NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceeding of Hostess Brands on June 1 approved an agreement between Hostess and Sugar Foods Corp. (SFC) under which SFC will purchase the equipment used at Hostess' Henderson, Nev., plant for $500,000 (In Re: Hostess Brands Inc., No. 12-22052, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the order approving the agreement available within the full update.
WILMINGTON, Del. - A creditor in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Bicent Holdings LLC, the holding company for bankrupt energy company Bicent Power, on May 30 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware objecting to Bicent's reorganization plan, contending that the company's disclosure statement does not include enough information for creditors to make an informed judgment about the plan (In Re: Bicent Holdings LLC, No. 12-11304, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.). Subscribers may view the objection available within the full update.
INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Court of Appeals on May 30 affirmed a defense verdict in a wrongful death case involving a child who drowned in a swimming pool at the defendant's home, concluding that the adults watching the child at the time of the accident "consciously and recklessly allowed him to play outside near an open swimming pool without supervision" (James Androusky II, et al. v. Cole A. Walter, No. 83A01-1103-CT-137, Ind. App.; 2012 Ind. App. LEXIS 256).
FLORENCE, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on May 30 dismissed all claims in a construction defects action, determining that the court lacked subject matter jurisdiction since all parties were based in South Carolina (Natasha L. Green, et al. v. Jim Walter Home Co. LLC, et al., No. 4:11-cv-02437, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74943).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari May 29 in a case that posed the question of whether validity findings by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) are impermissibly nullified by juries that find infringement under the doctrine of equivalents (Saint-Gobain Ceramics and Plastics Inc. v. Siemens Medical Solutions USA Inc., No. 11-301, U.S. Sup.). View prior history, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 3546.
NEW YORK - Lexington Insurance Co. and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. on May 31 agreed to drop their $7.4 million World Trade Center-related reinsurance case in a New York federal court (Lexington Insurance Company v. Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Company Limited, No. 11-cv-00391, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may access the stipulation of dismissal available within the full update.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Stored Communications Act (SCA), 18 U.S.C.S. § 2701, does not apply to a juror's Facebook postings, a California appeals panel majority ruled May 31, also finding that the juror failed to establish any expectation of privacy for those posts under either the Fourth or Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (Juror Number One v. The Superior Court of Sacramento Co., et al., No. C067309, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2012 Cal. App. LEXIS 642).
ATLANTA - A panel of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 30 reversed and remanded a case and ruled that the bankruptcy court in which a debtor filed its petition has jurisdiction over whether a claim against the estate was discharged (Alderwoods Group Inc., et al. v. Reyvis Garcia, et al., No. 10-14726, Chapter 11, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 10891).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge overseeing a massive litigation in a Louisiana federal court involving buildings with allegedly defective Chinese drywall on May 31 gave preliminary approval to a settlement agreement reached among the plaintiffs and hundreds of builders, installers, suppliers and their insurers (In re: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, No. 2:09md02047, E.D. La.). Subscribers may access the agreement available within the full update.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Nine months after enjoining a school district from continuing its practice of disciplining students for off-campus behavior, an Indiana federal judge on May 29 entered final judgment against the school district and dismissed the remaining claims brought by two students who posted "raunchy" photos of themselves online (T.V., et al. v. Smith-Green Community School Corp., et al., No. 1:09-cv-00290, N.D. Ind.). Subscribers may access the final judgment available within the full update.
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge sided with Google Inc. on Oracle America Inc.'s copyright infringement claims on May 31, finding that "when there is only one way to express an idea or function, then everyone is free to do so and no one can monopolize that expression" (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 10-3561, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may access the decision available within the full update.
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on May 29 dismissed a putative class action alleging that semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm Inc.'s acquisition of technology company Atheros Communications Inc. is fundamentally unfair to Atheros shareholders, finding that the first amended complaint did not properly allege loss causation (Joel Krieger v. Atheros Communications Inc., et al., No. 11-00640, C.D. Calif.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74214).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Wyeth is not liable for the breast cancer death of a woman who took the company's hormone therapy drugs Premarin and Prempro, a Connecticut federal jury said May 30, finding that the drugs' labeling contained adequate warning of the health risks (Kenneth Moss, et al. v. Wyeth, Inc., et al., No. 3:04-1511, D. Conn.). Subscribers may access the verdict form available within the full update.
