NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana presiding over claims arising from the April 20, 2010, explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on Sept. 11 issued an order providing guidelines for the Nov. 8 fairness hearing for final approval of BP Plc.'s $7.8 billion settlement of economic and property damages and medical benefits claims ((In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, No. 10-md-2179, E.D. La.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
SAN DIEGO - In an order filed Sept. 11, a federal judge in California denied a jeweler's motion for summary judgment in a class action alleging that the jeweler violated state law by requesting and recording customers' contact information during credit card transactions (Steve Juhline v. Ben Bridge Jeweler Inc., No. 11-02906, S.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129413).
NEWARK, N.J. - Parties involved in a lawsuit stemming from the distribution of contaminated concrete from a former Ford Motor Co. assembly plant in Edison, N.J., have settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount, according to an order filed Sept. 11 in New Jersey federal court (Ford Motor Company v. Edgewood Properties Inc., et al., No. 06-1278, D. N.J.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on Sept. 11 granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant in a coverage dispute, holding that the plaintiff was subject to Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciary standards and that its failure to properly calculate contributions necessary to fully fund employee health benefit plans was a breach of that duty; therefore, coverage was excluded under the liability policy (Enterprising Solutions Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company, No. 10-1430, D. Ariz.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128921).
SEATTLE - Claims that benzene in its print-roller solvent caused a printing industry worker's death of myelodysplastic syndrome or acute myeloid leukemia were dismissed against the successor to a bankrupt company by a Washington federal judge, who said Sept. 10 that the worker's widow had not shown that the bankruptcy was consummated to avoid tort liability (Michele Schuman v. Varn International, Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-980 W.D. Wash.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129221).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 10 determined that an insured should be permitted to depose an insurer's experts and to submit its own rebuttal report regarding the allocation of defense and indemnity costs for underlying asbestos bodily injury claims (Arrowood Indemnity Co. v. Metallo Gasket Co., No. 09-04814, D. N.J.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128326).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Although a consumer has properly shown that a debt collector made harassing phone calls to him by contacting him 861 times over a period of 235 days, the consumer has failed to show that the debt collector made any false or deceptive statements in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA),15 U.S.C.S. § 1692e, a federal judge in West Virginia ruled Sept. 12 in granting the consumer a limited award of fees and damages (Edward Harmon v. Virtuoso Sourcing , No. 11-0334, S.D. W.Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129770).
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on Sept. 11 dismissed an aiding-and-abetting claim filed by the special deputy receiver (SDR) of three insolvent insurers against certain trust banks for failure to state a claim (Jo Ann Howard & Associates PC, et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128754).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - No coverage is owed to an insured car dealership for an underlying suit alleging that the dealership collected illegal administrative fees because the auto dealers errors and omissions liability (ADEOL) endorsement provides coverage only for damages resulting from failure to comply with a federal, state or local truth-in-lending statute, a South Carolina federal judge said Sept. 11 (Graphic Arts Mutual Insurance Co. et al. v. Caldwell Chevrolet Inc. d/b/a Fred Caldwell's Clover Chevrolet, No. 11-01255, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128694).
NEW YORK - After determining that a Swiss arbitration tribunal did not exceed its authority and that a federal district court had jurisdiction over a Turkish joint stock company, a New York federal judge on Sept. 10 confirmed a $932 million award issued in favor of a company from the Netherlands in relation to a dispute over a letter agreement (Sonera Holding B.V. v. Çukurova Holding A.Ş., No. 11-8909, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128602).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on Sept. 11 denied a motion filed by the Argentine Republic to dismiss a petition to confirm a $2.8 million arbitration award issued for an insurer for lack of jurisdiction, but granted Argentina's motion as to forum and transferred the case to another federal court (Continental Casualty Co. v. The Argentine Republic,. No. 1:12cv99, E.D.Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129535).
