that it remains unclear whether the parties had a "meeting of the minds" on the terms of the relevant agreement (Tracy Hughes v. Patricia Lawrence Kolaras, No. 13-57, D. N.J.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Health care providers seeking payment for services provided to plan participants failed to allege with specificity the assignments on which they asserted derivative standing under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Oct. 24 (NJSR Surgical Center, L.L.C., et al. v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Inc., et al., No. 12-753, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153630).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 24 granted summary judgment for an architect named as a defendant in a construction contract dispute but allowed breach of contract claims to proceed against a property owner (SRC Construction Corp. of Monroe v. Atlantic City Housing Authority, et al., No. 10-3461, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152814).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on Oct. 25 affirmed a lower court's finding that an insured's former employee's alleged acts of theft, embezzlement and fraud over a period of five years constituted one occurrence under a businessowners insurance policy and that, therefore, the insured's recoverable loss is capped at $10,000 (North Fullerton Surgery Center v. Franklin Mutual Insurance Co., No. A-5985-11T4, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2581).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 21 issued a sua sponte ruling remanding a lawsuit brought by 98 borrowers claiming that their lenders and/or loan servicers acted negligently when processing their requests for home loan modifications, finding that the plaintiffs' claims did not raise a federal question because neither the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) offer private causes of action to citizens (John Brecker, et al. v. 1st Republic Mortgage Bankers, Inc., et al., No. 13-5646, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151214).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 21 dismissed part of a consumers' suit alleging that Investors Bank violated the Electronic Funds Transfer Act's (EFTA) ATM fees notice provisions, finding that an amendment to the EFTA extinguishes their cause of action arising from notices placed on the machine (Angel Gonzalez, et al. v. Investors Bank, et al., No. 12-4084, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151219).
PHILADELPHIA - A New Jersey federal judge erred when she granted an employer's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict setting aside a jury's ruling for a former employee on his perceived disability claim, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 17 (Russell P. Swiatek, et al. v. Bemis Company, Inc., et al., No. 11-4333, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21024).
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Avandia multidistrict litigation on Oct. 15 dismissed with prejudice a purported refund class action, saying that most claims are not allowed under New Jersey law and that the warranty claim is not supported by evidence (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1871, No. 07-md-1871, Richard V. D'Apuzzo, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 07-4963, E.D. Pa.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149057).