Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Fraud Claims Against Banks Are Meritless

SPOKANE, Wash. - After finding that claims for fraud and breach of contract asserted by property owners were meritless, a Washington federal judge on Oct. 15 refused to remand the case to a state court and granted motions to dismiss the case filed by mortgage entities (Weldon W. Vittitow, et al. v. Bank of America, et al., No. 2:CV-14-0230, E.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146441).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurers' Claims For Breach Of Contract, Equitable Reimbursement

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 14 dismissed commercial general liability insurers' claims for declaratory judgment, breach of contract and equitable reimbursement in their lawsuit over rights by them and their insured in handling an underlying construction defects case (Travelers Indemnity Company of Connecticut, et al. v. Centex Homes, et al., No. 14-1235, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146456).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Insureds Owed No Further Payment For Hurricane Isaac Flood Claim

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge held Oct. 14 that insureds are not entitled to further payment under a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) in a breach of contract dispute arising from Hurricane Isaac (Rickey D. Parr, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 13-6242, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146372).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Breach Of Contract Suit Over Sinkhole Damage Is Time-Barred, Florida Panel Affirms

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 10 affirmed a lower court's ruling that insureds' breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit against an insurer is barred by the state's one-year statute of limitations (Madeline Betancourt, et al. v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Inc., No. 2D13-265, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 15858).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Tallinna Vesi Seeks $114 Million In ICSID Arbitration Against Estonia

TALLINN, Estonia - An Estonian water company on Oct. 14 announced that it has filed international arbitration proceedings against the Republic of Estonia, seeking more than $114,067,000, or 90 million euros, in compensation for breaches of a water supply contract.

Mealey's Insurance - Breach Of Contract Suit Over Sinkhole Damage Is Time-Barred, Florida Panel Affirms

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 10 affirmed a lower court's ruling that insureds' breach of contract and declaratory judgment lawsuit against an insurer is barred by the state's one-year statute of limitations (Madeline Betancourt, et al. v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Inc., No. 2D13-265, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 15858).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurer's Equitable Reimbursement, Breach Of Contract Claims

FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 9 dismissed an insurer's claims for declaratory relief, breach of contract and equitable reimbursement against an insured regarding coverage for an underlying construction defects case and the appointment of counsel (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America v. Centex Homes, et al., No. 14-1450, E.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144193).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Federal Judge Lifts Bankruptcy Stay To Allow 2 Claims In Breach Case To Proceed

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Oct. 6 granted a motion to lift a stay of bankruptcy to allow a plaintiff to pursue two claims, including a state unfair competition law (UCL) claim, against the individual defendants in a breach of contract case for failing to deliver computers or refund the bitcoin used to pay for the merchandise (Pete Morici v. Hashfast Technologies, et al., No. 14-87, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142107).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Lifts Bankruptcy Stay To Allow 2 Claims In Breach Case To Proceed

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Oct. 6 granted a motion to lift a stay of bankruptcy to allow a plaintiff to pursue two claims, including a state unfair competition law (UCL) claim, against the individual defendants in a breach of contract case for failing to deliver computers or refund the bitcoin used to pay for the merchandise (Pete Morici v. Hashfast Technologies, et al., No. 14-87, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142107).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 2nd Circuit Says Trademark Damages Limited By Contract

NEW YORK - A limitation-of-liability clause in a former contract between a trademark and unjust enrichment plaintiff and defendant should have limited any post-termination damages, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 8 (My Play City Inc. v. Conduit Ltd., Nos. 13-2012, -2279, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Fracking Company: Sanctions Not Warranted; Information Requests Properly Handled

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A hydraulic fracturing company that was ordered to pay $194,389.44 to a drilling company for breach of contract and indemnification related to contamination of soil and groundwater from gas well operations in West Virginia on Oct. 3 filed a brief in Ohio federal court contending that its responses to requests for information were proper and sanctions are not warranted (Warren Drilling Inc. v. Equitable Production Co., No. 12-425, S.D. Ohio).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Policy Void Based On Inflated Purchase Price Of Boat

GALVESTON, Texas - A federal appeals court judge sitting by designation over an insurance dispute in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on Oct. 6 ruled that a man's misrepresentation on an insurance policy application about the purchase price of a boat that was destroyed by a fire voided the policy because New York law applied to the contract (Marine Insurance Company Ltd. v. Joel Cron, et al., No. 13-CV-00437, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141704).

