NEWARK, N.J. - Bayer Corp. must face a whistle-blower's allegations that it paid kickbacks for two of its drugs and retaliated against an employee who objected to the practice, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Aug. 30 (United States of America, et al., ex rel. Laurie Simpson v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 05-3895, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124928).
TRENTON, N.J. - In pursuing a bad faith claim against an insurer, a claimant "implicitly waived" any privilege in communications regarding her knowledge of settlement offers and demands, a New Jersey appeals panel ruled Aug. 26, holding that the insurer has a "need" to discover this information to defend itself against the bad faith claim (V.K., et al. v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., No. A-4681-11T4 and A-4682-11T4, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2111).
NEWARK, N.J. - Consumers who claim that they paid a premium based on representations about the benefits of probiotics in formula and baby cereals adequately allege injury, but sufficiently alleged causation only in regard to product labeling, not the advertising campaign as a whole, a New Jersey federal judge held Aug. 23 in dismissing California unfair competition law (UCL) and other states' consumer protection law claims (In re: Gerber Probiotic Sales Practices Litigation, No. 12-835, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121192).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on Aug. 27 affirmed an award to the plaintiff in a construction defect case decided by an arbitrator, finding no error by the trial court in confirming the more than $2 million award (Observer Plaza Condominium Association Inc. v. Observer Highway Plaza LLC, et al., No. A-3151-11T4, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2120).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Aug. 22 dismissed claims by a multiemployer health fund seeking to recover from insurers amounts the fund allegedly overpaid to its beneficiaries under the fund's coordination of benefits (COB) provision, finding that the claims did not seek equitable relief under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 502(a)(3) (Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Health and Welfare Fund, et al. v. Bollinger, Inc., et al., No. 13-2760, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119295).
NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished decision, a New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 21 granted summary judgment in favor of a health plan administrator in a reimbursement suit, saying the claims at issue were properly processed (Montvale Surgical Center v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, et al., No. 12-2378, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119630).
PHILADELPHIA - A unanimous Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued an opinion Aug. 14 overturning in part an order granting summary judgment to a print shop accused by an industrial laundry truck driver of exposing him to toluene in print shop towels; negligence and loss-of-consortium claims against the print shop for causing kidney failure were revived and remanded to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Brian Steele, et uxor v. Aramark Corp., et al., No. 12-3942, 3d Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 16989).
NEW YORK - After finding that claims related to an underlying financing contract and for fraudulent inducement are arbitrable, a New York federal judge on Aug. 15 stayed an action filed by a New Jersey corporation that seeks $25 million in damages and compelled arbitration of the dispute (MidOil USA LLC v. Astra Project Finance Pty Ltd., No. 12-8484, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115678).
TRENTON, N.J. - A majority of the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on Aug. 13 held that the state may deny Medicaid benefits to a certain class of legal aliens saying the U.S. Congress has provided leeway to states in funding its Medicaid programs by the enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA) (Manuel Guaman, et al. v. Jennifer Velez, Commissioner of New Jersey Department of Human Services, et al., No. A-1870-10T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. LEXIS 120).
NEWARK, N.J. - A professional liability insurer has failed to demonstrate that an underlying $310,000 consent judgment between its attorney insured and the insured's client is unenforceable and unreasonable, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Aug. 14, denying the insurer's motion to dismiss two counterclaims against it (First Mercury Insurance Co. v. Jay S. Markowitz, et al., No. 2:12-cv-06527 $(WHW$), D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114490).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court has denied an application by the manufacturer of Tylenol products to centralize state court cases alleging liver damage from the nonprescription pain- and fever-reducing drug, according to a notice posted by the court on Aug. 13.
