LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Justice Allows Some Asbestos Claims Against Hockey Team

NASSAU, N.Y. - A man's diagnosis with several allegedly asbestos-related diseases in 2009 makes his 2012 action untimely, but claims based on later diagnoses can proceed, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Dec. 5 (Charles Conforti Sr. and Janet Conforti v. County of Nassau, et al., No. 600858/13, N.Y. Sup., Nassau Co.; 2013 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5591).

2nd Circuit: Sapere May Not Direct Payments To MF Global's Commodities Customers

NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 6 affirmed a district court's ruling that a creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) did not have jurisdiction to direct the administration of the bankruptcy estate as it related to securing payment for commodities customers (Sapere Wealth Management v. MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 12-4254, Chapter 11, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24267).

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari, Remands In Dispute Over Patent Venue

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 9 vacated a judgment by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas that denied transfer of a patent dispute to New York federal court (Broadcom Inc. v. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, et al., No, 12-1475, U.S. Sup.).

Airline Customers: American Airlines Merger Approval Should Be Stayed For Appeal

NEW YORK - The class action plaintiffs that sued bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, on Dec. 4 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that the Bankruptcy Court should stay its decision approving the merger of American Airlines and US Airways Group Inc. pending appeal (Carolyn Fjord, et al. v. AMR Corporation, et al. $(In Re: AMR Corporation$), no. 11-15463, Adv. No. 13-01392, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

2nd Circuit: Negligence Was Not Cause-In-Fact Of 7 World Trade Center's Collapse

NEW YORK - Even assuming negligence on the part of 7 World Trade Co. L.P., Silverstein Development Corp., Silverstein Properties Inc., Tishman Construction Corp. and the Office of Irwin G. Cantor, any such negligence was not the cause-in-fact of the collapse of the Tower 7 of the World Trade Center in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a majority of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 4 (Aegis Insurance Services Inc., et al. v. 7 World Trade Co., et al., No. 11-4403-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24101).

11th Circuit Affirms Florida Jurisdiction Over Vuitton Counterfeiter In New York

MIAMI - Luxury goods manufacturer Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. sufficiently established that a Brooklyn, N.Y., man operated two websites selling counterfeit goods and that he was subject to jurisdiction in Florida, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Dec. 2, denying the man's motion to vacate a default judgment against him for lack of jurisdiction (Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A. v. Joseph Mosseri, No. 12-12501, 11th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23932).

Federal Judge Allows Testimony On Motor Home Purchaser's Mold Injuries

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A New York federal judge denied a motor home maker's motion to preclude a purchaser's expert testimony in relation to her alleged mold exposure and injuries but found that her failure-to-warn claim should be dismissed (Karen L. Burnett v. Damon Corp., et. al., No. 5:10-CV-1336, N.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169367).

Hawker Beechcraft: Bankruptcy Court Should Deny $2.2 Billion Claim

NEW YORK - Bankrupt Hawker Beechcraft Inc. on Dec. 4 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to a $2.2 billion claim filed by two employees of a subcontractor the company used to manufacture airplane parts, on grounds that they have not met their burden of proof (In Re: Hawker Beechcraft Inc., No. 12-11873, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

MF Global SIPA Trustee: 100 Percent Recovery For Some Creditors Possible

NEW YORK - The liquidation trustee in the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) for MF Global Inc. (MFGI), an affiliate of bankrupt MF Global Holdings LLC (MFGH), on Dec. 4 filed an interim report in which he says there is a probability of a 100 percent recovery of allowed net equity claims for all commodities and securities customers (In Re: MF Global Inc., No. 11-2790, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Supreme Court Denies Petitions Over N.Y. Internet Tax Law By Amazon, Overstock.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Dec. 2 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied without comment two major online retailers' petitions for certiorari challenging New York's "Internet tax law," which was found to be constitutional on its face by the New York State Court of Appeals (Overstock.com Inc. v. New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, et al., No. 13-252, and Amazon.com LLC, et al. v. New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, et al., No. 13-259, U.S. Sup.).

Panel Reverses Finding On Insurance Broker's Lack Of Standing To Challenge Insurer

NEW YORK - A New York justice erred in finding that an insurance broker lacked standing to challenge an insurer's calculation of the premium amounts due pursuant to a written producer agreement, a state panel ruled Nov. 26, reversing and vacating the justice's decision (Old Republic Construction Insurance Agency of New York Inc. v. Fairmont Insurance Brokers Ltd., No. 10562, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7761).

Insurer Has Duty To Defend, Indemnify Against Negligence Claims, Panel Affirms

NEW YORK - An insurer has failed to explain why it did not disclaim coverage for claims against its insured until one year after the insured was added as a defendant in an underlying negligence action, a New York appeals panel held Nov. 26, affirming a lower court's ruling that the insurer has a duty to defend and indemnify (Hartford Underwriting Insurance Co. v. GPI Inc., et al., Nos. 11160- 11161-602069/09, 11162, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7774).

