LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Health Law - Pa. Federal Judge Leaves Equitable Remedies Claim In Health Benefits Dispute

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 19 partially dismissed a dispute related to the payment of health care benefits for the treatment of autism, dismissing claims for legal damages and breach of contract but leaving a claim for equitable remedies (Patrick C. Jarman v. Capital Blue Cross, et al., No. 13-932, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20464).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - North Carolina Panel: Damages To Be Determined In Construction Contract Case

RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina Court of Appeals on Feb. 18 overturned summary judgment and remanded a construction contract dispute to the trial court for a determination of total damages in a case involving allegedly faulty roads built in a subdivision (J.T. Russell & Sons Inc. v. Silver Birch Pond LLC, No. COA13-662, N.C. App.; 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 217).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Breach Of Contract, Fraud Claims Against Insurance Agents

LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on Feb. 18 dismissed claims against insurance agents for fraud and breach of contract with regard to the financing and purchasing of an insurance agency because the agents made no alleged factual misrepresentation (Archway Insurance Services LLC, et al. v. James Harris, et al., No. 11-1173, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20455).

Mealey's Insurance - Jury Awards Lupus Sufferer $800,000 For Insurer's Bad Faith Coverage Denial

SAN FRANCISCO - After an eight-day trial, a California federal jury on Feb. 13 found that an insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying long-term disability (LTD) coverage to a woman diagnosed with lupus, awarding her more than $873,622 in unpaid benefits and compensatory damages (Cassaundra Ellena v. Standard Insurance Co., et al., No. 3:12-cv-05401, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Connecticut High Court: Prevention Doctrine Claim Against Insurance Brokers Fails

HARTFORD, Conn. - Insurance brokers' alleged hindering conduct occurred before the existence of a contract between the brokers and an insured, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed Feb. 18, also finding that a trial judge properly determined that the insured's claim under the prevention doctrine failed as a matter of law (Blumberg Associates Worldwide Inc. v. Brown and Brown of Connecticut Inc., et al., No. SC 18911, Conn. Sup.; 2014 Conn. LEXIS 16).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Breach Of Contract Claims In Fiduciary Liability Dispute

RENO, Nev. - Rejecting an insurer's argument that an insurance policy's securities exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) lawsuit, a Nevada federal judge on Feb. 13 refused to dismiss an insured's breach of contract claims against the insurer (International Game Technology, Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 3:13-cv-00026-RCJ-WGC, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18364).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Breach Of Contract Claims In Fiduciary Liability Dispute

RENO, Nev. - Rejecting an insurer's argument that an insurance policy's securities exclusion precludes coverage for an underlying Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) lawsuit, a Nevada federal judge on Feb. 13 refused to dismiss an insured's breach of contract claims against the insurer (International Game Technology, Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 3:13-cv-00026-RCJ-WGC, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18364).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Appeals Panel Upsets Summary Judgment Order In Gas Well Contract Dispute

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A unanimous 13th District Texas Court of Appeals panel overturned a trial court interpretation of a contract between the owner of oil and natural gas wells and a drilling company in connection with recovering costs for responding to a blowout; evidence before the trial court should have been interpreted to deny summary judgment, the panel ruled Feb. 13 (ZK Drilling Co. v. Lavaca River Operating Co., No. 12-688, Texas App. 13th Dist.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Creditor: Fisker's Plan To Pay $0 To Resolve Contract Default Must Be Denied

WILMINGTON, Del. - A creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc. on Feb. 12 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to the company's proposed assignment of executory contracts and Fisker's proposed cure amount of $0 for defaults under a retail contract between the parties (In Re: Fisker Automotive Holdings Inc., No. 13-13087, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - California Employee Retirement Group Objects To Debt Plan Filed By City Of Stockton

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), the arm of the State of California that provides retirement benefits to state employees, on Feb. 10 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California opposing the plan of adjustment filed by the bankrupt City of Stockton, contending that the city's plan inappropriately treats the CalPERS pension plan as an executory contract (In Re: City of Stockton, Calif., No. 12-32118, Chapter 9, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Insurance - CGL Insurer Has No Duty To Indemnify Construction Defects Judgment, Judge Says

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify an insured against an underlying construction defects judgment totaling $700,000 because breach of contract is not an "occurrence" under the policy, an Alabama federal judge ruled Feb. 11 (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Howard Snider, et al., No. 11-215, M.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16920).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - American Airlines To Pay Airport $16.99M To Settle Contract Dispute

NEW YORK - Bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Feb. 10 filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York a stipulated agreement with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the management company for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), under which AMR would pay $16,991,969.06 to settle disputed charges the airline owes to the airport (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - English Justice Dismisses Application In Dispute Over Oil Supply Contracts

