OKLAHOMA CITY - The receiver for an insolvent insurer properly refused to credit payments a professional employer organization (PEO) made to another PEO, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled Nov. 14, finding that the receiver is entitled to summary judgment on its breach of contract claims against the PEO (Pyramid Diversified Services Inc. d/b/a Simple HR v. Providence Property & Casualty Insurance, et al., No. 09-622; State of Oklahoma ex rel. John Doak Insurance Commissioner, as receiver for Park Avenue Property & Casualty Insurance Co. v. Pyramid Diversified Services Inc., No. 12-0457, W.D. Okla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162317).
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - A Madison County, Ill., jury on Nov. 15 returned a defense verdict for Georgia-Pacific LLC, rejecting a man's claim that he contracted mesothelioma after more than a decade of exposure to its products as a carpenter, sources told Mealey Publications (James Reef v. Georgia-Pacific LLC, No. N/A, Ill. Cir., Madison Co.).
CHICAGO - A federal magistrate judge in Illinois on Nov. 12 refused to strike a defendant's answer and affirmative defenses to a breach of contract suit and denied a request to preclude the defendant from offering any evidence in support of his claims as a sanction for his failure to bring requested documents with him to his deposition (Robert P. Maher, et al. v. The Rowen Group Inc., d/b/a Playroom Entertainment, et al., No. 12 C 7169, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160939).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A graphic designer filed a putative class action against Adobe Systems Inc. in California federal court on Nov. 11, leveling claims of unfair business practices and breach of contract related to a massive security breach that the software giant recently experienced (Christina Halpain v Adobe Systems Inc., No. 5:13-cv-05226, N.D. Calif.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - An insured's claim that her auto insurance provider uses unlicensed customer service representatives to make policy changes over the phone is not sufficient to support claims for bad faith and breach of contract, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Nov. 7, dismissing most of her putative class claims related to the insurer's practices surrounding its provision of uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage (Shannon L. Ensey v. Government Employers Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:12-cv-07669, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159373).
LAKELAND, Fla. - The Second District Florida Court of Appeal on Nov. 8 overturned summary judgment for the defendant in a construction defects dispute, concluding that questions remain regarding when the construction contract was completed (Clearwater Housing Authority v. Future Capital Holding Corp., No. 2D12-5515, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 17852).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A newspaper's actions pertaining to user comments on its website, which were at the heart of a breach of contract complaint against it, arose from its free speech rights, a California appellate panel ruled Nov. 7, affirming a trial court's decision to strike the complaint under California's anti-SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) statute (Paul Hupp v. Freedom Communications Inc., No. E057390, Calif. App., 4th Dist.; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 906).
PHILADELPHIA - In light of a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court that found certificates bought at www.restaurant.com to be "consumer contracts" and subject to the regulations of New Jersey's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warrant and Notice Act (TCCWNA), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 4 reversed a trial court's dismissal of a putative class claim brought under the act (Larissa Shelton, et al. v. Restaurant.com Inc., No. 10-2980, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22341).
OTTAWA, Ill. - A trial judge erred in dismissing a builder's counterclaims against an insurer for its alleged breach of contract and bad faith in denying coverage for a roof collapse at a grain storage facility, an Illinois appeals panel found Nov. 4, reversing and remanding the judge's decision (Selective Insurance Company of South Carolina v. Cherrytree Companies Inc. d/b/a Macon General Contractors, No. 3-12-0959, Ill. App., 3rd Dist.).
JACKSON, Miss. - A church insured's July 8, 2009, motion to set aside judgment or, in the alternative, for a new trial in a Hurricane Katrina coverage dispute tolled the statute of limitations on the underlying breach of contract claim; therefore, the trial court erred in dismissing the insured's second complaint against its insurer, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Oct. 31 (Sweet Valley Missionary Baptist Church v. Alfa Insurance Corp., et al., No. 2010-CT-01807-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2013 Miss. LEXIS 574).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 30 found that a customer's breach of contract and faulty workmanship claims against an insured are not covered under a commercial general liability insurance policy, reversing and remanding a lower court's finding that the insurer has a duty to defend its insured (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Advanced Cooling and Heating, Inc., No. 4D12-257, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 17208).