Dewey & LeBoeuf Trustee Seeks Recovery Of $2.85M Paid To Former Partner

NEW YORK - The liquidating trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of former law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Dec. 2 filed an adversary complaint in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking recovering of $2,856,880 he contends constitutes fraudulent transfers (Alan M. Jacobs v. Eric W. Blanchard $(In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf$), No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Judgment Entered In Favor Of Insurers In Coverage Suit Prompted By Defamation Claim

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Judgment was entered in favor of primary and excess insurers on Nov. 26, one day after a New York federal judge found that coverage for an underlying defamation suit is barred by business pursuits and the intentional acts policy exclusions (Herbert L. MacDonell v. OneBeacon American Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-CV-6258, W.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167311).

Bankruptcy Judge Expunges $646.87M Claim Against Residential Capital Estate

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of Residential Capital LLC (ResCap) on Nov. 27 expunged a claim valued at more than $646.87 million against the bankruptcy estate, finding that it was precluded by the doctrines of res judicata and collateral estoppel (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11. S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Reinsurers: Counterclaim Properly States Claim Upon Which Relief Can Be Granted

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Two reinsurers told a New York federal court on Nov. 27 that their counterclaim against an insurer properly states a claim and should not be dismissed (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Employers Insurance Company of Wausau, et al., No. 12-cv-01293, N.D. N.Y.).

Client: Former Partner At Dewey & LeBoeuf Liable For $5.8M Tax Penalty

NEW YORK - A former client of bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Nov. 27 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for permission to file a late claim on grounds that a former partner at the firm provided legal analysis related to investments for which the client is now being penalized $5.8 million by the IRS (In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Bankruptcy Judge Approves DOJ, American Airlines Settlement Ending Merger Lawsuit

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Nov. 27 approved a settlement between American Airlines and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that will allow the airline to merge with US Airways Inc. and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Appellate Court Upholds Mechanics' Consolidated Trial Group

NEW YORK - A judge properly created a joint trial group consisting of three mechanics' asbestos actions alleging exposures overlapping a 40-year period, a New York appellate court held Nov. 26 (Esther Baruch, et al. v. Baxter Healthcare Corp., et al., Karl Fersch, et al. v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., Nos. 11176N, 190468/12, 190315/12, 190367/12, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7783).

2nd Circuit Upholds Willful Copyright Infringement Verdict

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge did not err in holding two defendants liable for willful copyright infringement or in awarding a prevailing plaintiff $40,000 in damages, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 26 (L.A. Printex Industries Inc. v. Pretty Girl of California Inc. et al., No. 12-3344, 2nd Cir.).

Judge OKs More Than $8.74M In Fees And Expenses In Hostess Bankruptcy

NEW YORK - The bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of Hostess Brands Inc. on Nov. 26 approved $8,745,298.09 in fees and expenses for law firms and financial advisers, with the largest amount paid to the debtor's law firm (In Re: Old HB Inc. f/k/a/ Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Judge Trims Claims In Mortgage-Backed Securities Put-Back Action

NEW YORK - A New York state court judge on Nov. 25 granted in part and denied in part a defendant's motion to dismiss a breach of contract lawsuit accusing the defendant of misrepresenting the investment quality of certain mortgage-backed securities (MBS) it securitized and sold, ruling that an investment trust cannot seek reimbursement for loans that were compliant (ACE Securities Corp., Home Equity Loan Trust, Series 2007-HE1, by HSBC Bank USA, National Association, as Trustee, v. DB Structured Products Inc., No. 650327/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Shareholder Asks Court To Give Final Approval To Settlement Of Derivative Suit

NEW YORK - A shareholder told a New York federal court on Nov. 22 that the agreed-upon settlement of a shareholder derivative suit against a company's directors and officers provides a substantial benefit to the company and warrants final approval (Carl Braun v. Zhiguo Fu, et al., No. 11-cv-4383, S.D. N.Y.).

New York Justice: Locomotive Maker Escapes Cashier's Asbestos Action

NEW YORK - A diner cashier's evidence suggests that railroad employees worked on a defendant's asbestos-containing locomotives but cannot place those employees at the eatery, making his case "too attenuated" to survive summary judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Nov. 22 (Morton Frieder and Rosalind Frieder v. Long Island Railroad, et al., No. 190212/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Storm Weather Reporters Say Reinsurer's Claims Are Unsupported By Facts

NEW YORK - The issuers of a storm weather report told a New York federal court on Nov. 20 that a reinsurer's claims against them are not supported by the facts and should be dismissed (Mariah Re Ltd. $(In Liquidation$), acting by and through Geoffrey Varga and Jess Shakespeare, in their capacities as Liquidators thereof v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-cv-04657, S.D. N.Y.).