HAMMOND, Ind. - Because two homeowners "continuously changed" details about a fire to their home and misrepresented certain facts, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on Aug. 21 held that their insurer "had sufficient reason to believe" they committed arson and deny coverage for the fire, leading the judge to grant summary judgment for the insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims against it (Maurice Griffin, et al. v. Allstate Property and Casualty, No. 2:10-cv-00387, N.D. Ind.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117844).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina attorney involved in the settlement of a class suit brought on behalf of those damaged by an industrial explosion failed to show that he and two other attorneys involved in the case had a valid fee-splitting agreement, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 21, affirming the rejection of his breach of contract complaint (Donald J. Dunn v. Henry T. Dart, et al., No. COA11-1264, N.C. App.; 2012 N.C. App. LEXIS 976).
PHILADELPHIA - An expert who based his damages evaluation in an art company's breach-of-contract case on the company's unsubstantiated business plan must be excluded, a federal magistrate in Pennsylvania held Aug. 17 (Legendary Art v. Michael Godard, et al., No. 11-0674, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116270).
SCRANTON, Pa. - Directors and officers coverage for an underlying class action lawsuit against Uni-Marts LLC is barred by the policy's contract exclusion, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Aug. 17, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Federal Insurance Company v. KDW Restructuring and Liquidation Services LLC, No. 07-01357, M.D. Pa.). Subscribers may view the memorandum available within the full article.
DENVER - In a breach of contract suit arising from a line of credit, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 21 upheld a summary judgment ruling in favor of Wells Fargo NA, finding that a federal court did not err when it ruled that a borrower's promissory estoppel argument failed (Wells Fargo Bank N.A. v. Antonio I. Ortega, No. 11-8060, 10th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17613).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A workers' compensation insurer did not breach an agency agreement with an insurance agency when it terminated the parties' contract, and there was nothing to suggest that the insurer owed a fiduciary duty to the agency, a Louisiana appeals panel affirmed Aug. 16 (Northshore Insurance Agency LLC v. Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corp., No. 2011 CA 2069, La. App., 1st Cir.; 2012 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 529).
HAMMOND, Ind. - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBS) cannot compel a nonparty hospital to produce documents in an antitrust action brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the State of Michigan seeking to enjoin BCBS from including "most favored nation" (MFN) clauses in its contracts with hospitals in Michigan, a federal judge in Indiana ruled Aug. 15 (United States of America and the State of Michigan v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 2:12-mc-00039, N.D. Ind.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115023).
ATLANTA - Saying that a life insurance provider issued payment to a policy's named beneficiary, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 upheld a lower court's finding that the insurer did not breach the contract or act in bad faith, despite a dispute in benefits from the estate's executor (John Courembis v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 12-11176, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17025).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Aug. 17 dismissed a putative class action alleging that distributors of Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. gift cards violated contract laws by not allowing users to fully deplete the cards with certain retailers, finding that the plaintiff and the proposed class did not suffer injuries (Stephanie Rose Preira v. The Bancorp Bank, et al., No. 11-01547, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
LOS ANGELES - Two adult entertainment firms have sufficiently pleaded claims for conspiracy and monopolization against the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and a company that it contracted to be registry of the newly approved .XXX top-level domain (TLD) on the Internet, a California federal judge held Aug. 14, partly denying a motion to dismiss the firms' antitrust claims (Manwin Licensing International S.A.R.L., et al. v. ICM Registry LLC, et al., No. 2:11-cv-09514, C.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the in chambers order available within the full Mealey's article.
