LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Residents May Depose Fracking Company's Expert On Issues About Tainted Groundwater

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The federal judge in Pennsylvania overseeing the groundwater contamination lawsuit brought by a group of residents against hydraulic fracturing company Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. on Oct. 26 partially granted a motion allowing the plaintiffs to depose a water filtration expert that the company had placed on the list of testifying experts, but then removed from that list. The judge said the plaintiffs were permitted to depose him because plaintiffs made "a compelling showing" that the information they sought could not be obtain through other means (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144577).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Vacates Appellate Dismissal Of $20.3M Knee Verdict

HARRISBURG, Pa. - On a 3-2 vote, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 27 reversed an appeals court's vacating of a $20.3 million knee prosthesis injury verdict and remanded the case to the appeals court to consider if the trial judge properly denied the defendants' motion for a remittitur (Margo Polett, et al. v. Public Communications, Inc., et al., No. 18 EAP 2014, Pa. Sup.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Jailed People Sue Pa. Department Of Human Services Over Mental Health Care

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A group of individuals, referred to only by their initials, filed a class complaint on Oct. 22 in Pennsylvania federal court, accusing officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) of failing to provide mental health care for people found incompetent to stand trial on criminal charges (J.H., et al. v. Theodore Dallas, et al., No. 15-2057, M.D. Pa.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Chocolatier's Bid To Dismiss Trademark, Cybersquatting Complaint Again Denied

CHICAGO - A Pennsylvania candy company has sufficiently stated its cybersquatting and trademark-related claims against another candy firm, an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 22, denying the defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint that had previously been transferred, rather than dismissed, by another federal judge (Mon Aimee Chocolat Inc. v. Tushiya LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-04235, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143549).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Excludes Part Of Expert Report In HAMP Breach Of Contract Case

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 20 excluded certain portions of an expert report that conflict with prior rulings in a breach of contract lawsuit arising out of temporary payment plan (TPP) contracts and unfulfilled permanent modification in the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) (Lisa and Scott Cave v. Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., No. 11-4586, William D. Cave v. Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., No. 12-5366, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142198).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Excludes Part Of Expert Report In HAMP Breach Of Contract Case

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 20 excluded certain portions of an expert report that conflict with prior rulings in a breach of contract lawsuit arising out of temporary payment plan (TPP) contracts and unfulfilled permanent modification in the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) (Lisa and Scott Cave v. Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., No. 11-4586, William D. Cave v. Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc., No. 12-5366, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142198).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Bad Faith Claim As Insured Alleged Sufficient Facts

SCRANTON, Pa. - An insured sufficiently alleged that her homeowners insurer failed to adequately investigate her claim for water damage after she provided documentation, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Oct. 16, declining to dismiss a bad faith claim (Joan Yatsonsky v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 15-1777, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140748).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Joint Employer Status Does Not Require Nonsignatories To Make Plan Contributions

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Joint employer status, without more, cannot bind a nonsignatory to a collective bargaining agreement entered into by another employer to make contributions to employee fringe benefit plans, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Oct. 15 in refusing to extend liability to the nonsignatories under Section 515 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Carpenters Combined Funds Inc. v. Kelly Systems Inc., et al., No. 15-1091, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140278).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Amtrak Crash Suits Consolidated, Transferred To Pennsylvania Federal Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Oct. 13 ordered the consolidation and transfer of all pending lawsuits related to the May 12 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Philadelphia to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (In re Amtrak Train Derailment in Philadelphia, PA, on May 12, 2015, No. 2654, JPMDL).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Admission Of Some Racist Text Messages Permitted In Suit Against School District

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 13 partly denied a school district's motion to preclude evidence in a former employee's discrimination lawsuit, finding that certain text messages containing racist exchanges involving the district's superintendent were relevant and of probative value to the claims discrimination and retaliation claims at issue (Jahmal Phoenix v. Coatesville Area School District, No. 2:15-cv-00072, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138917).

