WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Aug. 8 refused to consolidate eight suits and potential tag-along actions regarding a truck stop company's alleged scheme of withholding diesel fuel price rebates and discounts (In Re: Pilot Flying J Fuel Rebate Contract Litigation, MDL No. 2468, JPMDL; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112360).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 8 reversed the dismissal of two lawsuits claiming that Wells Fargo Bank N.A. breached the terms of trial period plans (TPPs) offered to borrowers attempting to modify their home loans under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), finding that the TPPs were enforceable contracts (Philip R. Corvello v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A.,, No. 11-16234, Karen Lucia, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 11-16242, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - Bankrupt Old HB Inc., formerly known as Hostess Brands Inc., on Aug. 7 filed an adversary proceeding against a bakery seeking recovery of $157,989.93 in damages related to alleged breaches of contract related to bread it provided for Hostess (Old HB Inc. f/k/a Hostess Brands Inc. v. Papa Pita Bakery $(In Re: Old HB, f/k/a Hostess Brands Inc.$), No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Aug. 5 refused to dismiss a breach of contract claim against an insurance agent and its parent company regarding the purchase of forced-placed insurance on a mortgage (Jared Rapp v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, et al., No. 12-2496, D. Minn.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109461).
GULFPORT, Miss. - Insureds improperly joined insurance agents as defendants to a lawsuit alleging wrongful denial of coverage, a Mississippi federal judge held Aug. 2, dismissing breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation claims (Melvin Lonberger and Bobbie Lonberger v. OMNI Indemnity Co., et al., No. 13-243, S.D. Miss.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109703).
BOSTON - The absence of special circumstances and of a specific promise to procure a particular coverage between an insurance broker and insureds precludes claims against the broker for negligence, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract, the Massachusetts Appeals Court affirmed Aug. 1 (Robert H. Guida, et al. v. Herbert H. Landy Insurance Agency Inc., No. 12-P-1214, Mass. App.; 2013 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 803).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A Rhode Island federal judge on Aug. 2 found that a claimant has pleaded sufficient allegations to support the availability of corporate liability insurance coverage for an underlying intentional misrepresentation verdict, rejecting the insurer's reliance on the policy's contract and fraud exclusions in denying coverage (TranSched Systems Limited v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 12-939-M, D. R.I.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108736.)
PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Supreme Court on July 31 ruled that a trial court erred by granting summary judgment for the defendant in a breach of construction contract case, remanding the action for further proceedings (Donald Bucklin Construction v. McCormick Construction Co., No. 26505, S.D. Sup.; 2013 S.D. LEXIS 85).
PHOENIX - The Arizona Supreme Court on July 31 affirmed a court of appeals ruling that reversed dismissal of tort claims brought against a construction firm by the second owners of a property, ruling that "if the homeowner does not have a contract with the homebuilder, we hold that the economic loss doctrine does not bar the homeowner's negligence claims to recover damages resulting from construction defects" (John F. Sullivan, et al. v. Pulte Home Corp., No. CV-12-0419-PR, Ariz. Sup.; 2013 Ariz. LEXIS 162).
JACKSON, Miss. - Because an underlying plaintiff only pleaded intentional actions by a construction company and its subcontractors, a Mississippi appeals court on July 30 unanimously affirmed a lower court's finding that there had been no "occurrence" or accident to trigger coverage under a commercial general liability policy related to the underlying breach of contract and negligence lawsuit (W.R. Berkley Corp., et al. v. Rea's Country Lane Construction Inc., No. 2009-CA-01223-COA, Miss. App.; 2013 Miss. App. LEXIS 464).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on July 30 issued a ruling on various motions in relation to disputes over payments made under shipping contracts for the purchase and transport of pig iron (Stemcor USA Inc. v. Cia Siderurgica Do Para Cosipar, No. 12-2966, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106549).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on July 29 partially granted summary judgment in favor of a health care provider in a breach of contract dispute, leaving only the plaintiff's claim that she is a third-party beneficiary seeking to enforce restrictions on permitted billing of members for services that are not covered (Elizabeth Cates v. Integris Health Inc., No. 12-763, W.D. Okla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105437).
