Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania High Court Won't Extend Habitability Claims To Subsequent Purchasers

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Aug. 18 refused to allow subsequent purchasers of a newly constructed home to pursue claims for breach of implied warranty of habitability against the builder, ruling that the parties' arguments were predominantly grounded in public policy rather than contract law (Michael Conway, et al. v. Cutler Group Inc., d/b/a The David Cutler Group Inc., No. 80 MAP 2013, Pa. Sup.; 2014 Pa. LEXIS 2084).

Mealey's Health Law - New Jersey Federal Judge Remands Breach Of Contract Suit; No Preemption Exists

NEWARK, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion, a New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 15 remanded a health insurance breach of contract case to state court, holding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the claims (Thomas R. Peterson, M.D., et al. v. Cigna Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-03818, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11349).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Kentucky Federal Judge Dismisses Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Aug. 12 granted a disability insurer's motion to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims alleged against it because the claims are essentially the same as the breach of contract claim (James W. Hackney v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., No. 11-268, W.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111142).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 7th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Motion To Intervene As Untimely

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 13 affirmed the dismissal of a man's motion to intervene in an action to confirm a London arbitration award that was issued in a dispute over a supply contract for soybeans, finding that his action was untimely (Bunge Agribusiness Singapore Pte. Ltd. v. Dalian Hualiang Enterprise Group Co. Ltd., No. 13-2539, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15524).

Mealey's Insurance - Kentucky Federal Judge Dismisses Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Aug. 12 granted a disability insurer's motion to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty claims alleged against it because the claims are essentially the same as the breach of contract claim (James W. Hackney v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., No. 11-268, W.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111142).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Permits Discovery Of Email, Phone Record Metadata Of Former Employee

FLINT, Mich. - An ex-employee's email and phone record metadata "fall within the heartland" of a mission support company's breach of contract and trade secrets complaint against him, a Michigan federal judge ruled Aug. 8, denying the man's motion to quash a subpoena served on his cell phone company and Internet service provider (ISP) (Systems Products and Solutions Inc. v. Joseph Scramlin, No. 4:13-cv-14947, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109389).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - UCL Class Allegations Against EBay, PayPal Survive Motion To Dismiss

OAKLAND, Calif. - Some class action allegations against eBay Inc. and PayPal Inc. under California's unfair competition law (UCL) fail because they are based on contract terms that users agree to, but allegations based on unfair exercise of discretion by eBay and arbitrary monetary holds by PayPal state claims sufficiently enough to survive a motion to dismiss, a federal judge held Aug. 11 (Maggie Campbell v. eBay, Inc., and PayPal, Inc., No. 13-2632, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110806).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Permits Discovery Of Email, Phone Record Metadata Of Former Employee

FLINT, Mich. - An ex-employee's email and phone record metadata "fall within the heartland" of a mission support company's breach of contract and trade secrets complaint against him, a Michigan federal judge ruled Aug. 8, denying the man's motion to quash a subpoena served on his cell phone company and Internet service provider (ISP) (Systems Products and Solutions Inc. v. Joseph Scramlin, No. 4:13-cv-14947, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109389).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - UCL Class Allegations Against EBay, PayPal Survive Motion To Dismiss

OAKLAND, Calif. - Some class action allegations against eBay Inc. and PayPal Inc. under California's unfair competition law (UCL) fail because they are based on contract terms that users agree to, but allegations based on unfair exercise of discretion by eBay and arbitrary monetary holds by PayPal state claims sufficiently enough to survive a motion to dismiss, a federal judge held Aug. 11 (Maggie Campbell v. eBay, Inc., and PayPal, Inc., No. 13-2632, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110806).

Mealey's Health Law - 10th Circuit: Participant's Suit Against Medical Provider Was Properly Removed

DENVER - A health plan participant's state law contract and tort claims against a health care provider were properly removed to federal court because a single claim for tortious interference with contract, which was related to the discount for services provided by the participant's health plan, was completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 6 (Richard Salzer v. SSM Health Care of Oklahoma Inc., No. 13-6099, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15122).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 10th Circuit: Participant's Suit Against Medical Provider Was Properly Removed

DENVER - A health plan participant's state law contract and tort claims against a health care provider were properly removed to federal court because a single claim for tortious interference with contract, which was related to the discount for services provided by the participant's health plan, was completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 6 (Richard Salzer v. SSM Health Care of Oklahoma Inc., No. 13-6099, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15122).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Distributor McKesson Pays $18M To Resolve Vaccine False Claims Suit

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - National health care distributor McKesson Corp. will pay $18 million to resolve a False Claims Act lawsuit that it improperly set temperature monitors used in shipping vaccines under a government contract, the U.S. Justice Department announced Aug. 8 (United States of America, ex rel. Terrell W. Fox v. McKesson Corporation, et al., No. 3:12-766, M.D. Tenn.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 10th Circuit: Participant's Suit Against Medical Provider Was Properly Removed