INDIANAPOLIS - A majority of the Indiana Court of Appeals on May 29 found that a lower court erred in granting a professional liability insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings in a lawsuit seeking reimbursement of part of a deceased attorney's retainer fee (Jason Tye Myers v. Charles R. Deets III, et al., No. 79A02-1108-CT-771, Ind. App.; 2012 Ind. App. LEXIS 251).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Answering five certified questions from the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Florida Supreme Court on May 31 determined that, under Florida law, first-party claims are actually statutory bad faith claims that must be brought under Florida Statutes Section 624.155, and an insured cannot bring a claim against its insurer for failure to comply with the language and type-size requirements established by Florida Statutes Section 627.701(4)(a) (QBE Insurance Corporation, v. Chalfonte Condominium Apartment Association Inc., No. SC09-441, Fla. Sup.; 2012 Fla. LEXIS 1063).
DENVER - A Kansas man failed to prove that he was terminated as a result of his race, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May affirming a trial court ruling on that claim as well as a claim of retaliation; however, it remanded that later claim with instructions to dismiss without prejudice as it was dismissed for the incorrect reason (Kenneth E. Morris, Jr. v. Cabela's Wholesale, Inc., No. 11-3313, 10th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 10774).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP on May 30 authorized the use of cash collateral and modified the automatic stay to allow creditors to enforce any liens they may have against the law firm (In Re: Dewey & Leboeuf LLP, No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).Subscribers may access the order available within the full update.
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on May 29 refused to dismiss a law firm insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against its professional liability insurer (Browne George Ross LLP v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 12-2148, C.D. Calif., Western Div.). Subscribers may access the in chambers order available within the full update.
RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on May 31 dismissed a debt collection action because, in part, nonjudicial foreclosures are not an attempt to collect a debt under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (Craig A. Whitney and Aubree S. Whitney v. CTX Mortgage Co. LLC, et al., No. 11-00037, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75221).
BOSTON - A certificate of insurance procured by an insurance agent reasonably may be read to represent, falsely, that an insured's condominium unit was covered by flood insurance, a Massachusetts appeals panel ruled May 29, reversing summary judgment entered in favor of the insurance agent (Brian T. Witkowski v. Richard W. Endlar Insurance Agency Inc. v. First American Title Insurance Co., No. 11-P-540, Mass. App.; ).
CINCINNATI - A Kenya native failed to prove that he was denied a promotion by his employer based on his race rather than his experience, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 29, upholding a trial court ruling (Samuel Kariuki v. Comair, Inc., No. 11-5733, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 10959).
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 30 reversed and remanded a case in which a debtor appealed a settlement agreement reached between the trustee and a group of creditors on grounds the debtor had no case because he never obtained an automatic stay in the proceeding which would bar the settlement agreement (John Patrick Stokes v. Todd Gardner, et al., No. 11-35233, Chapter 7, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 10856).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on May 31 denied summary judgment to the defendant in a construction defects action involving problems with a retailer's parking deck, disagreeing that the plaintiff's claims were time-barred (Target Corp. v. Greenberg Farrow Architecture Inc., No. 10-4810, D. Minn.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74928).
SYDNEY, Australia - An Australian appeals court on May 30 upheld a tribunal's decision that a company pay $73,693.18 in damages, which represented the company's assessed liability toward a settlement that a defendant named in an asbestos compensation case had previously paid to the claimant (CSR Ltd. v. Wallaby Grip Ltd., No. $(2012$) NSWCA 154, New South Wales Sup.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut granted in part a group of reinsurers' request for discovery on May 29 and ordered an insurer to provide all documentation evaluated and/or relied upon in reaching the decision to treat certain asbestos personal injury settlements as a single occurrence under certain reinsurance agreements (Travelers Casualty and Surety Company v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 11-cv-0107, D. Conn.).