LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Pennsylvania's MTBE Case Partially Dismissed; Some Claims Remain Valid

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over litigation regarding groundwater allegedly contaminated by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on May 14 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment filed by the defendants, concluding that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's claim for subrogation was dismissed but that its claim for potential violation of state statutes could not be dismissed at this time (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether [MTBE] Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, No. 00-1898, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al., No. 14 Civ. 6228, S.D. N.Y).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Plaintiff Must Retry Damages Award Or Accept Reduction To $6M From $20M

NEW YORK - A $20 million asbestos award exceeds what New York courts consider reasonable, meaning a widow must retry the damages phase of her action or stipulate to a $6 million award, a New York justice held May 15 in otherwise affirming the verdict (Charlene Hillyer, as executrix for the estate of Charles F. Hillyer v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190132/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 2nd Circuit: Individual Claims May Proceed Despite Offer Of Relief

NEW YORK - A bank's offer of complete relief in a class complaint over overdraft fees did not render the case moot, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 14, affirming a district court's ruling but doing so on an alternative ground (Patrick Tanasi, et al. v. New Alliance Bank, et al., No. 14-1389, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7932).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Issues As To Whether Collapse Is Covered Under Insurance Policy

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether a collapse falls under a resulting loss exception to an insurance policy's faulty design and workmanship exclusion, a New York federal judge ruled May 13, denying summary judgment to insureds and an insurer (Binghamton-Johnson City Joint Sewage BD, et al. v. American Alternative Insurance Corp., No. 12-0553, N.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62551).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2nd Circuit: Individual Claims May Proceed Despite Offer Of Relief

NEW YORK - A bank's offer of complete relief in a class complaint over overdraft fees did not render the case moot, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 14, affirming a district court's ruling but doing so on an alternative ground (Patrick Tanasi, et al. v. New Alliance Bank, et al., No. 14-1389, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7932).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - New York Federal Judge Won't Allow Investors To Depose Madoff

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 11 denied a petition to depose convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard L. Madoff, ruling that investors who lost their life savings in Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme have failed to meet the statutory requirements for filing such a petition (Susanne Stone Marshall, et al. v. Bernard L. Madoff, et al., No. 15 mc. 56, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61482).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Indian Company Seeks Confirmation Of $2.7 Million ICC Award

NEW YORK - An Indian manufacturer of seamless tubes and other products on May 11 filed a petition in a New York federal court to confirm a $2,705,093 arbitration award, plus costs and interest, that was issued in its favor by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) International Court of Arbitration (ISMT Limited v. Fremak Industries Inc., No. 15-3652, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - New York Federal Judge Won't Allow Investors To Depose Madoff

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 11 denied a petition to depose convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernard L. Madoff, ruling that investors who lost their life savings in Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme have failed to meet the statutory requirements for filing such a petition (Susanne Stone Marshall, et al. v. Bernard L. Madoff, et al., No. 15 mc. 56, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61482).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 2nd Circuit Reverses, Remands Contempt Ruling In Trademark Case

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge's determination that the United States Polo Association Inc. and USPA Properties Inc. (USPA, collectively) were in contempt for violating a permanent injunction barring the use of a polo player logo was reversed and remanded May 13 by the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (United States Polo Association Inc., et al. v. PRL USA Holdings Inc., et al., Nos. 13-1038, -1130, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7862).

Mealey's Health Law - Man Sentenced To 48 Months In Prison For Secondhand Drug Scheme

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 12 sentenced a man who pleaded guilty to two counts of health care fraud for his role in a scheme involving the sale of secondhand prescription drugs to 48 months in prison and ordered him to pay $2.9 million in restitution (United States of America v. Bladimir Rigo, No. 13 cr. 897, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62239).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Restaurant Employees Allege Interference Under ERISA Related To ACA Compliance

NEW YORK - Nationwide restaurant/entertainment chain Dave & Buster's Inc. violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing the hours of its work force in 2013 in order to avoid the costs associated with providing health insurance to its full-time employees in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), an employee alleges in a class action complaint filed May 8 in federal court in New York (Maria De Lourdes Parra Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., et al., No. 15 CV 3608, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Health Law - Restaurant Employees Allege Interference Under ERISA Related To ACA Compliance

NEW YORK - Nationwide restaurant/entertainment chain Dave & Buster's Inc. violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing the hours of its work force in 2013 in order to avoid the costs associated with providing health insurance to its full-time employees in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), an employee alleges in a class action complaint filed May 8 in federal court in New York (Maria De Lourdes Parra Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., et al., No. 15 CV 3608, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Restaurant Employees Allege Interference Under ERISA Related To ACA Compliance

