LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
New York Federal Judge Awards $607,200 For Breach Of Construction Contract

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 28 awarded a construction company $607,200 in damages, finding that a subcontractor hired to work on a school renovation project breached the contract between the parties (Mometal Structures Inc. v. T.A. Ahern Contractors Corp., No. 09 -2791, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27797).

Delay In Reinstatement Of Health Aides Upheld Due To Lack Of Strike Notice

NEW YORK - A home health care service provider did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it delayed reinstatement of 48 employees who went on strike without providing individual notice of their plans, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 27 (National Labor Relations Board v. Special Touch Home Care Services, Inc., No. 11-3147, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4058).

New York Jury Awards $35 Million; Crane Co. Found 15 Percent Liable

NEW YORK - A New York jury on March 1 awarded $35 million on claims that a man's exposure to asbestos-containing insulation boilers led to his mesothelioma and death, holding lone remaining defendant Crane Co. 15 percent liable (Ivana Peraica Stamatakis, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 190339/11, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

2nd Circuit: Presumption Of Prudence Doesn't Apply To Particular UBS Plan

NEW YORK - The fiduciaries of an eligible individual account plan (EIAP) that permits investment in employer stock but does not require or "strongly encourage" such investments are not entitled to the presumption of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 27 in reversing in part a federal district court's dismissal of a stock-drop case against UBS AG and UBS Financial Services Inc. (collectively, UBS) (Debra Taveras, et al. v. UBS AG, et al., No. 12-1662, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4061; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4016).

Bankruptcy Judge Approves Dewey & LeBoeuf's Plan Of Liquidation

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of former law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Feb. 27 approved the firm's second amended plan of liquidation (In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

2nd Circuit Vacates Dismissal, Orders Consideration Of Alternate Sanctions

NEW YORK - A district court cannot dismiss an execution motion filed by plaintiffs as a sanction against an attorney without first considering other sanctions that involve less harm to the plaintiffs, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 28 (Keesha Mitchell, et al. v. Lyons Professional Services, Inc., et al., No. 10-5100, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4174).

2nd Circuit Upholds Denial Of Police Captain's Racial Discrimination Claim

NEW YORK - A police captain's failure to take a newly minted promotion exam caused him not to be considered when a position opened, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 27 upholding a trial court's rejection of the captain's race discrimination claims (Mark M. Maraschiello v. City of Buffalo Police Department, et al., No. 12-1006, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4057).

Parties Stipulate To Dismissal Of Dispute Over Anti-Piracy Patent

NEW YORK - Less than a month after a New York federal judge denied cross-motions for summary judgment in a patent dispute, a plaintiff and two of three defendants stipulated to dismissal of the action with prejudice on Feb. 28 (Medien Patent Verwaltung AG v. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. et al., No. 10-4119, S.D. N.Y.).

Judge Dismisses Confidentiality Dispute After Parties Reach Settlement

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 27 dismissed a case regarding an arbitration panel's confidentiality order, noting that the parties have settled their disagreement (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. INA Reinsurance Company, No. 12-cv-00194, N.D. N.Y.).

Union Reserves Right To Sue Hostess For Damages Related To Sale Of Bread Assets

NEW YORK - The group that represents the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in collective bargaining situations on Feb. 25 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, seeking a reservation of its rights to pursue liquidated damages in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of Hostess Brands Inc. (In Re: Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11. S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Sales Restrictions On Flavored Tobacco Are Not Preempted, 2nd Circuit Rules

NEW YORK - Restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products to certain retail outlets in New York in an effort to prevent minors from buying them is not tantamount to regulating how those products are manufactured, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in a Feb. 26 opinion, affirming a lower court ruling that such regulations are not preempted (U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Manufacturing Company LLC, et al v. City of New York, No. 11-5167, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 3973).

Gupta Ordered To Pay More Than $6.2M In Restitution To Goldman Sachs Group

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 25 ordered former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director Rajat Gupta to pay more than $6.2 million in restitution to Goldman for legal fees incurred in defending Gupta for his role in an insider trading scheme (United States of America v. Rajat Gupta, No. 11-907, S.D. N.Y.).

MSR Resort Creditors Object To Chapter 11 Plan, $1.49B Stalking Horse Deal

NEW YORK - A group of creditors that invested in bankrupt MSR Resort Golf Course LLC on Feb. 25 filed an official notice of appeal of the order issued by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approving the resort's Chapter 11 plan and $1.49 billion asset sale (In Re: MSR Resort Golf Course LLC, No. 11-10372, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Judge: Coke Company Can Raise Entrapment-By-Estoppel Defense In CAA Case

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Towanda Coke Corp. (TCC) and its environmental control manager can raise the entrapment-by-estoppel defense in a criminal suit brought against them by the government over violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA), a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 22, because the evidence they presented to support the defense was sufficient (United States of America v. Towanda Coke Corporation, et al., No. 10-CR-219S, W.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25398).

