BOSTON - An insurer has a duty to defend its insured against underlying environmental contamination claims because the alleged polluting activities support a reasonable inference that property damage was discoverable during the applicable policy period, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said July 11 (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Providence Washington Insurance Co. Inc., No. 11-2193, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 14203).
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 11 affirmed a lower court decision and found that an insurer had reinsurance only for the first year of a three-year series of insurance policies on which it paid out money for asbestos-related bodily injury claims (OneBeacon America Insurance Company v. Commercial Union Assurance Company of Canada, No. 11-2072, 1st Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 14205).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A consumer has properly pleaded a majority of her claims against a debt collector and lender, a federal judge in Arkansas ruled July 10 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss and allowing the consumer to amend her complaint (Rosie M. Thomas v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., et al., No. 11-775, E.D. Ark.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94940).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on July 11 granted summary judgment to a concrete products company on claims by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for legal damages and victim-specific equitable relief in an action alleging race discrimination because the company settled the dispute with its accuser, but the judge denied summary judgment on the discrimination claims themselves (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Foley Products Company, No. 2:10-cv-827, M.D. Ala.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95570).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A commercial general liability insurance policy and an umbrella policy do not provide coverage for damages to a building caused by alleged design and construction defects or for loss of use of the machines or loss of profits, a South Carolina federal judge held July 9, granting in part summary judgment to the insurer (Penn National Security Insurance Co. v. Design-Build Corp., et al., No. 11-02043, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94012).
CHICAGO - A municipality did not violate a smoke shop's due process rights in denying it a business license because the owner knew what was required to maintain licensing but failed to comply, an Illinois federal judge said July 9 (Asma Saad and Tobacco House Inc., d/b/a Belicoso Cigar Lounge v. Village of Orland Park, No. 11-cv-7419, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94093).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 11 affirmed the dismissal of a suit arising from JP Morgan Chase Bank's (Chase) assumption of a loan from the failed Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu), finding that amendment of the plaintiffs' Real Estate Settlement Practices Act (RESPA) claim would be futile and that their non-RESPA claims are barred by res judicata (Christopher Hintz, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, et al., No. 11-1560, 8th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 14121).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 11 upheld a trial court's rejection of an assistant controller's age discrimination claim, finding that his former employer's legitimate, nondiscriminatory reasons for not promoting him were not pretext for age-based discrimination (David M. Doyle v. The Nordam Group, Inc., et al., No. 11-5004, 10th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 14141).
NEW YORK - Citing the transmit clause holding in Cartoon Network LLP v. CSC Holdings Inc. (536 F.3d 121 (2nd Cir. 2008) (Cablevision), a New York federal judge on July 11 denied preliminary injunctive relief in a dispute over live streaming of copyrighted television programs online (American Broadcasting Companies Inc., et al. v. Aero Inc., No. 12-1540, S.D. N.Y.). Subscribers may view the decision available within the full article.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - A broadcasting company plausibly alleged that a competitor entered into collusive agreements to aggregate exclusive network affiliations and engaged in denigrating commercial speech and predatory hiring with the purpose and effect of excluding competition in the television local spot advertising market in Fort Wayne, in violation of federal and state antitrust laws, a federal judge in Indiana ruled July 9 in denying the competitor's motion to dismiss (Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. v. Granite Broadcasting Corporation, et al., No. 1:11-CV-249, N.D. Ind.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95024).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri appeals panel on July 10 found that there are genuine issues of material fact regarding whether insurance brokers fully performed their duties under a contract with a boxing promoter, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in a lawsuit arising from a dispute over coverage for a boxer's injuries (Gateway Hotel Holdings Inc., et al. v. Chapman-Sander, Inc., et al., No. ED97066, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., Div. 3; 2012 Mo. App. LEXIS 887).
RICHMOND, Va. - A split panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 11 ruled that a bankruptcy court properly denied a debtor's Chapter 13 plan because her calculation of her size of household did not follow the proper approach; namely, she should have claimed only three of her five children as members of her household (Tanya Rene Johnson v. William H. Zimmer, No. 11-2034, Chapter 13, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 14153).
