NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Oct.7 remanded a health care reimbursement suit to state court, finding that the defendant failed to show that federal preemption existed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Medwell v. CIGNA Healthcare of New Jersey Inc., No. 13-3998, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144577).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A judge in related orders issued Oct. 4 dismissed in part the claims against railroad defendants accused of releasing vinyl chloride in a November 2012 train derailment in Paulsboro, N.J.; the claims are consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - Lockheed Martin Corp. was granted no-evidence summary judgment Sept. 30 against New Jersey parents alleging that their children sustained chlorinated-solvent exposure injuries and their residential property lost value because of groundwater contamination in their Moorestown, N.J., neighborhood; the plaintiffs were granted 30 days to supplement the summary judgment record with respect to the property damage claim only (Michael Leese, et al. v. Lockheed Martin, No. 115091, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140566).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 1 granted final approval of a $688 million settlement in two securities class action lawsuits alleging that Merck and Co. Inc. and others failed to disclose adverse results of a clinical trial for two cholesterol drugs Merck was developing (In Re: Merck & Co., Vytorin/Zetia Securities Litigation, No. 2:08-CV-2177, D. N.J.; In Re: Schering-Plough Corp./ENHANCE Securities Litigation, 08-397, D. N.J.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 26 denied class certification of claims that United Healthcare, as the claims administrator for thousands of health insurance plans, violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by using a method for estimating what Medicare would have paid for services that resulted in underpayment for insureds under the plans' coordination-of-benefits provisions (Mark Lipstein, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group, et al., No. 11-1185, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138045).
NEWARK, N.J. - Without providing any detail, a federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 26 issued a one-page order dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against Siemens Hearing Instruments Inc. (SHI) for alleged violations of federal securities law in order to allow for a settlement agreement to be finalized (MTB Investment Partners LP v. Siemens Hearing Instruments Inc., No. 12-0340, D. N.J.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 25 refused to dismiss an insured's negligent misrepresentation claim against her insurance broker in a Hurricane Sandy coverage dispute, rejecting the broker's argument that the claim is federally preempted (Widad Danho v. Fidelity National Indemnity Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:13-CV-04547 $(JLL$)$(JAD$), D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138609).
TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey residents suing Bristol-Myers Squibb were granted leave on Sept. 25 to file a fourth amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to plead wrongful death claims for exposure to fugitive chemicals from the New Brunswick, N.J., pharmaceutical plant (Dyshelle Harris v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., et al., No. 11-6004 $(consolidated$), D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137335).
TRENTON, N.J. - A trust's claims, including its products claims and nonproducts claims, arise from the same occurrence under an insolvent insurer's excess policies, a New Jersey appeals panel held Sept. 26, affirming a liquidator's denial of asbestos-related nonproducts bodily injury claims (Commissioner of Insurance of the State of New Jersey v. Integrity Insurance Co., et al., No. A-1606-11T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2347).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) acting on behalf of an insolvent insurer is not responsible for reimbursement payments for environmental claims unless a solvent carrier's policy limits are first exhausted, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Sept. 24 (Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Salem v. New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association as administrator of claims against Newark Insurance Co., No. 068824, N.J. Sup.; 2013 N.J. LEXIS 902).
TRENTON, N.J. - The chairwoman of the Lafayette Yard Community Development Corp. (LYCDC) on Sept. 23 filed a declaration in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, saying the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition was filed with the goal of selling a hotel, which is the company's main asset (In Re: Lafayette Yard Community Development Corporation, No. 13-30752, Chapter 11, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 24 declined to dismiss a fraudulent health care billing suit, finding that the plaintiff health insurer properly supported its claims against the health care provider (Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. v. Roseland Ambulatory, No. 12-5941, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136374).
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - New Jersey's first bellwether trial involving a C.R. Bard pelvic mesh device, scheduled to start Sept. 23, is off after the case resolved, a source told Mealey Publications Sept. 18 (Melanie L. Vigil v. C.R. Bard Inc., No. ATL-L6917-10, N.J. Super., Atlantic Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A company told a New Jersey federal court on Sept. 16 that it had an independent investigation of a shareholder's allegations performed and that the allegations were found to be without merit (The George Leaon Family Trust, derivatively on behalf of Johnson & Johnson, v. Mary Sue Coleman, PH.D., et al., No. 12-cv-04401, D. N.J.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A group of casino customers filed a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on Sept. 13, alleging violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, among others, against bankrupt casino Revel Entertainment Group LLC and its affiliate Chatham Asset Management LLC related to slot machine losses the customers say the casino promised to refund (Margaret Peragine, et al. v. Revel Entertainment Group, et al., No. 13-05451, D. N.J.).
TRENTON, N.J. - An insurer with an obligation to indemnify and defend an insured can bring a direct claim for contribution against its co-insurer for defense costs arising from a continuous property damage lawsuit, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Sept. 16, finding that the claim was not extinguished when the insured settled with the co-insurer (Potomac Insurance Company of Illinois, by its transferee, OneBeacon Insurance Co. v. Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Co., et al., No. 070756, N.J. Sup.; 2013 N.J. LEXIS 847).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on Sept. 6 affirmed summary judgment for the defendants in a premises liability action, agreeing that the plaintiffs could not rely on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor (Alin Espinoza, et al. v. General Growth Properties Inc., et al., No. A-6070-11T3, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2225).
NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished, consolidated opinion, a New Jersey appeals court on Sept. 9 affirmed four financial agency decisions of the New Jersey Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) terminating appellants from the New Jersey Family Care Medicaid Program (NJFC) (B.D. v. New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, No. A-2456-11T3; M.M., et al. v. New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, No. A-4744-11T2; T.J. v. New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services; No. A-5761-11T1, G.G. v. New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services, No. A-0109-12T1, N.J. Sup. Ct., App. Div.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A Johnson & Johnson "watchdog" employee who was fired can sue the company for retaliation under the state's whistle-blower protection law, a state appeals court panel said Sept. 4 in reversing summary judgment and remanding the case to the trial court with new criteria (Joel S. Lippman, M.D., v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. A-4318-10T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
TRENTON, N.J. - Work on asbestos-containing insulation necessary to bring a boiler up its promised specifications constitutes a continuation of construction of an improvement to real property, and the New Jersey statute of repose bars resulting claims, a state appeals court held Sept. 4 (Mary O. Barile, et al. v. 3M Co. Inc., et al., Nos. A-0092-11T2, A-0141-11T2, N.J. App.).
TRENTON, N.J. - An insurer failed to timely file defenses in an arbitration proceeding with another insurer regarding coverage of underlying property damage claims against a shared insured, a New Jersey appeals panel affirmed Sept. 3, confirming an arbitration award (Excelsior Insurance Co. v One Beacon Insurance Co., No. A-1439-12T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2013 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2180).
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).