Bankrupt Hostess Seeks OK Of $1.95M Settlement With Grocery Chain Kroger Co.

    NEW YORK - Bankrupt Hostess Brands Inc. on Nov. 5 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for approval of a stipulation that would reduce the amount owed by Kroger Co. to the Hostess estate from $2,835,028.14 to $1.95 million (In Re: Old HB Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11. S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

    Burden Of Proof For Patent Licensees Debated At Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - To uphold findings by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a patent licensee bears the burden of proving noninfringement "would impair the purpose and utility of the Declaratory Judgment Act," an attorney for petitioner Medtronic Inc. told the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 5 (Medtronic Inc. v. Boston Scientific Corp., et al., No. 12-1128, U.S. Sup.).

    U.K. Civil Justice Council Responds To Mesothelioma Claim Reform

    LONDON - The United Kingdom Civil Justice Council (CJC) on Nov. 1 released its response to a proposal for reforming mesothelioma claims in the United Kingdom, agreeing that there is a need for such claims to be handled quickly but noting various concerns about a new system.

    Federal Judge Confirms Maritime Award For Liberian Shipping Company

    NEW YORK - After finding that a panel of maritime arbitrators did not exceed its authority in awarding a Liberian shipping company damages in relation to a charter party dispute, a New York federal judge on Oct. 31 refused to vacate the award and granted the company's petition to confirm (Phoenix Bulk Carriers Ltd. v. America Metals Trading LLP, No. 10-2963, S.D. N.Y.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156683).

    Judge: Bad Faith Tort Claim In Washington Accrues Upon Final Judgment

    SEATTLE - A third-party bad faith claim against an insurer accrues on the date that final judgment is entered in the underlying suit at issue, a Washington federal judge ruled Oct. 31, denying an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds (Everest Indemnity Insurance Co. v. QBE Insurance Corp., et al., No. 2:13-cv-00828, W.D. Wash.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156949).

    Magistrate Certifies Campo, Preemption Issues For Immediate Interlocutory Appeal

    GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 4 granted a federal flood insurer's motion to certify for immediate interlocutory appeal the issues of whether Campo v. Allstate Insurance Co. (562 F.3d 751 [5th Cir. 2009]) should be reversed or has been superseded by a July 16, 2009, pronouncement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and whether federal law preempts all National Flood Insurance Policy (NFIP) procurement disputes (Robert Spong, et al. v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Ins. Co., et al., No. G-10-228, S.D. Texas, Galveston Div.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157763).

    Mississippi High Court: Church's Motion For New Trial Tolled Statute Of Limitations

    JACKSON, Miss. - A church insured's July 8, 2009, motion to set aside judgment or, in the alternative, for a new trial in a Hurricane Katrina coverage dispute tolled the statute of limitations on the underlying breach of contract claim; therefore, the trial court erred in dismissing the insured's second complaint against its insurer, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Oct. 31 (Sweet Valley Missionary Baptist Church v. Alfa Insurance Corp., et al., No. 2010-CT-01807-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2013 Miss. LEXIS 574).

    Pfizer: Still Not Enough Lipitor/Diabetes Cases To Justify An MDL

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pfizer Inc. on Nov. 1 opposed a renewed motion to create a multidistrict litigation for federal Lipitor/diabetes lawsuits, saying there are still not enough cases to justify centralization (In Re: Lipitor [Atorvastatin Calcium] Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation [No. II], MDL Docket No. 2501, JPMDL).

    Judge: Insurers Have No Duty To Defend Claims From Sale Of Home With Chinese Drywall

    TAMPA, Fla. - There is no duty to defend and indemnify under a homeowners insurance policy and an excess liability coverage policy for claims arising from the sale of a home that had Chinese drywall installed, a Florida federal judge ruled Nov. 4, finding that intentional act exclusions applied (Chartis Property & Casualty Co. and American Home Assurance Co. v. John D. Jassy, et al., No. 12-2087, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157673).

    Federal Circuit Reverses, Says Patent Exhaustion Defense Available

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge erroneously granted a preliminary injunction in a patent infringement dispute, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held in a Nov. 4 ruling, saying that the defendant has established entitlement to a patent exhaustion defense (LifeScan Scotland Ltd. et al. v. Shasta Technologies LLC et al., No. 13-1271, Fed. Cir.).

    Calif. Court Rules On $1.1B Settlement Claims Procedure In Microsoft Antitrust Case

    SAN FRANCISCO - A procedure for determining the portion of settlement proceeds to be awarded to certain class members in a consumer antitrust action against Microsoft Corp. does not violate the terms of the underlying $1.1 billion settlement agreement, a California appellate court affirmed Oct. 31 in an unpublished opinion (Charles J. Longo, et al. v. Microsoft Corporation, No. A136531, Calif. App., 1st Dist.; 2013 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 7931).

    Divided 9th Circuit Panel: Debt Collector's Actions Not A Bona Fide Error

    SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court judge erred in granting summary judgment on behalf of a debt collector in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuit, a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 4, because the debt collector's alleged FDCPA violations were not covered under the bona fide error rule (Arthur Engelen v. RBB Erin Capital Management LLC, et al., No. 12-55039, 9th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22359).