CHICAGO - A former employee of bankrupt Peregrine Financial Group Inc. on July 11 filed a putative class action on behalf of himself and others in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, seeking damages for alleged violations of federal employment law (Ronald Kotulak v. Peregrine Financial Group Inc., No. 12-05447, N.D. Ill.). Subscribers may view the complaint available within the full article.
SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs who sued a website owner for purchases made through a third party lack constitutional or statutory standing and the required reliance required by the California unfair competition law (UCL), a federal judge held June 9 (Sharon Gentes, et al. v. Trend Micro Inc., et al., No. 11-5574, N.D. Calif.). Subscribers may view the opinion available within the full article.
HOUSTON - The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas judge presiding over the hexavalent chromium exposure personal injury lawsuit against Iraq war contractors on July 9 issued an order granting as a matter of law the defense motion to dismiss the single business enterprise claim; in a related order issued July 10, the judge granted the defendants summary judgment on the alter-ego and joint ventures claims (Mark McManaway, et al v. KBR Inc., et al., No. 10-1044, S.D. Texas). Subscribers may view the summary judgment order available within the full article.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Fourth District Florida Court of Appeal on July 11 overturned summary judgment for a retailer named as the defendant in a trip-and-fall injury action, ruling that questions remained regarding whether the defendant negligently failed to keep its premises reasonably safe (Julissa DeLeon v. Dollar Tree Stores Inc., No. 4D11-2425, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2012 Fla. App. LEXIS 11286).
ATLANTA - The Georgia Court of Appeals on July 11upheld summary judgment for a truck stop named as the defendant in a slip-and-fall injury case, ruling that the trial court correctly concluded that the record lacks evidence of the defendant's superior knowledge of the hazard causing the plaintiff's fall (Kenneth Courter v. Pilot Travel Centers LLC, No. A12A0628, Ga. App.; 2012 Ga. App. LEXIS 648).
NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge in New York presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines, on July 11 issued an order lifting the automatic stay to allow Wells Fargo Bank Northwest National Association to enforce its rights under lease agreements related to American's practice of selling planes to the lender and then leasing them back (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 YORK - Finding "no indication" in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) that Congress intended to limit the statute's safe harbor provision to works created post-1972, a New York justice on July 10 refused to dismiss a music streaming website's invocation of the safe harbor affirmative defense in response to common-law copyright infringement claims (UMG Recordings Inc. v. Escape Media Group Inc., No. 100152/2010, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - A copyright holder's failure to identify the proper title of a movie allegedly infringed via an Internet file-sharing protocol defeats its copyright infringement claims, a New York federal judge ruled July 9, also disposing of an accompanying negligence claim as preempted by federal law (Liberty Media Holdings LLC v. Cary Tabora, et al., No. 1:12-cv-02234, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94751).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Oregon federal judge's decision to strike a pro se defendant's pleadings for repeated violations of court orders was not an abuse of discretion, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 11 (FLIR Systems Inc. v. Thomas L. Gambaro, No. 12-1100, Fed. Cir.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - The jury in the Merced County, Calif., hexavalent chromium contamination-related flood damage claims trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California was dismissed July 10 because the parties presented the court with a settlement; the details were not disclosed (Raul Valencia Abarca, et al. v. Merck & Co., et al., No. 07-388, E.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on July 9 denied a former Citigroup Global Markets Inc. employee's motion for summary judgment on claims that he misrepresented the investment quality of certain collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) he structured and marketed for Citigroup in violation of federal securities laws (United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Brian Stoker, No. 11-7388, S.D. N.Y.).
DENVER - A consumer has properly shown that a debt collector and law firm violated provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) 15 U.S.C.S. §§1692 et seq..when they attempted to collect post-judgment interest at a certain rate on the consumer's debt from a defaulted credit card account, a federal judge in Colorado ruled July 9 (Tracy Shepherd v. Liberty Acquisitions LLC, et al., No. 11-0718, D. Colo.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94199).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 9 lifted a stay of a case challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), 111 P.L. 148 upon a motion by the federal government following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in a similar case (U.S. Citizens Association, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., Nos. 11-3327 &11-3798, 6th Cir.). Subscribers may view the order available within the full article.