WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 asked the solicitor general to offer its views in a dispute over domestic consequences for contracts negotiated and executed overseas when the negotiated product is later determined to be infringing (Maersk Drilling USA Inc. v. Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc., No. 13-43, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - CRT Capital Group LLC, the former financial adviser to bankrupt PMGI Holdings Inc. - the parent company of the adult entertainment empire carrying the name "Penthouse" - filed a brief on Oct. 4 contending that it is owed $3.5 million. CRT maintains that PMGI "deliberately" terminated the contract between the parties without cause to avoid paying the fees (In Re: PMGI Holdings Inc., No. 13-12404, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge properly granted Bose Corp. summary judgment on its allegation that a defendant's sale of "gray market goods" in Australia represents trademark infringement and breach of contract, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Oct. 4 (Bose Corporation v. Salman Ejaz, No. 12-2403, 1st Cir.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Because certain prescribed cancer drugs were determined to be not "medically necessary" or accepted by the medical community at large, an Oklahoma federal judge on Oct. 1 concluded that an insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith by denying a policyholder's coverage claims for those drugs (Dana J. Delluomo v. American Medical Security Life Insurance Co., No. 5:11-cv-01337, W.D. Okla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141502).
NEW ORLEANS - A divided Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 2 affirmed the dismissal of BP Exploration and Production Inc.'s breach of contract suit against the administrator of the Gulf Coast Claims Fund (GFFC), but ordered the judge presiding over the multidistrict court for litigation stemming from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to review the terms of the settlement agreement regarding payouts for business economic losses (BEL) (In re: Deepwater Horizon, Nos. 13-30315, 13-30329, 5th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A committee for the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes on Oct. 1 released its decision refusing to lift the stay of enforcement of a $1,769,625,000 award issued in favor of two companies in a dispute over an oil exploration and exploitation contract with the Republic of Ecuador, finding no evidence of anything that would prohibit the companies from eventually enforcing the award (Occidental Petroleum Corp., et al. v. The Republic of Ecuador, No. ARB/06/11, ICSID).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 27 dismissed some claims from a putative class action alleging that U.S. Bank N.A. and others deceived student loan borrowers, but he allowed breach of contract claims to remain, finding that agreements between a borrower and the defendants were ambiguous "if not outright contradictory" (Cindy L. Breitman v. Xerox Education Services LLC, et al., No. 12-6583, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139613).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A woman does not allege that a car sales company deceived her into an automobile contract or that she paid more as a result of the contract, a California appeals court held Sept. 25 (Tiffini Harrelson v. CarMax Auto Superstores California LLC, No. E054435, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6912).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A divided West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 26 that summary judgment for the owner of a mineral estate accused of breach of contract was in error; the dissenting justices argued that the natural gas company has a common-law right to use the surface estate to exploit the subsurface estate (Arthur Thornsbury, et uxor v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., No. 12-152, W.Va. Sup.; 2013 W.Va. LEXIS 958).
MINNEAPOLIS - An agreement between Party City Corp. and one of its franchisees clearly gave the party goods supplier the right to operate an Internet-based store, a Minnesota federal judge found Sept. 25, holding that the franchisee failed to establish its breach of contract claim (Newpaper LLC v. Party City Corp., et al., No. 0:13-cv-01735, D. Minn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137396).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Insureds failed to establish breach of contract and bad faith claims against a marine insurance broker regarding procurement of an insurance policy, a Connecticut federal judge ruled Sept. 23 (Franklin Lord and Sharon Schumann v. International Marine Insurance Services, et al., No. 08-1299, D. Conn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135511).
WORCESTER, Mass. - A loan servicer's motion for summary judgment was denied by a federal judge in Massachusetts on Sept. 24, who found that a man could pursue a breach of contract claim based on the defendant's failure to offer him a permanent loan modification despite his compliance with the terms of the trial period plan (TPP) (John Stagikas v. Saxon Mortgage Services Inc., No. 10-40164-TSH, D. Mass.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136462).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 23 reversed and remanded a lower court's ruling in favor of insurers on an insured's breach of contract claims, finding that the lower court erred in finding that the insured's alleged loss was precluded from coverage under an inherent vice policy exclusion (United States Fire Insurance Co. v. Kelman Bottles LLC, et al., No. 12-2270, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19448).