    U.S. Trustee: Attorney For 'Girls Gone Wild' Not Entitled To Bankruptcy Fees

    LOS ANGELES - The U.S. trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of GGW Brands LLC, the parent company that makes adult videos under the name "Girls Gone Wild," on Oct. 31 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California arguing that the attorney representing GGW is not entitled to keep a $20,000 retainer (In Re: GGW Brands LLC, No. 15130, Chapter 11, C.D. Calif. Bkcy.).

    Louisiana Panel Affirms Decision For Defendant In Slip-And-Fall Injury Case

    BATON ROUGE, La. - The First Circuit Louisiana Court of Appeal on Nov. 1 upheld summary judgment for a retailer named as the defendant in a premises liability action, concluding that there was no evidence that store employees were aware of a potentially dangerous condition on the property (Annette Clark v. J-H-J Inc., No. 2013 CA 0432, La. App., 1st Cir.; 2013 La. App. LEXIS 2247).

    Pending Claims Files Do Not Have To Be Produced,Federal Magistrate Judge Says

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - An insurer is not required to produce pending claims files related to pollution liability and environmental contamination coverage until after those claims are decided, a Florida federal magistrate judge said Nov. 1 (First Coast Energy LLP v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 12-281, M.D. Fla.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157039).

    Inconsistent Medical Reports Created Reasonable Claim Denial Basis, Judge Finds

    LAS VEGAS - Because an insurer based its denial of an underinsured motorist (UIM) policy limit claim on doctors' reports, a Nevada federal judge on Oct. 31 found the denial reasonable and not in bad faith, granting the insurer's motion for partial summary judgment (Tara Ann Sherwin v. Infinity Auto Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:11-cv-00043, D. Nev.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156682).

    6th Circuit Orders Enforcement Of Employer's Arbitration Agreement

    CINCINNATI - A Michigan federal court erred in refusing to uphold a department store's arbitration agreement that gave employees an opportunity to opt out, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 31 (Cecilia Tillman v. Macy's, Inc., No. 11-2580, 6th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22162).

    Federal Judge Refuses To Dismiss Embezzlement Suit Against Failed Bank

    NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Nov. 4 denied the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s motion to stay a suit in which a Central Progressive Bank (CPB) borrower alleges that bank employees embezzled about $84,000 of his funds before the bank's failure, finding that the FDIC failed to timely request the stay (Joseph Grubaugh v. Central Progressive Bank, et al., No.13-3045, E.D. La.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157718).

    D.C. Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment For PBGC On USAir Pilots' ERISA Claims

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 1 affirmed summary judgment in favor of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) on claims by USAirways Inc. pilots that the PBGC violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the terminated plan when it made its final benefit determinations (Thomas G. Davis, et al. v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, No. 12-5274, D.C. Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22254).

    'Penthouse' Reorganization Plan Would Pay More Than $565.12M To Noteholders

    WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt PMGI Holdings Inc., the parent company of the adult entertainment empire carrying the name "Penthouse," on Nov. 1 filed an amended disclosure statement supporting its second amended joint plan of reorganization under which first- and second-lien noteholders would receive a combined $565,124,621.86 and all administrative and priority tax claims would be paid in full (In Re: PMGI Holdings Inc., No. 13-12404, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

    Class Seeks OK To File Amicus Brief In DOJ's Antitrust Case Against Airline Merger

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The class suing US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Nov. 4 moved for permission to intervene in the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit against the airlines by filing an amicus curiae brief (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).

    New Jersey Federal Judge Partially Dismisses Medicare False Claims Act Claims

    NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 31 granted in part and denied in part motions to dismiss a qui tam case brought under the False Claims Act against multiple hospitals and health care providers for allegedly improperly billing Medicare for inpatient admissions (United States of America ex rel. Paul Tahlor, M.D., et al. v. AHS Hospital Corp., et al., No. 088-03042, D. N.J.; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156226).

    Class Action Alleging Defective Apple MacBook Laptops Dismissed

    AUSTIN, Texas - Because the laptops purchased by two putative class action plaintiffs "functioned adequately for nearly five times longer than" warranted, a Texas federal judge on Oct. 31 dismissed fraud, breach of warranty and related claims against Apple Inc. (David R. Deburro, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 1:13-cv-000784, W.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156565).

    Divided Court: Man May Amend California Competition Law Action Against Lender

    SANTA ANA, Calif. - Alleged misrepresentations about the steps a lender would take to help a customer appear to provide adequate basis for a California unfair competition law (UCL) claim, and the resulting home foreclosure appears to constitute an injury, a divided appeals court held Oct. 31 (Richard Lueras v. BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, et al., No. G046799, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 886).

    Mississippi High Court: Dismissal Proper For Medical Malpractice Case

    JACKSON, Miss. - The Mississippi Supreme Court on Oct. 31 overturned a Court of Appeals decision reinstating wrongful death claims against two defendants in a medical malpractice action, concluding that the plaintiff improperly raised issues regarding process service on appeal (Barbara Lewis v. Forest Family Practice Clinic, et al., No. 2011-CT-00828-SCT, Miss. Sup.; 2013 Miss. LEXIS 575).