SEATTLE - A commercial general liability insurance policy's exclusions for damage occurring during an insured's work operations preclude coverage for an underlying breach of contract lawsuit, a Washington appeals panel affirmed May 5 (Western National Assurance Co. v. Shelcon Construction Group LLC, No. 70143-6-I, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1094).
MIAMI - After finding that an arbitration provision in a sailor's employment contract must be enforced, a Florida federal judge on April 30 granted a cruise line's motion to compel arbitration of his injury-related claims in Monaco (Vitalii Pysarenko v. Carnival Corp., d/b/a Carnival Cruise Lines, No. 14-20010, S.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59990).
HOUSTON - After finding that secondary contracts for the sale of steel pipes did not require a Texas corporation to arbitrate disputes in China, a Texas federal judge on April 30 dismissed a New Zealand entity's petition to confirm an arbitration award that was issued in its favor (In the Matter of the Arbitration between Exceed Int'l Limited v. DSL Corp., et al., No. 13-2572, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59913).
VALDOSTA, Ga. - A federal judge refused to dismiss a man's breach of contract claim against Bank of America Home Loans Inc. and Nationstar Mortgage LLC over an increase in his monthly mortgage payment, finding that he sufficiently stated a claim (John Green v. Bank of America Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 13-CV-137, M.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58396).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A federal judge in Missouri on March 29 dismissed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. from a suit filed by an investor in a golf course development, finding that the investor would not receive monetary relief even if it prevailed on its breach of contract claim against the FDIC, as the receiver for the failed Hillcrest Bank (Quintero Community Association Inc., et al. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 11-0893, W.D. Mo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58934).
DENVER - A life insurance provider acted within a policy's provisions when it adjusted payment of death benefits to account for the misstated age of the named insured, a Colorado federal judge found April 25, dismissing breach of contract and bad faith claims against the insurer (Trenson L. Byrd v. Conseco Life Insurance Co., No. 1:12-cv-02455, D. Colo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57962).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of breach of contract, third-party beneficiary insurance and negligence claims in a lawsuit arising from Hurricane Floyd damage (Thomas and Cheryl Koziol Inc. v. LaSalle National Bank $(as Trustee$); GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., et al., No. A-0849-12T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 949).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A 2-1 panel of the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 28 reversed a Federal Claims Court judge's ruling awarding summary judgment to the U.S. government after finding that contracts the government entered into with oil companies during World War II for the production of aviation fuel (avgas) require the government to reimburse the companies for costs they incurred under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Shell Oil Company, et al. v. United States of America, No. 2013-5051, Fed. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7865).
TRENTON, N.J. - A pharmaceutical manufacturer that alleged that its competitor violated federal and state antitrust laws by using market-share discounting practices and exclusionary contracts with hospitals filed a notice of appeal on April 23 to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal of the trial court's order granting summary judgment against it (Eisai Inc. v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC, et al., No. 08-4168, D. N.J.).
MOBILE, Ala. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to indemnify an underlying breach of contract jury verdict entered against an insured regarding roof replacement work that allegedly caused leaking based upon a "contractual liability" exclusion, an Alabama federal judge ruled April 25 (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. St. Catherine of Siena Parish and Kiker Corp., No. 13-00066, S.D. Ala.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57636).