DENVER - A health plan participant's state law contract and tort claims against a health care provider were properly removed to federal court because a single claim for tortious interference with contract, which was related to the discount for services provided by the participant's health plan, was completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 6 (Richard Salzer v. SSM Health Care of Oklahoma Inc., No. 13-6099, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15122).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses Bank's Claims Against Quicken Loans As Time-Barred

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Aug. 4 dismissed a bank's breach of contract claims related to representations and warranties made by a loan company in relation to the quality of mortgage loans, finding that the case was barred by a six-year statute of limitations (Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. v. Quicken Loans Inc., No. 13-6482, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106710).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Affirms $27,334 In Sanctions Imposed Against Attorney In E&O Coverage Suit

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Aug. 4 found that a lower court did not abuse its discretion in awarding $27,334 in sanctions against an attorney representing insureds in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage under a real estate agents and brokers errors and omissions insurance policy (1st American Warehouse Mortgage, Inc., et al v. Topa Insurance Co., et al., No. B246716, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5497).

Mealey's Insurance - Kansas Federal Judge Says State Subrogation Law Preempted By Federal Law

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Aug. 5 held that a state law prohibiting subrogation clauses in health insurance contracts is preempted by the Federal Employees Health Benefit Act (FEHBA) (Lee Ann Helfrich v. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, et al., No. 13-2620, D. Kan.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107126).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Affirms $27,334 In Sanctions Imposed Against Attorney In E&O Coverage Suit

LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Aug. 4 found that a lower court did not abuse its discretion in awarding $27,334 in sanctions against an attorney representing insureds in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking coverage under a real estate agents and brokers errors and omissions insurance policy (1st American Warehouse Mortgage, Inc., et al v. Topa Insurance Co., et al., No. B246716, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5497).

Mealey's Health Law - Kansas Federal Judge Says State Subrogation Law Preempted By Federal Law

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Aug. 5 held that a state law prohibiting subrogation clauses in health insurance contracts is preempted by the Federal Employees Health Benefit Act (FEHBA) (Lee Ann Helfrich v. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, et al., No. 13-2620, D. Kan.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107126).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Wisconsin Appeals Court Affirms Summary Judgment Award To Cabinet Maker

WAUSAU, Wis. - A Wisconsin Court of Appeals panel on July 31 held that a trial court judge did not err in awarding summary judgment to a cabinet maker accused of defectively constructing its product, finding that the plaintiff was unable to demonstrate a breach of contract because the agreement said not to install the cabinets if there were any defects (Todd Verdone, et al. v. Wads Woodworks Inc., et al., No. 2013AP2331, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2014 Wis. App. LEXIS 642).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Denies Financial Discovery Requests In Contract Dispute As Unnecessary

SAN FRANCISCO - The plaintiff in a contractual dispute failed to establish its need for specific financial information it sought from the defendant via discovery requests, a California federal magistrate judge found July 28, denying that request and ordering the parties to confer on requests concerning electronically stored information (ESI) (AI-Daiwa Ltd. v. Apparent Inc., et al., No. 3:13-cv-04156, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103016).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania High Court Refuses To Hear Chemical Exposure Cancer Case

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on July 29 denied a petition for appeal filed by the widow of a contractor employee who alleged that her late husband contracted cancer as a result of chemical exposure at a Rohm & Haas Co. facility in suburban Philadelphia (Anne Snizavich v. Rohm & Haas Co., No. 88 EAL 2014, Pa. Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Calif. Appeals Court: Health Care Provider Must Contract To Preserve Right Of Recovery

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals court on July 29 held that a health care provider must actually contract for the right to preserve its right to recover its customary billing rates through a Hospital Lien Act (HLA) lien or it forfeits the right to recover the customary billing rate for emergency room services from third-party tortfeasors (Dameron Hospital Association v. AAA Northern California, et al., No. C070475, Calif. App., 3rd. Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 684).

Mealey's Health Law - Calif. Appeals Court: Health Care Provider Must Contract To Preserve Right Of Recovery

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California appeals court on July 29 held that a health care provider must actually contract for the right to preserve its right to recover its customary billing rates through a Hospital Lien Act (HLA) lien or it forfeits the right to recover the customary billing rate for emergency room services from third-party tortfeasors (Dameron Hospital Association v. AAA Northern California, et al., No. C070475, Calif. App., 3rd. Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 684).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Louisiana Court Finds Mold-Related Injury Claims Were Not Excluded

NEW ORLEANS - After finding that claims for mold-related injury and breach of contract asserted by homeowners against a heating and air conditioning company were not excluded under a contract for the installation and maintenance of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, a Louisiana judge on July 23 reversed a decision dismissing certain claims (James K. Wadick III, et al. v. General Heating & Air Conditioning LLC, et al., No. 2014-CA-0187, La. App.; 2014 La. App. LEXIS 1826).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Confirms $1.2 Million Arbitration Award In Charter Dispute

NEW YORK - After finding that an arbitration panel properly determined that a valid contract existed in relation to an agreement for the shipment of aggregates, a New York federal judge on July 21 confirmed a $1,121,783.12 arbitration award issued in favor of a shipping company (In the Matter of Arbitration between TBS Middle East Carriers Ltd. v. United Quarries, No. 13-8932, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99848).