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on Aug. 14 dismissed counterclaims against the special deputy receiver (SDR) of three insolvent insurers for breach of contract and others because they are identical to claims previously asserted (Jo Ann Howard & Associates PC, et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112980).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 9 denied an insurance agency insured's motion to reconsider a July 3 summary judgment ruling in favor of an errors and omissions insurer in a coverage dispute stemming from underlying negligence and breach of contract claims against the agency and its agent (A.P. Pino & Associates Inc., et al. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 11-3962, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112618).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 10 dismissed with prejudice breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealings claims filed against a dating website by a class of subscribers and moved sua sponte for the dismissal of the plaintiffs' claim under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) (David Robinson, et al. v. Match.com, L.L.C., No. 10-2651, N.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112742).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A South Carolina federal judge on Aug. 10 determined that the evidence in a defective window coverage case supports a jury's finding on a breach of contract claim but said the evidence does not support a finding that the insurer's settlement within the policy limits was in bad faith (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. and Employers Insurance of Wausau v. J.T. Walker Industries Inc. f/k/a Metal Industries Inc., et al., No. 08-2043, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112427).
AKRON, Ohio - After determining that all of the issues in a breach of contract action must be decided in arbitration, an Ohio federal judge on Aug. 9 granted a company's motion to stay the case and to compel arbitration in London under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Integrated Aircraft Systems Inc. v. Porvair Filtration Group Ltd., No. 5:12CV493, N.D. Ohio.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111821).
ST. LOUIS - Retirees did not have a vested right to lifetime health benefits under a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that did not provide unambiguous language providing such a right, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 7 in ruling that Whirlpool Corp. may unilaterally modify the health benefits it provides to union workers who retired from Maytag Corp., its now-dissolved subsidiary (Maytag Corp., et al. v. International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, et al., No. 11-2931, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16353).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 7 affirmed a $25,904 award to a modular home company that sued to recover the unpaid balance of a construction contract, concluding that the trial court was correct to bar testimony from the defendants' expert witness (Fisher Housing Companies Inc. v. Haywood J. Hendricks, et al., No. COA12-120, N.C. App.; 2012 N.C. App. LEXIS 908).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Aug. 3 dismissed negligent misrepresentation claims brought against a defendant in a construction contract dispute, concluding that the defendant was not named in the construction contract or addendum (Mounger Construction LLC v. Fibervision Cable Services LLC, et al., No. 2:11-CV-00081, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108788).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Aug. 3 partially granted a motion to dismiss a cross-complaint filed by a construction company against an engineering firm, noting that there was no direct contract between the defendants in a construction defects case (Elliot B. Maisel v. Erickson Construction Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-00555, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108726).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Aug. 6 granted debt settlement company defendants' motion to compel arbitration in a suit in which a debtor alleges that they violated the Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) and found that the forum selection clause in the parties' contract is a "purely procedural matter" (Bernardita Duran v. The J. Hass Group LLC, et al., No. 10-04538, E.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110299).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court Appeals on Aug. 2 reversed an entry of summary judgment entered in favor of an insurer based on the Georgia Supreme Court's finding that whether damages for diminution of value to an insured are recoverable under its insurance policy depends on the specific language of the contract itself and can be resolved through application of the general rules of contract construction (Royal Capital Development LLC v. Maryland Casualty Co. No. 10-15716, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16020).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 partially reinstated a New York woman's breach of contract, disability discrimination and retaliation claims against Arience Capital Management L.P., her former employer, finding that the plaintiff presented evidence sufficient to allow a reasonable jury to find in her favor (Rebecca Bar-Tur v. Arience Capital Management, L.P., et al., No. 11-864, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 16089).
NEW YORK - A creditor that holds a patent licensing agreement with bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. on Aug. 3 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for a determination that, based on that contract, it has a valid, perfected and first-priority lien (In Re: Eastman Kodak Company, No. 12-10202, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). See related prior history 2012 Bankr. LEXIS 2944.
NEW YORK - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's inspector general issued a report Aug. 2 rejecting conflict-of-interest charges brought in connection with the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of wireless networking company Lightsquared Inc. as it relates to a communications contract with NASA (In Re: Lightsqaured Inc., No. 12-12080, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A federal judge in California on July 30 granted an insured's motion to add breach of an oral contract, negligence and equitable indemnity claims against insurance agents and remanded the case for lack of diversity (Galerie Homeowners Association v. Chartis Property Casualty Co., et al., No. 12-00290, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107070).