New York Federal Judge: FLSA Suit Can Be Settled Without Court Approval

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A woman can settle her unpaid wages complaint against her former employer brought as a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) because the FLSA does not apply to the woman's right under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a) to dismiss the action without the oversight or approval of the court, a New York federal judge held Feb. 22 (Donna Picerni v. Bilingual SEIT & Preschool Inc., No. 12-4938, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24622).

New York Justice: Contractor's Meeting Not Evidence Of Control

NEW YORK - A general contractor's meeting with subcontractors' foremen does not indicate that it maintained control over a worksite, a New York justice held in an opinion filed Feb. 20 (Jeffrey A. Zayas and Susan Zayas v. A.C.&S. Inc., et al., No. 119115/02, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2013 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 698).

Trustee, Some Creditors Seek Removal Of Claims Against MF Global Bankruptcy Estate

NEW YORK - The trustee and a group of creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of MF Global Holdings (MFGH) on Feb. 22 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York objecting to more than $138.11 million in claims brought by a separate group of creditors against the MFGH estate on grounds that they are superseded by other claims valued at more than $162.97 million (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

N.Y. Federal Judge Will Not Consider Veil Piercing In Vitamin C Price-Fixing Case

NEW YORK - The holding company of a vitamin C manufacturer must defend claims against it in litigation alleging that Chinese corporations participated in an illegal cartel to fix prices and limit supply for exports of vitamin C to the United States, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 20 in finding that the holding company's summary judgment motion was untimely filed (In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation $(Animal Science Products, Inc., et al. v. Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al.$), No. 05-453, E.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23277).

New York Federal Judge Won't Vacate Longstanding Default Judgment

NEW YORK - A motion to vacate a more than six-year-old default judgment entered in a copyright infringement case was denied Feb. 22 by a New York federal judge, who deemed the request "extremely untimely" (Warner Brothers Records Inc. v. Third Power Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 04-9583, S.D. N.Y.).

U.S. Bank Says Bankruptcy Court Erred In AMR Financing Ruling

NEW YORK - U.S. Bank Trust National Association, which has filed an adversary proceeding against bankrupt American Airlines Inc., a subsidiary of bankrupt AMR Corp., on Feb. 22 filed a statement of issues on appeal in which it contends that a New York federal bankruptcy court erred when it ruled that repayment of financing notes does not require the payment of a make-whole amount (U.S. Bank Trust National Association v. American Airlines Inc. $(In Re: AMR Corporation$), No. 11-15463, Adv. No. 12-01946, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

2nd Circuit: Security Officer May Proceed With Gender Bias Claim Against Employer

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 19 reinstated a former Rochester, N.Y., security officer's gender discrimination claims against her former employer and supervisor, finding that the supervisor's alleged weekly comments about the employee's love life are sufficient for the claims to go to trial (Jewanta Desardouin v. City of Rochester, et al., No. 12-187, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 3368).

Dewey & LeBoeuf: Liquidation Plan Proposed'In Good Faith'; Objections 'Improper'

NEW YORK - Bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Feb. 21 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York contending that its plan of liquidation was proposed in good faith and meets all the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code, despite objections from the firm's former partners (In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

New York Judge Awards $200,054 In Sanctions In Patent Dispute

NEW YORK - Two attorneys and their law firm were ordered Feb. 21 to pay sanctions of $200,054 to a prevailing patent infringement defendant (Source Vagabond Systems Ltd. v. Hydrapak Inc., No. 11-5379, S.D. N.Y.).

Panel: Bankruptcy Judge Properly Issued Injunction In Madoff-Related Actions

NEW YORK - A federal bankruptcy judge properly issued a preliminary injunction in several adversary proceedings brought by the liquidation trustee for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC (BLMIS) because issuing the injunction was "a proper exercise of the equitable power afforded to the bankruptcy courts," a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 20 (The Lautenberg Foundation, et al. v. Irving H. Picard, Nos. 11-5421 and 11-5428, 2nd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 3523).

Former Dewey & LeBoeuf Partner Sues Barclays For Loan He Says Is 'A Fabrication'

NEW YORK - A former partner of bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on Feb. 15 sued Barclays Bank PLC, alleging that a purported letter agreement under which the bank loaned money to the partner to fund his capital account at the law firm should be rescinded (L. Londell McMillan v. Barclays Bank PLC, No. 13-1095, S.D. N.Y.).