DETROIT - A defendant company's request for draft declarations and communications between plaintiff's counsel and a witness it hoped to call in support of its counterclaim was denied June 18 by a federal magistrate judge in Michigan, who found that the motion was untimely and that the requested information was privileged (Innovation Ventures LLC v. Aspen Fitness Products Inc., et al., No. 11-13537, E.D. Mich.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82706).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on June 18 granted default judgment in favor of an insurer against defendants that failed to appear in a lawsuit where the judge previously found that allegations of negligence and breach of contract against insureds for failure to fix a water leak occurred outside the policy period (Westfield Insurance Co. v. David T. Mitchell III, et al., No. 12-00585, S.D. W.Va.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82668).
LOS ANGELES - There are genuine issues of fact about whether an apparel company's marketing of a skull design violates California's unfair competition law (UCL) and infringes the copyright and trademark for another company's design, a federal judge held June 16 in denying summary judgment to both parties (Lambert Corp. v. LBJC Inc., et al., No. 13-00778, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83108).
FRESNO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge in California on June 16 dismissed a consumer's Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDPCA) complaint against a debt collector, ruling that the consumer failed to properly state a claim for relief (Evelyn Chavez v. Access Capital Services Inc., No. 13-1037, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81626).
HONOLULU - A federal judge in Hawaii on June 16 dismissed an amended complaint filed by consumers who alleged that a credit card company and credit ratings agencies violated provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by failing to correct their credit reports to show that timely payments had been made on a credit card, ruling that the consumers failed to state a claim against certain defendants (Norman Katz, et al. v. American Express Co., et al., No. 14-0084, D. Hawaii; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82204).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 19 denied an excess insurer's motion to reconsider its finding that an employers liability exclusion in an excess commercial general liability insurance policy does not bar coverage for underlying negligence claims against an insured's employees (Evanston Insurance Co. v. Design Build InterAmerican, Inc., et al., No. 12-15466, 11th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held June 19 that a patent that claims a computer-implemented method of providing intermediated settlement services for financial obligations is directed to a patent-ineligible concept under Section 101 of the Patent Act (Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International and CLS Services Ltd., No. 13-298, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An employee's testimony before a federal grand jury was protected under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because he spoke as a citizen on a matter of public concern, not pursuant to his job responsibilities, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 19; however, the high court found that the individual defendant in that employee's suit is entitled to qualified immunity because that protection was not clear at the time the employee was fired (Edward R. Lane v. Steve Franks, et al., No. 13-483, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - A defendant in the field legacy contamination lawsuit brought by landowners in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on June 17 moved for leave to file a reply arguing that the lawsuit should be dismissed because the landowners' amended complaint failed to address any of the defendant's arguments (Catherine P. Alford, et al. v. Chevron USA Inc., et al., No. 13-5457, E.D. La.).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 16 granted an insured's motion to remand its lawsuit seeking several million dollars in potential sales caused by tornado damage to its manufacturing facility (LTD Material LLC v. Star Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-364, W.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82426).
LAKELAND, Fla. - There is a material issue of fact concerning whether insureds timely reported their claimed sinkhole loss under their homeowners policy, a Florida appeals panel ruled June 18, reversing the entry of summary judgment in favor of the insurer (Anthony LoBello and Patricia LoBello v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 2D13-300, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 9192).
NEW YORK - Insufficient evidence exists as to whether a collapse was caused by an insured's alleged negligent construction, a New York majority appeals panel held June 17, affirming denial of summary judgment to an insurer on its duty to defend and indemnify an underlying personal injury action (Tower Insurance Company of New York v. BCS Construction Services Corp., et al., No. 12152, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4349).
BOSTON - A decision to terminate long-term disability benefits based on a claimant's refusal to cooperate during an examination was not arbitrary or capricious, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said June 16 (Rolando Ortega-Candelaria v. Johnson & Johnson et al., No. 13-1564, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11127).
SAN FRANCISCO - A group of named plaintiffs have not defined an ascertainable class in their privacy lawsuit against Hulu LLC, a California federal magistrate ruled June 17, denying a motion for class certification (In Re: Hulu Privacy Litigation, No. 3:11-cv-03764, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 13 declined to certify three classes of consumers, who are suing ConAgra Foods Inc. over allegedly deceptive and misleading labels, finding that each of the classes failed to meet several requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Levi Jones, et al. v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., No. 12-1633, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81292).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A federal magistrate judge on June 17 recommended entering default judgment and an injunction against a California company and its CEO after finding that a bakery products company stated valid false advertising, copyright infringement and unfair business practice claims under federal law and the state unfair competition law (UCL) (Back Shop Tiefkuhl GmbH, v. GN Trade, Inc., et al., No. 12-0540, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82500).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on June 16 granted an environmental contractor's motion for judgment as a matter of law in a case where an insurer had alleged that the contractor was liable for negligence in its environmental assessment of a parcel of land because a company that the carrier insured bought the property and later paid $1,050,103 for soil remediation (Chartis Specialty Insurance Company v. Aqua Sciences Engineers Inc., No. 11-03669, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81645).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on June 17 partially dismissed a wage-and-hour complaint filed against a Las Vegas casino, finding that three of the claims lacked a private right of action and, in the same order, conditionally certified a class of workers to proceed with the remaining claims (Nicole McDonagh, et al. v. Harrah's Las Vegas, Inc., et al., No. 13-1744, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82290).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. reached a settlement with states and consumers on June 16 in litigation in which the judge previously found that Apple conspired with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, heading off a trial on damages that was scheduled to begin Aug. 25 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 $(State of Texas v. Penguin Group (USA), Inc., No. 12-cv-3394$), S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Individuals who obtained insurance through the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace had, on average, access to 47 plans offered by five health insurers and paid just $69 per month for the most popular "silver plan" after tax credits, according to a June 18 Department of Health and Human Services report.
TULSA, Okla. - The settlement of an underlying state court lawsuit stemming from a fatal hydraulic lift accident has rendered an insurer's claim for declaratory relief moot, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled June 16, noting that, as a result, the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction (Wausau Underwriters Insurance Co. v. Superior Linen Service Inc., et al., No. 13-196, N.D. Okla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82012).
DAYTON, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on June 17 granted a corporation's request to enjoin various entities from pursuing litigation over a shareholders' dispute in India and granted its request to compel arbitration in London (Midmark Corp. v. Janak Healthcare Private Limited, et al., No. 3:14-cv-088, S.D. Ohio; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82400).
MILWAUKEE - A Wisconsin federal judge on June 17 confirmed a $1.7 million appraisal award to insureds regarding damage sustained during storms that caused water leaks (David S. Gronik Jr., et al. v. Susan Balthasar, et al., No. 10-00954, E.D. Wis.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82207).