LAS VEGAS - The trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding of American West Development Inc. on Sept. 11 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Nevada contending that the debtor's reorganization plan does not meet the requirements of either the Bankruptcy Code or the Judicial Code (In Re: American West Development Inc., No. 12-12349, Chapter 11, D. Nev. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the brief available in the full article.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - A federal magistrate judge in North Carolina on Sept. 12 recommended the granting of a bank's motion to remand to a state court a suit alleging the breach of a promissory note and the breach of a line of credit, finding that the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction (Gail Clayton, et al. v. SunTrust Bank, et al., No. 11-00818, M.D. N.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129471).
HOUSTON - A truck driver suing his insurer and related parties for denial of disability benefits failed to establish that a health care services coordinator could be held liable for violations of the Texas Insurance Code (TIC) or the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (TDTPA), a Texas federal judge ruled Sept. 10, granting the coordinator's motion to dismiss (Ray Hashempour v. ACE American Insurance Co., et al., No. 4:12-cv-00181, S.D. Texas; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128253).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A post office worker was not promoted because he was not the most qualified applicant, not because he is black, so the U.S. Postal Service is entitled to summary judgment on the worker's racial discrimination claim, an Alabama federal judge held Sept. 11 (Molton Mayberry v. Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General, No. 2:10-cv-479, M.D. Ala.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128727).
ERIE, Pa. - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 10 rejected assertions of failure to state a claim and a lack of standing by four copyright infringement defendants, instead siding with an artist plaintiff (Craig Popovich v. Pelican Landing Inc. et al., No. 11-227, W.D. Pa.).
PITTSBURGH - By an order entered Sept. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, operators of nuclear fuel refineries near Pittsburgh were granted a motion to narrow the issues in dispute based on the opinions of experts designated by the plaintiffs alleging personal injuries from radionuclides exposure (Michelle McMunn, et al. v. Babcock & Wilcox, et al., No. 10-143 [consolidated], W.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129857).
NEW YORK - Evidence contradicts a premises owner's contention that it released control over a nuclear power facility construction site to general contractors, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 11 (Paul Crane and Arlene Crane v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190082/11, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
BOSTON - A commercial property and general liability policy bars coverage for independent contractors, a Massachusetts appeals panel affirmed Sept. 11, granting summary judgment to an insurer on a third-party complaint filed by insurance agents (Cable Mills LLC v. Coakley Pierpan Dolan, et al. No. 11-P-1852, Mass. App.; 2012 Mass. App. LEXIS 246).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A shareholder and a company's directors and officers agreed Sept. 11 to end a dispute over the sale of the company, which the shareholder alleged undervalued the company's stock (Mark Oppenheim, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v. Sterling E. Phillips, Jr., et al., No. 7574-VCN, Del. Chanc.). Subscribers may view the stipulation available within the full article.
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Sept. 12 issued two orders approving separate collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) for two groups of employees (In Re: AMR Corporation, No. 11-15463, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.
NEW ORLEANS - The State of Texas is not immune from a lawsuit filed by the federal government on behalf of private individuals seeking unpaid wages, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 12 (Hilda L. Solis, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor v. State of Texas, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, Child Protective Services Division, No. 12-50049, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 19138).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal appeals court panel on Sept. 11 retained a preliminary injunction against an Idaho state prosecutor for criminally prosecuting a woman who obtained an abortifacient drug over the Internet while the woman challenges the constitutionality of the state's stringent anti-abortion law (Jennie Linn McCormack v. Mark L. Hiedeman, et al., Nos. 11-36010 and 36015, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. 19051).
SAN FRANCISCO - Patent infringement plaintiff Apple Inc. on Sept. 10 formally opposed a request by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to dissolve a June 2012 permanent injunction issued by a California federal judge two months before a federal jury deemed the accused product noninfringing of one of the patents in suit (Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 11-1846, N.D. Calif.). View related prior history, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106874.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - No-evidence judgment was granted Sept. 11 to a refrigeration contractor in a Freon-exposure personal injury lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District Virginia; opinions by the causation experts designated by the plaintiffs were ruled unreliable and inadmissible (Deborah Zellars v. NexTech Northeast, No. 11-967 [consolidated], E.D. Va.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129527).