Mealey's Insurance - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Says Choice Of Law Ruling Will Not Be Changed

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 13 denied an insurer's motion for reconsideration, determining that the addition to the record of a portion of the insurer's affidavit does not change the conclusion that Pennsylvania law, not New York law, governs the insured's lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying asbestos liabilities (York International Corp. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 10-0692, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138927).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Grants Request For Funds To Satisfy $33.7 Million Award

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 9 granted a corporation's motion for summary judgment against a bank, seeking funds that the bank obtained after it was served with a writ of garnishment in relation to a $33,777,000 arbitral award (Sojitz Corp. v. Prithvi Information Solutions Limited, et al., No. 2:12mc471, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 138128).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Causation Experts Out, Summary Judgment Granted In Zoloft Birth Defect Case

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court judge on Oct. 9 denied reconsideration of his summary judgment ruling in a Zoloft birth defect case after excluding the plaintiffs' two causation experts (Robert Porter, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 070903275, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Trademark, Copyright Claims By Adobe Transferred By California Federal Judge

SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by a trademark and copyright infringement defendant to defend the action in Pennsylvania were successful Oct. 7, when a California federal judge agreed to transfer the case (Adobe Systems Inc. v. Cardinal Camera & Video Center Inc., No. 15-2991, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137153).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Rules In Insured's Favor On Its $25,093,533 Time Element Loss Claim

DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 8 held that an insurer failed to meet its burden of showing that a policy's high hazard sublimit applies to an insured's $25,093,533 time element loss in a 2011 Thai flood coverage dispute, entering judgment in favor of the insured (Federal-Mogul Corp. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, No. 12-12005, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137394).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Sues Reinsurer For Nearly $10 Million In Asbestos-Related Claims

PHILADELPHIA - An insurer told a federal court in Pennsylvania on Oct. 7 that its alleged reinsurer owes it nearly $10 million in asbestos-related reinsurance obligations (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-5528, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pennsylvania Federal Judge: Expert Challenge In Antitrust Case Fails

PHILADELPHIA - Efforts by a direct purchaser class of the brand-name drug Provigil, covered by U.S. reissue patent No. 37,516, to preclude experts for five pharmaceutical companies from opining, generally, that reverse-payment agreements that settled related infringement litigation were procompetitive were thwarted Oct. 5 by a Pennsylvania federal judge (King Drug Company of Florence Inc., et al. v. Cephalon Inc., et al., No. 06-1797, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135264).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Jury Hearing Asbestos Case Returns Verdict For Ford Motor Co.

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania jury on Oct. 2 returned a defense verdict for Ford Motor Co., finding it not liable for take-home asbestos exposures (Larry English, et al. v. Borg-Warner Corp., et al., No. GD-13-022072, Pa. Comm. Pls., Allegheny Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Pennsylvania Federal Judge: Expert Challenge In Antitrust Case Fails

PHILADELPHIA - Efforts by a direct purchaser class of the brand-name drug Provigil, covered by U.S. reissue patent No. 37,516, to preclude experts for five pharmaceutical companies from opining, generally, that reverse-payment agreements that settled related infringement litigation were procompetitive were thwarted Oct. 5 by a Pennsylvania federal judge (King Drug Company of Florence Inc., et al. v. Cephalon Inc., et al., No. 06-1797, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135264).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Jury Hearing Asbestos Case Returns Verdict For Ford Motor Co.

PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania jury on Oct. 2 returned a defense verdict for Ford Motor Co., finding it not liable for take-home asbestos exposures (Larry English, et al. v. Borg-Warner Corp., et al., No. GD-13-022072, Pa. Comm. Pls., Allegheny Co.).

Mealey's Health Law - Medical Providers Are Not Beneficiaries, 7th Circuit Determines

CHICAGO - Because a number of medical providers alleging that an insurer wrongfully reduced payments on health claims are not beneficiaries to an insurance contract, they are not entitled to allege claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Oct. 1 in reversing a district court's ruling in favor of the medical providers (Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association et al. v. Independence Hospital Indemnity Plan Inc., Nos. 14-2322, 14-3174 & 15-1274, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17269).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Bars Testimony, Reports In Insureds' Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 30 excluded testimony and reports to be offered in support of homeowners' breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against their insurer for coverage of damages caused in an electrical fire (Wayne Moore and Kimberly Moore v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-3113, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132211).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses RESPA And FDCPA Claims Against Banks

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 30 granted motion filed by two banks, dismissing claims asserted by former homeowners for violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other claims related to the foreclosure of their home (Kimberly Andress, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 15-1779, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133689).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Bars Testimony, Reports In Insureds' Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 30 excluded testimony and reports to be offered in support of homeowners' breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against their insurer for coverage of damages caused in an electrical fire (Wayne Moore and Kimberly Moore v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-3113, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132211).

Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Judge Says Economic Loss Doctrine Bars Some Claims Against Insurer

PHILADELPHIA - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 1 dismissed counterclaims for violations of Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) and claims for fraud, intentional misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation brought by a defendant claiming that an insurance company refused to accept certain forms of premium payments, finding that they were barred by the economic loss doctrine (Assurity Life Insurance Company v. John Nicholas, Executor of the Estate of Sally Nicholas, No. 14-6522, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133701).