PASADENA, Calif. - A grocery store chain's arbitration policy is unconscionable under California contract law and that state law is not preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (Zenia Chavarria, et al. v. Ralphs Grocery Company, No. 11-56673, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21959).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Oct. 25 struck a putative class plaintiff's allegations of fraudulent concealment against insurance brokers but refused to strike breach of contract and tortious interference claims (Andrea Cannon, on behalf of herself and all other similarly situated v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 12-465, D. D.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153447).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Michigan-based insurer's failure to deliver an affidavit in Florida, which ultimately led to an excess judgment against its insured, constituted "a breach based on a fail$(ure$) to perform acts required by $(a$) contract to be performed in" Florida, a Florida appeals panel ruled Oct. 25, finding that the state's long-arm statute conferred jurisdiction over the out-of-state insurer (Linda Betzoldt v. Auto Club Group Insurance Co., No. 2D12-5368, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2013 Fla. App. LEXIS 17055).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 24 granted summary judgment for an architect named as a defendant in a construction contract dispute but allowed breach of contract claims to proceed against a property owner (SRC Construction Corp. of Monroe v. Atlantic City Housing Authority, et al., No. 10-3461, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152814).
CHICAGO - The sale of a hurricane-damaged apartment complex "in its unrepaired state did not extinguish $(the policyholder's$) right to recover on $(its$) mature claim," a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 25, reviving the policyholder's breach of contract and bad faith claims against its excess insurer (Edgewood Manor Apartment Homes LLC, et al. v. RSUI Indemnity Co., No. 12-1480 and 12-1508, 7th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 21939).
AKRON, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Oct. 23 found that it lacked jurisdiction over a dispute related to subcontracts for a project in Iraq, finding that the underlying agreement requires that all disputes be submitted to arbitration in Switzerland (Balbir S. Tuli v. Alstom Grid Inc., No. 5:12CV02426, N.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152216).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In reconsidering a previous opinion, a District of Columbia federal judge on Oct. 21 held that the prior decision was incorrect and granted a managed care organization (MCO)'s motion to dismiss a reimbursement suit, saying that the plaintiff was not an intended third-party beneficiary of the contract at issue (Prince George's Hospital Center v. Advantage Healthplan Inc., No. 03-2392, D. D.C.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150842).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A homeowner has sufficiently established that issues of material fact exist as to whether her insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith in denying her claim related to removing bats from her home, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 18, denying the insurer's summary judgment motion (Alexandra Nicholson v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 2:11-cv-03018, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150394).
CHARLESTON, W.V. - The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals on Oct. 18 upheld a $10,000 jury award on counterclaims brought by homeowners involved in a construction contract dispute, finding "no compelling reason to set aside the jury's verdict because the evidence supports the finding that respondents are entitled to recover damages related to repairing the defects in the construction" (Hawkins and Nesbitt Contracting Inc. v. Keith Queen, et al., No. 12-1256, W. Va. Sup.; 2013 W. Va. LEXIS 1111).
LOS ANGELES - Homeowners failed to show that they were listed as additional insureds under a contractor's policy, a California appeals panel ruled Oct. 15, affirming the entry of summary judgment to an insurance broker on breach of contract and negligence claims (Gerald V. Hollingsworth Jr., et al. v. Lincoln General Insurance Co., No. B240536, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7386).
DAYTON, Ohio - Non-party Community Insurance Co., doing business as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem), must produce certain documents regarding its deliberations not to contract with a medical center in the medical center's lawsuit claiming that it was denied contracts with managed care providers as a result of a purported conspiracy involving other hospitals to exclude the medical center from the marketplace in violation of federal antitrust law, a federal judge in Ohio ruled Oct. 16 (The Medical Center at Elizabeth Place, LLC v. Premier Health Partners, et al., No. 3:12-cv-26, S.D. Ohio; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148839).
DETROIT - The Michigan Court of Appeals on Oct. 15 affirmed a trial court's decision in a construction contract dispute, agreeing that a surety's liability is limited to the amount of a performance bond (Northline Excavating Inc., et al. v. Livingston County, et al., No. 304964, Mich. App.; 2013 Mich. App. LEXIS 1658).
LONDON - An English justice on Oct. 16 refused to set aside an arbitration award issued in favor of an Indian coal and coke trader, finding that the arbitrators were entitled to find that the contract remained valid for performance and that an Egyptian seller of the product had ended the contract (Al Nasr Co for Coke and Chemicals v. Fairdeal Supplies Ltd., No. $(2013$) EWHC 3131 $(Comm$), England and Wales High).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A plaintiff company in a breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit was ordered by a federal magistrate judge in Connecticut on Oct. 15 to produce a privilege log for withheld documents after the magistrate found that the defendants' request was timely (Powerweb Energy Inc. v. Hubbell Lighting Inc., et al., No. 12CV220, D. Conn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148083).