ROANOKE, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on July 26 granted summary judgment to City National Bank (CNB), which acquired a $3.2 million loan from a failed bank, holding that the fact that CNB possibly cannot enforce the note against the signer of a promissory note "has no bearing on whether it can enforce the Guaranty, an independent contract" (City National Bank v. Moishe Tress, et al., No.7:11-cv-73, W.D. Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105398).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on July 25 dismissed breach of contract claims filed against insurance agents relating to their primary obligations under guarantees and with various covenants in the guarantees (Greenlight Reinsurance Ltd., et al. v. Appalachian Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 12-8544, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104605).
SEATTLE - Even though a Washington federal judge on July 23 found that an insurer did not breach its contract in its payment of an arbitration award to its insureds, the judge found that the insurer acted in bad faith by ceasing payment of additional living expenses (ALE) prematurely (Randy and Monica Garoutte v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 2:12-cv-01787, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103062).
CHICAGO - A medical imaging firm's Internet activity directed at Illinois and its contractual relationship with an Illinois radiology firm constitute sufficient minimum contacts with the state to establish jurisdiction, an Illinois federal judge ruled July 22, denying a motion to dismiss (Stat Imaging LLC v. Medical Specialists Inc., P.C., et al., No. 1:13-cv-01921, N.D. Ill.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101758).
DETROIT - The bankrupt City of Detroit on July 24 moved for bankruptcy court authorization to terminate an agreement with lenders related to what are called swap obligations in an attempt to save $1.45 billion (In Re: City of Detroit, No. 13-53846, Chapter 9, E.D. Mich. Bkcy.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - An insurance broker was fraudulently joined in a doctor insured's breach of contract and unfair trade practices lawsuit, a West Virginia federal judge ruled July 23, denying the insured's motion to remand to state court (Emmanuel O. Soyoola v. Oceanus Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:13-cv-08907, S.D. W.Va.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102519).
ST. LOUIS - Finding that a law firm insured's bad faith claim against its professional liability insurer is not wholly independent of its breach of contract and vexatious refusal claims, a Missouri federal judge on July 22 granted the insurer's motion to dismiss the bad faith claim (The Hullverson Law Firm P.C., et al. v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., No. 4:12-CV-1994 CAS, E.D. Mo., Eastern Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101640).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 18 affirmed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a title agency after finding that a recording fee it charged a couple when refinancing their loan did not violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) but reinstated the plaintiffs' claims that the agency violated state contract laws and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) (Arthur R. Tubbs, et al. v. North American Title Agency Inc., et al., No. 11-4510, 3rd Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 14722).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on July 22 refused to compel arbitration in a suit arising from a consumer's debt settlement contract because the consumer's claims against a payment processor are separate from her claims against a debt settlement company and her contract with the payment processor does not include an arbitration clause (Regina Lomax v. Meracord LLC, No. 13-1945, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101874).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal appeals court on July 22 reversed summary judgment in favor of GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) in a lawsuit in which generic drug maker Mylan Inc. claims that GSK breached a contract to allow Mylan to market a generic version of the antidepressant Paxil by allowing another drug maker to do the same (Mylan Inc., et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 12-1539, 3rd Cir.).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York appeals panel on July 19 dismissed a breach of contract and negligence lawsuit against an insurance agent regarding the agent's alleged failure to inform a successor company of the previous insured's balance of $12,000 on insurance premiums owed (5 Awnings Plus Inc., f/k/a Portage House Motel Inc. v. Moses Insurance Group Inc., No. 12-02300, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dept.; 2013 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5324).
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal magistrate judge on July 18 stayed a case filed by the purchaser of a unit in a condominium development in Mexico that was never built, finding that his claims were subject to an arbitration clause in the parties' underlying contract (Robert W. Felland v. Patrick Clifton, et al., No. 10-cv-664, W.D. Wis.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100197).
FRESNO, Calif. - Although a California federal judge found that the claimants of life insurance proceeds had not submitted sufficiently admissible proof of the policyholder's death, he continued judgment on their breach of contract claim to permit them an opportunity to resubmit evidence (Frisco Honnevk, et al. v. Farmers New World Live Insurance Co., No. 1:11-cv-01531, E.D. Calif.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98576).