SCRANTON, Pa. - An insurer is not liable under an agreement between it and an insurance producer for indemnity to the producer for any breach of contract lawsuits filed by parties to the agreement, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled April 24, dismissing the insurance producer's contractual indemnification counterclaim against the insurer (United Financial Casualty Co. v. A.M. Skier Agency Inc., et al., No. 13-1291, M.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57503).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Because the plaintiffs in a Hurricane Sandy coverage dispute failed to "present an independent factual predicate" for their bad faith claim, a New York federal judge on April 22 dismissed the claim as redundant of their breach of contract claim against their insurer (433 Main Street Realty LLC, et al. v. Darwin National Assurance Co., No. 1:14-cv-00587, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55940).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 24 denied JP Morgan Chase Bank NA's (Chase) motion to rehear the appellate court's upholding of a federal court's summary judgment award to bank landlords who sued Chase and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for breach of contract after Chase acquired the assets of Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) and the FDIC repudiated leases (Excel Willowbrook LLC, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase NA, et al., No. 12-20367, MR/VM Partners Ltd. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, et al., No. 12-20375, Southside/3500 Ltd. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, et al., No. 12-20376, ORTB Wayside Ltd. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, et al., No. 12-20377, Excel Little York Ltd. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, et al., No. 12-20378, 3300 Sage Ltd. v. JPMorgan Chase bank NA, et al., No. 12-20381, FL Westheimer Wilchrest Ltd., et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA, et al., No. 12-20382, Weichsel Farm Limited Partnership v. JP Morgan Chase Bank NA, et al., No. 12-10784, 5th Cir; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7726).
NEW YORK - A patent and trademark infringement defendant won dismissal of the claims April 23, when U.S. Judge Paul A. Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York agreed that the allegations either sound in contract or fail as a matter of law (Ergowerx International LLC v. Maxell Corporation of America, No. 13-5633, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 23 affirmed a bankruptcy court's decision that a debt was nondischargeable on grounds that the debtor failed to disclose material information to a creditor while doing business, which affected the creditor's decision to enter a contract with the debtor (Joseph H. Parks d/b/a Pool Construction Services v. Angelus Block Co. Inc. [In Re: Joseph H. Parks], No. 12-60073, Chapter 7, 9th Cir.; 2014 U.S. LEXIS 7634).
DENVER - A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 23 upheld the dismissal of a pro se plaintiff's breach of contract and fraud claims against Bank of America N.A. after agreeing with a federal judge in Colorado that the man was unable to sufficiently allege that the lender induced him into entering into a loan modification agreement (James P. Tatten v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 13-1408, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7594).
DALLAS - A couple alleging breach of contract, bad faith and related claims by their insurer pertaining to storm damages to their home failed to present any evidence to support their claims, a Texas federal judge ruled April 18, granting summary judgment in favor of the insurer (Robert Bell, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 3:13-cv-01165, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53828).
RENO, Nev. - A woman who claimed injuries from a slip-and-fall incident at a gas station owned by a Native American tribe has not established standing to bring third-party breach of contract or bad faith claims against the gas station's insurer, a Nevada federal judge found April 18, granting the insurer's dismissal motion (Becky McVay v. Allied World Insurance Co., et al., No. 3:13-cv-00359, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54115).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California appeals court on April 17 remanded to a trial court a class action complaint alleging that a car dealership's sales practices violate the state unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws so the lower court can determine whether three provisions in the arbitration clause of the dealership's sale agreement that both courts found to be unconscionable should be severed from the contract (Suzanne Gillespie v. Svale Del Grande, Inc., et al., No. H039428, Calif. App., 6th Dist.).
TROY, Mich. - In a majority ruling, a Michigan appeals court on April 17 affirmed a judgment in favor of commercial property owners in relation to a tenant's breach of contract claims and reversed a decision that refused to award them fees (Stanwood Motor Sports Acquisition LLC. V. Joseph F. Arnold, et al., No. 313994, Mich. App.; 2014 Mich. App. LEXIS 707).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 18 reversed a ruling and cut a $1.5 million award to $375,000 in a bankruptcy case, holding that the award of contract damages should not put the creditor in a better position than it would have been had the contract been fulfilled (Hess Management v. Denise M. Bankston [In the Matter of: Denise M. Bankston], No. 12-31016, Chapter 11, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 7332).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A natural gas operating company sued by a drilling company with which it contracted to spud wells in West Virginia is liable under the drilling contract to reimburse settlement and litigation costs for a related well-water contamination lawsuit naming both companies as defendants, the presiding U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio judge ruled April 16 (Warren Drilling Inc. v. Equitable Production Co., No. 12-425, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52064).