TRENTON, N.J. - A contractor and its insurer correctly relied on an empty chair defense to shift the blame of negligence in the construction of an addition to a warehouse, a New Jersey appeals panel held Aug. 9, affirming a jury's finding and a trial court's judgment in favor of the contractor and insurer (Robert Occhifinto and NVE Inc. v. Olivo Construction Co. LLC, et al., No. A-5058-11T2, N.J. Super. App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1990).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge in an Aug. 7 unpublished opinion denied an ambulatory surgery center's request to amend its complaint against a health plan for wrongful denial of benefits, saying amendment would be futile (Montvale Surgical Center v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Of New Jersey Inc., et al., No. 12-4166, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111771).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 7 granted motions to appoint counsel in two recently consolidated class actions in which purchasers of front-loading washing machines allege mold growth and a separate class action based on claims that the washers contain defects (Robert N. Durso, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America, et al., No. 2:12-cv-5352; Jeanne Spera, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America, et al., No. 2:12-cv-5412; Chad and Jessica Chowning v Samsung Electronics America, et al., No. 2:12-cv-5440, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111412).
PHILADELPHIA - A 2-1 panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 6 reversed a federal judge in New Jersey's decision to award summary judgment to former owners of a contaminated property for claims under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), after finding that federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over claims brought under the statute (Litgo New Jersey Inc., et al. v. Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, et al., Nos. 12-1288, 12-1418, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 16208).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 1 granted summary judgment in favor of health insurers in a reimbursement dispute and denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification (Premier Health Center, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group, et al., No. 11-425, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108041).
NEWARK, N.J. - Three chiropractors pursuing class claims against a health insurer's "bundling" of purportedly distinct claims survived dismissal on July 31, with a New Jersey federal judge finding that they had satisfied standing and pleading requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and state law (Alphonse A. DeMaria, D.C., et al. v. Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. 11-7298, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107422).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey federal judge overseeing the insurance brokerage antitrust multidistrict litigation on Aug. 1 approved a $10.5 million settlement between insurance companies and policyholders who accused the insurers of conspiring with insurance brokers in a price-fixing scheme to inflate commercial insurance prices (In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1663, No. 04-5184, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108042).
TRENTON, N.J. - Defendant PNC Financial Services Group won dismissal on July 31 of patent infringement allegations after a New Jersey federal judge found that all four patents in suit are invalid as abstract ideas not patentable under 35 U.S. Code Section 101 (Content Extraction and Transmission LLC v. PNC Financial Services Group, No. 12-6960, D. N.J.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on July 30 affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss construction defects claims against a construction management firm, agreeing that a municipality's claims were time-barred (Cumberland County Board of Chosen Freeholders v. Vitetta Group P.C., et al., No. A-1377-12T3, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. LEXIS 112).
NEWARK, N.J. - A company's directors and officers told a New Jersey federal court on July 26 that a shareholder's derivative lawsuit should be dismissed because the shareholder failed to bring a presuit demand upon the company's board of directors before filing the case (City of Roseville Employees' Retirement System, Derivatively on Behalf of Kid Brands, Inc. v. Bruce G. Crain, et al., No. 11-cv-02919, D. N.J.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 24 found that the consolidation of three class actions filed in relation to defects with front-loading washing machines would be inappropriate, but he ordered the consolidation of two cases, which both assert a common mold-related defect (Robert N. Durso, et al. v. Samsung Electronics America, et al., Nos. 2:12-cv-5352, 2:12-cv-5412 and 2:12-cv-5440, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103403).
TRENTON - A New Jersey court on July 24 dismissed an appeal filed by homeowners who claimed that they stopped paying their mortgage after a mold infestation made the house uninhabitable, on the grounds of collateral estoppel and entire controversy (Edgar and Elvin Chua v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., et al., No. 5998-11T1, N.J. Super, App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1859).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 23 granted a summary judgment motion by Wal-Mart Inc., finding that the individual wage claims of 11 employees, all that remained after a larger class complaint was dismissed, were time-barred (Victor Manuel Zavala, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 10-5301, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102449).
TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey does not discriminate against risk retention groups by barring their participation in New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association's (PLIGA) program for payment of pedestrian personal injury protection (PIP) benefits, a New Jersey appeals panel affirmed July 18 (American International Insurance Company of Delaware v. 4M Interprise Inc., et al., No. A-3490-11T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. LEXIS 110).