LONDON - An English justice on Feb. 7 rejected an application filed by a Romanian oil company in a dispute over supply contracts for crude oil on the basis of an abuse of process (OMV Petrom SA v. Glencore International AG, No. [2014] EWHC 242 [Comm], England and Wales High, Comm.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Denies Motion To Remand Suit Related To Failed Bank

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on Feb. 7 denied a motion to remand a suit arising from a failed bank's alleged breach of contract, finding that the suit does not meet the "state law exception" (I & M.J. Gross Co., et al. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 13-0151, M.D. Tenn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15616).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 3rd Circuit: Remedy For Nonexistent Super Bowl Seats Lies Only In Contract

PHILADELPHIA - A ticket to a sporting event is a contract, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in a Feb. 10 decision affirming a lower court's dismissal of fraud claims brought by fans who did not get the seats promised for Super Bowl XLV (Richard Pollock, et al. v. NFL, et al., No. 13-1987, 3rd Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Connecticut Federal Judge Dismisses Counterclaims In Copyright Case

HARTFORD, Conn. - Four copyright infringement plaintiffs won dismissal Feb. 7 of counterclaims that they breached their contract with myriad defendants in a dispute over software (East Point Systems Inc., et al. v. Steven Maxim, et al., No. 13-215, D. Conn.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: No Additional Discovery Will Cure Failure To Submit Proper Proof Of Loss

NEW ORLEANS - Finding that no additional discovery will change the fact that an insured failed to submit a complete, sworn proof of loss in support of a supplemental claim for Hurricane Isaac damage, a Louisiana federal judge on Feb. 7 granted a motion by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to dismiss the insured's breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit (Richard H. Clark, Sr., et al. v. FEMA, et al., No. 13-5232, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15871).

Mealey's Health Law - 2nd Circuit Affirms Injunction Halting Termination Of Medicare Contracts

NEW YORK - In a Feb. 7 unpublished opinion, a panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed with a modification a lower court's decision to grant a preliminary injunction to keep a health insurance company group from terminating approximately 2,200 physicians from its Medicare Advantage program (Fairfield County Medical Association, et al. v. United Healthcare of New England, et al., No.13-4608, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2319).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Wal-Mart Says Its Claim In Atari Bankruptcy Is Valid Based On Contract

NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores Inc., a creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of video game maker Atari Inc., filed a brief Feb. 7 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York supporting its claim for $163,782.86, contending that Atari's objection to the claim should be overruled "because the claim is well-supported by evidence that has not been meaningfully rebutted" (In Re: Atari Inc., No. 13-10176, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel: Suit Seeking Additional Coverage For Hurricane Damage Was Timely

MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 5 found that an insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking additional coverage for Hurricane Wilma damage was timely filed and not barred by a Florida five-year statute of limitations, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Angela M. Rizo v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 3D12-3088, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Declines To Dismiss Breach Of Contract Action Against Insurance Agent

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Feb. 4 refused to dismiss an insurer's breach of contract lawsuit against an insurance agent regarding the agent's alleged duty to repay compensation received on premium payments that were returned (PHL Variable Insurance Co. v. Haynes Brokerage Group Inc., No. 13-1271, D. Conn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13804).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Has No Duty To Defend Faulty Work Claims, Maine Federal Judge Finds

PORTLAND, Maine - Under Maine law, a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend an insured against an underlying lawsuit for breach of contract arising from the insured's alleged faulty workmanship, a Maine federal judge ruled Feb. 4 (Ted Berry Company Inc. v. Excelsior Insurance Co., No. 13-342, D. Maine; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13585).

Mealey's Insurance - 11th Circuit Finds Insurer Had No Duty To Defend, Indemnify Convenience Store

ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 4 found no error in a trial court's decision to not give preclusive effect to a state court's finding that a decedent was not an employee of a business that was sued for wrongful death, affirming a judgment that the business's insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in denying coverage in the underlying suit (Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., et al. v. Housan Sharif, et al., No. 13-11151, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2114).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Class Certification Over Home Depot Fees

SAN FRANCISCO - The existence of five contracts handling fee disclosures differently, contested store signage and oral representations creates individualized issues and required denying class certification of California unfair competition law (UCL) claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed Feb. 3 (Benjamin Berger, et al. v. Home Depot USA Inc., DBA The Home Depot, No. 11-55592, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2059).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 10th Circuit Affirms Ruling For Hotel On Employee's Mold Claims

DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 3 affirmed a summary judgment ruling in favor of a hotel on claims asserted by a former employee who alleged that his contract was terminated after he made complaints about mold (Guy DeFazio v. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., No. 13-1197, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 2030).