GREENBELT, Md. - A Maryland federal judge on Sept. 19 found that the plaintiffs in a dispute over homeowners insurance coverage did not establish separate bases for their bad faith and actual malice torts against their insurer, making them duplicative of their breach of contract claim and meriting dismissal (Charles Young, et al. v. Travelers Insurance Co., No. 8:13-cv-02092, D. Md.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133934).
MIAMI - A federal judge in Florida on Sept. 23 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation to grant a title insurer's motion for summary judgment in a suit the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., as the receiver for BankUnited FSB (BankUnited), filed against it, asserting breach of contract regarding two loans (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Floridian Title Group Inc., et al., No. 12-21890, S.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135650).
CHICAGO - The First District Illinois Appellate Court on Sept. 20 upheld a $113,462 arbitration award to a construction company in a breach of contract action, agreeing that the plaintiff terminated the contract without cause (J. Rogan Beckman v. Art Development Group Ltd., No. 1-12-1837, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2013 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2105).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Sept. 18 denied the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Service's request to vacate and dissolve a partial finding of contempt issued against the cabinet for failing to properly process requests by Medicaid patients to transfer from one in-network Coventry Health and Life Insurance Co. facility to another facility in light of Coventry's impending termination of its provider contract with Appalachian Regional Healthcare Inc. and ARH Breckenridge Health Services Inc. (collectively, ARH) Appalachian Regional Healthcare, et al. v. Coventry Health and Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-114, E.D. Ky.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133126).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The Fourth District California Court of Appeal on Sept. 18 overturned a judgment against a construction contractor in a construction contract dispute, ruling that the trial court erred by awarding damages for construction defects that were not alleged in the plaintiffs' complaint (Chibueze Dallah, et al. v. Edward Konopacki, No. E053286, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6672).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Sept. 18 remanded a breach of health care contract suit to state court, saying that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the claims (Port Medical Wellness Inc. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-3604, C. D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134612).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Sept. 16 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss an insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage under a staffing-services liability insurance policy (Beacon Industrial Staffing Inc., et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, P.A., No: 8:13-cv-1715-T-30, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132067).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An insured breached the terms of a workers' compensation insurance contract by not paying the stated reserve amounts, an Indiana federal judge found Sept. 9, while holding that the insurer did not act in bad faith in its handling and investigation of the claim covered by the reserve fund (The American Insurance Co., et al. v. Liberty Homes Inc., No. 3:12-cv-00122, N.D. Ind.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128032).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 10 denied a motion to dismiss a health care insurance suit alleging breach of contract and violation of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) but granted the plaintiff's motion to strike an affidavit the defendants filed in support of their dismissal motion (Victoria Weiland v. AssureCare Inc., et al., No. 12-1947, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128750).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. must modify its existing agreements with publishers and submit to an external monitor pursuant to the final order entered Sept. 5 by the federal judge in New York who ruled against Apple on claims by the United States and 33 states that Apple conspired with five publishers to fix prices of electronic books (United States of America v. Apple Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 2826, S.D. N.Y.; State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group $(USA$) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.).
OMAHA, Neb. - An additional insured sufficiently asserts breach of contract claims against insurers regarding coverage for remediation of a highway construction project, a Nebraska federal judge ruled Sept. 4, denying motions to dismiss (Hawkins Construction Co. v. Peterson Contractors Inc., et al., No. 13-46, D. Neb.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126820).
BOSTON - The federal judge in Massachusetts overseeing the multidistrict litigation for lawsuits stemming from Bank of America N.A.'s alleged mishandling of loan modification requests pursuant to the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) on Sept. 4 refused to certify 26 classes for borrowers, finding that individual issues pertaining to each class member's performance required by a trial period plan (TPP) predominated over classwide issues (In re: Bank of America Home Affordable Modification Program $(HAMP$) Contract Litigation, MDL No. 2193, Case No. 10-md-2193, D. Mass.).