Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Personal Injury Claim Barred, But Wrongful Death Claim Possible, Justice Says

NEW YORK - The statute of limitations bars personal injury claims filed more than three years after a man's asbestos-related death, but the widow may amend her action to file a still timely wrongful death claim, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 12 (Margaret M. Pisani, individually and as personal representative of the estate of Salvatore Pisani v. Ace Hardware Corp., et al., No. 190062/14, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Water Agency's MTBE Claims Based On Prior California Settlement

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over the methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) products liability litigation on Sept. 16 granted summary judgment to a group of companies on grounds that a settlement that had been reached between the Orange County District Attorney's Office in California also applied to claims that were later asserted by the Orange County Water District (OCWD) (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, Case No. 00-1898; Orange County Water District v. Unocal Corp., et al., No. 04 Civ. 4968, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Bad Faith Claim In Tropical Storm Lee Dispute Is Preempted By Federal Law

ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Sept. 16 dismissed an insured's allegation that its federal flood insurer failed to bargain a Tropical Storm Lee flood claim in good faith, finding that the extracontractual count is preempted by federal law (Southbridge 21 LLC v. The Standard Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-374, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128960).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Personal Injury Claim Barred, But Wrongful Death Claim Possible, Justice Says

NEW YORK - The statute of limitations bars personal injury claims filed more than three years after a man's asbestos-related death, but the widow may amend her action to file a still timely wrongful death claim, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 12 (Margaret M. Pisani, individually and as personal representative of the estate of Salvatore Pisani v. Ace Hardware Corp., et al., No. 190062/14, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Corporate Successor Is Liable For Portion Of Cleanup Costs, Panel Says

NEW YORK - A corporate successor to a claimant's former parent company is liable under a veil-piercing theory for a portion of costs incurred in cleaning up coal tar contamination at manufactured gas plant sites in upstate New York, and the claimant's recovery should be reduced to account for payments made on its behalf by its insurers, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 11 (New York State Electric and Gas Corp. v. FirstEnergy Corp., Nos. 11-4143, 11-4146, 11-4149, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17579).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: No Coverage For 5 Suits Brought By Purchasers Of Mortgage-Backed Securities

NEW YORK - There is no directors and officers liability coverage for five underlying lawsuits arising out of the securitizations of residential mortgage-backed securities, a New York federal judge ruled Sept. 11 (Nomura Holding America Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 13-5913, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127574).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: No Coverage For 5 Suits Brought By Purchasers Of Mortgage-Backed Securities

NEW YORK - There is no directors and officers liability coverage for five underlying lawsuits arising out of the securitizations of residential mortgage-backed securities, a New York federal judge ruled Sept. 11 (Nomura Holding America Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 13-5913, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127574).

Mealey's Insurance - Corporate Successor Is Liable For Portion Of Cleanup Costs, Panel Says

NEW YORK - A corporate successor to a claimant's former parent company is liable under a veil-piercing theory for a portion of costs incurred in cleaning up coal tar contamination at manufactured gas plant sites in upstate New York, and the claimant's recovery should be reduced to account for payments made on its behalf by its insurers, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 11 (New York State Electric and Gas Corp. v. FirstEnergy Corp., Nos. 11-4143, 11-4146, 11-4149, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17579).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM, Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel Spar Over Discovery Scope Pending Bankruptcy Rulings

NEW YORK - No discovery should be undertaken in the majority of cases alleging injury caused by defective ignition switches in vehicles manufactured by General Motors LLC (New GM) until key issues are resolved in the General Motors Corp. (Old GM) bankruptcy case, New GM told the federal judge overseeing the ignition-switch multidistrict litigation in a letter brief filed Sept. 10 (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-02543-JMF, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Asbestos Worker Has Valid Injury Case From World Trade Center Remediation

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 9 ruled that an asbestos worker raised a triable issue of fact with regard to the injuries he suffered while remediating the World Trade Center disaster site following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (In Re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation, No. 09-680, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126854).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge: Asbestos Worker Has Valid Injury Case From World Trade Center Remediation

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 9 ruled that an asbestos worker raised a triable issue of fact with regard to the injuries he suffered while remediating the World Trade Center disaster site following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (In Re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation, No. 09-680, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126854).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Asbestos Worker Has Valid Injury Case From World Trade Center Remediation

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 9 ruled that an asbestos worker raised a triable issue of fact with regard to the injuries he suffered while remediating the World Trade Center disaster site following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks (In Re: World Trade Center Lower Manhattan Disaster Site Litigation, No. 09-680, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126854).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Shareholders, Underwriters Reach $340M Settlement In Securities Class Action