NEW YORK - Nationwide restaurant/entertainment chain Dave & Buster's Inc. violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing the hours of its work force in 2013 in order to avoid the costs associated with providing health insurance to its full-time employees in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), an employee alleges in a class action complaint filed May 8 in federal court in New York (Maria De Lourdes Parra Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., et al., No. 15 CV 3608, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Man Sentenced To 48 Months In Prison For Secondhand Drug Scheme

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 12 sentenced a man who pleaded guilty to two counts of health care fraud for his role in a scheme involving the sale of secondhand prescription drugs to 48 months in prison and ordered him to pay $2.9 million in restitution (United States of America v. Bladimir Rigo, No. 13 cr. 897, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62239).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Allows Reinsurer To Add Reverse Bad Faith Counterclaim Against Insurer

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on May 11 upheld a magistrate judge's earlier ruling and held that when the magistrate judge allowed a reinsurer to amend its answer and add a counterclaim against its reinsured, the decision was not clearly erroneous (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-00995, N.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Parents Of Driver Killed In Crash Of GM Vehicle File Suit In Ignition-Switch MDL

NEW YORK - The parents of a teenager killed in a single-vehicle accident caused in which his air bags failed to deploy because of an ignition-switch defect filed a wrongful death action against General Motors LLC (GM) in New York federal court on May 11 (In re General Motors Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-2543; Tracy Tucker, et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 15-cv-03650-UA, S.D. N.Y.)

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: Investors' Claims Duplicative, Derivative Of Madoff Trustee Suit

NEW YORK - A federal bankruptcy court did not err in preventing investors from filing a second amended complaint in a lawsuit connected to Bernard L. Madoff's massive Ponzi scheme, because investors' claims were duplicative and derivative of a suit already brought by Madoff's liquidation trustee, a New York federal judge ruled May 11 (In re Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, [Adele Fox, et al. v. Irving H. Picard, et al.], No. 14-6790, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61490).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - UCL Claim Among Those Continuing In Organic Misbranding Suit

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Class action claims, which include a California state unfair competition law (UCL) claim, will continue against the producer and seller of food, body care and home care products after a New York federal judge on May 7 held that federal laws did not preempt the plaintiffs' claims that the defendant mislabeled products as "organic," "natural" or "all natural" (Leah Segedie, et al. v. The Hain Celestial Group Inc., No. 14-5029, S. D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60739).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - UCL Claim Among Those Continuing In Organic Misbranding Suit

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Class action claims, which include a California state unfair competition law (UCL) claim, will continue against the producer and seller of food, body care and home care products after a New York federal judge on May 7 held that federal laws did not preempt the plaintiffs' claims that the defendant mislabeled products as "organic," "natural" or "all natural" (Leah Segedie, et al. v. The Hain Celestial Group Inc., No. 14-5029, S. D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60739).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insureds In Bad Faith Suit Failed To Comply With Policy Requirements

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because the insureds failed to comply with proof-of-loss policy requirements in their homeowners insurance policy, a federal judge in New York ruled May 6 (Timothy Hogan, et al v. Fidelity National Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 13-0009, N.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59084).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 2nd Circuit Finds NSA's Bulk Metadata Program Not Authorized By Patriot Act

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel today found that the National Security Agency's bulk telephone metadata collection program is not authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, reversing a trial court's dismissal of the lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (American Civil Liberties Union, et al. v. James R. Clapper, et al., No. 14-42, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7531).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Awards Class Counsel Fees Related To Sanctions

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 6 found that counsel for a borrower who asserted class action claims related to alleged breaches of contract and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was entitled to an award of fees incurred during the case (Joseph Mazzei, et al. v. The Money Store, et al., No. 01cv5694, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59397).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit Orders Reconsideration Of Doctor's Humans Rights Law Claims

NEW YORK - A trial court on remand must consider a doctor's bias and retaliation claims brought under the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) as the federal court wrongly found that it lacked jurisdiction over the claims and that the claims must be analyzed separately from any federal and state law claims, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 6 (Jotica Talwar v. Staten Island University Hospital, et al., No. 14-1520, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7455).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice Consolidates 8 Asbestos Cases Into 3 Trial Groups

NEW YORK - A New York justice divided eight cases into three consolidated trial groups, saying in an opinion posted May 5 that shared attorneys and disease trump differences in places or time periods of exposure (George R. Birrell and Ramona J. Birrell, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., et al., No. 190105/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1471).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice Consolidates 8 Asbestos Cases Into 3 Trial Groups

NEW YORK - A New York justice divided eight cases into three consolidated trial groups, saying in an opinion posted May 5 that shared attorneys and disease trump differences in places or time periods of exposure (George R. Birrell and Ramona J. Birrell, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., et al., No. 190105/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1471).