Mealey's Insurance - High Court Denies Review Of Disability Plan Participant's Installment Contract Theory

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 6 denied review of a disability plan participant's petition seeking review of a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that his claim challenging the calculation of his benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act is untimely and rejecting his theory that, similar to an installment contract, a new accrual period began with each benefits check (Robert Riley v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, No. 13-1434, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Judge Dismisses Insolvent Reinsurer's Claims Against Reinsured And Others

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 30 granted a motion to dismiss breach of contract and other claims brought by an insolvent reinsurer against an insurer and the issuers of an allegedly falsified storm weather loss report (Mariah Re Ltd. [In Liquidation], acting by and through Geoffrey Varga and Jess Shakespeare, in their capacities as Liquidators thereof v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-cv-04657, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Fracking Company: Residents Not Entitled To Arbitration On Lease Dispute Claims

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A hydraulic fracturing company on Sept. 30 filed a brief in West Virginia federal court seeking a declaration that a class of residents who hold leases for oil and gas rights is not entitled to class arbitration on its claims that the fracking company has breached its contract (Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, et al. v. Deloris Suppa, et al., No. 14-159, N.D. W.Va.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Allows Site Remediation Group To Voluntarily Dismiss CERCLA Claims

ATLANTA - A federal judge in Georgia on Oct. 1 granted a plaintiff group's motion to voluntarily dismiss its claims for cost recovery and contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act because it was previously awarded partial summary judgment on its breach of contract claim (Ilco Site Remediation Group v. Taracorp Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-00238-WSD, N.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139180).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 8th Circuit: Doctor Was Hospital's Independent Contractor, Not Employee

ST. PAUL, Minn. - A pathologist was under contract with a hospital as an independent contractor, not an employee, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 30, upholding a trial court's rejection of the doctor's discrimination claims (Larry Alexander, M.D. v. Avera St. Luke's Hospital, No. 13-2592, 8th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18633).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Fracking Company: Residents Not Entitled To Arbitration On Lease Dispute Claims

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - A hydraulic fracturing company on Sept. 30 filed a brief in West Virginia federal court seeking a declaration that a class of residents who hold leases for oil and gas rights is not entitled to class arbitration on its claims that the fracking company has breached its contract (Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, et al. v. Deloris Suppa, et al., No. 14-159, N.D. W.Va.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insolvent Reinsurer's Claims Against Reinsured And Others

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 30 granted a motion to dismiss breach of contract and other claims brought by an insolvent reinsurer against an insurer and the issuers of an allegedly falsified storm weather loss report (Mariah Re Ltd. [In Liquidation], acting by and through Geoffrey Varga and Jess Shakespeare, in their capacities as Liquidators thereof v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 13-cv-04657, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York Jury Awards $7 Million To Man Suffering From Mesothelioma

NEW YORK - A New York jury on Sept. 29 awarded $7 million to a man who contracted mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos during the construction of a National Grid Generation LLC predecessor's facility, sources told Mealey's Publication (Ralph North v. National Grid Generation LLC, No. 190114/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - New York Jury Awards $7 Million To Man Suffering From Mesothelioma

NEW YORK - A New York jury on Sept. 29 awarded $7 million to a man who contracted mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos during the construction of a National Grid Generation LLC predecessor's facility, sources told Mealey's Publication (Ralph North v. National Grid Generation LLC, No. 190114/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Grants Injunction Barring Case In Libya, Compels Arbitration

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After finding that a dispute related to the operation of a thermal power plant in Libya should be arbitrated pursuant to an underlying contract, a Florida federal judge on Sept. 29 granted an energy firm's motion to compel arbitration and for an anti-suit injunction barring litigation in Libya (APR Energy LLC v. First Investment Group Corp., et al., No. 3:14-cv-575, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137425).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Jury Awards $7 Million To Man Suffering From Mesothelioma

NEW YORK - A New York jury on Sept. 29 awarded $7 million to a man who contracted mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos during the construction of a National Grid Generation LLC predecessor's facility, sources told Mealey's Publication (Ralph North v. National Grid Generation LLC, No. 190114/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge: Computer Systems Fraud Was Efficient, Proximate Cause Of Bank's $485,000 Loss

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Because a computer systems fraud was the overriding cause of a bank insured's loss, the insured is entitled to summary judgment on its claim for breach of contract and the insurer owes coverage under a financial institution bond for the insured's loss arising from a fraudulent wire transfer, a Minnesota judge ruled Sept. 29 (State Bank of Bellingham v. BancInsure Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-0900, D. Minn.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136849).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Canadian Energy Firm Seeks $150 Million In Arbitration With Kenya

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A Canadian energy company on Oct. 1 announced that it has commenced arbitration against the government of Kenya to resolve a dispute over production sharing contracts.