NEW YORK - Shareholders and underwriters in a securities class action lawsuit stemming from IndyMac Bancorp's certificate offerings over a three-year period from 2005 to 2007 have agreed to settle all claims for $340 million, according to court documents filed Sept. 11 by the shareholders (In re IndyMac Mortgage-Backed Securities Litigation, No. 09-4583, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Confirms $75.3 Million In Arbitration Awards Issued In Oil And Gas Businesses

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 10 granted a petition to confirm $75.3 million in interim and supplemental arbitration awards issued in favor of Columbia and Korean oil companies in a dispute over an agreement for the purchase of oil and gas businesses, refusing an exploration and production company's motion to vacate the awards (Ecopetrol S.A., et al. v. Offshore Exploration and Production LLC, No. 14-529, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Panel Affirms Ruling Denying Admission Of New Evidence In Securities Suit

NEW YORK - A federal district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that new evidence in a securities class action lawsuit would not have changed the outcome of an earlier ruling because the new evidence was nothing more than "mere commercial puffery," a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 8 (Claude A. Reese, et al. v. Robert J. Bahash, et al., No. 13-4039, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge Rules Against Fox In Copyright Case

NEW YORK - A plaintiff that provides a searchable database of "clips and snippets" from television and radio broadcasts partly prevailed Sept. 9 on allegations of copyright infringement by Fox News Network LLC (TVEyes Inc. v. Fox News Network LLC, No. 13-5315, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2nd Circuit Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Securities Class Action Against Xerox

NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against Xerox Corp. and several of its executive officers because shareholders failed to plead any genuine dispute of material fact with regard to the sufficiency of Xerox's disclosures about the success and failure of a component of the company's worldwide restructuring program (WWR) in making their federal securities law claims, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 8 (Thomas Dalberth, et al. v. Xerox Corp., et al., No. 13-1658, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17357).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York Justice Creates Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma, Take-Home Exposure Trial Groups

NEW YORK - Lung cancer claims differ sufficiently from mesothelioma claims to divide a proposed asbestos trial group into two groups, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 9 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 116852-2006, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - 2nd Circuit Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Securities Class Action Against Xerox

NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against Xerox Corp. and several of its executive officers because shareholders failed to plead any genuine dispute of material fact with regard to the sufficiency of Xerox's disclosures about the success and failure of a component of the company's worldwide restructuring program (WWR) in making their federal securities law claims, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 8 (Thomas Dalberth, et al. v. Xerox Corp., et al., No. 13-1658, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17357).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Creates Lung Cancer, Mesothelioma, Take-Home Exposure Trial Groups

NEW YORK - Lung cancer claims differ sufficiently from mesothelioma claims to divide a proposed asbestos trial group into two groups, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 9 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 116852-2006, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DOJ: Property Owner, Manager Sentenced To 21 Months Over Illegal Asbestos Removal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Sept. 8 that a New York property owner and property manager were sentenced by a federal judge in the Northern District of New York to 21 months in federal prison for conspiring to violate the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) when illegally removing pipe wrap containing asbestos during renovations of three of the properties (United States of America v. John Mills, et al., No. 12-cr-00125, N.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit: Bank Of America Worker Failed To Prove Age Bias, Contract Claims

NEW YORK - A Bank of America Corp. (BoA) employee who was twice transferred and then laid off as part of a reduction in force (RIF) failed to prove claims of age discrimination or breach of contract, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 5 (John Delaney v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., No. 13-184, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 17205).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Visual Works Copyright Holders Settle Class Action Over Google Library Project

NEW YORK - In conjunction with a press release noting "a settlement that benefits" all parties involved, a coalition of photographer and illustrator groups filed a stipulation in New York federal court on Sept. 5 dismissing their four-year old copyright infringement lawsuit against Google Inc. related to the Google Library Project (GLP) (The American Society of Media Photographers Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., No. 10-cv-02977, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - MTBE MDL Judge Refuses To Declassify MTBE Study Documents

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over litigation concerning alleged groundwater contamination caused by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on Sept. 3 refused to declassify documents from two research institutions regarding a study investigating the carcinogenic potential of the chemical, finding that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) failed to comply with the terms of two protective orders (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, Case No. 00-1898, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Atlantic Richfield Inc., No. 08 Civ. 312, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123061).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - N.Y. Federal Judge Grants Health Insurer Judgment In Denial Of Benefits Case

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Sept. 3 granted a health insurer's motion for summary judgment in a wrongful denial of benefits suit, saying mental health coverage provided at the residential treatment facility at issue was not covered under the plan because the facility did not have an operating certificate from the commission of mental health (Bruce J. Halpern v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, No. 12-407S, W.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124388).