BOSTON - Dismissal of a shareholder class action lawsuit against Textron Inc. and certain of its executive officers was proper because the shareholders failed to plead a material misrepresentation or scienter in claiming that the defendants violated federal securities law, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 7 (Automotive Industries Pension Trust Fund v. Textron Inc., et al., No. 11-2106, 1st Cir.).
NEW YORK - Medical evidence suggesting a man did not suffer asbestos exposure combined with expert testimony that cigarette smoking more likely contributed to his lung cancer sufficiently support a judge's denial of workers' compensation benefits, a New York appeals court held June 7 (In the Matter of the claim of Paula Connolly, et al. v. Hubert's Service Inc., et al., Workers' Compensation Board, No. 512610, N.Y. Sup., App. Div. 3rd Dept.; 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4352).
MILWAUKEE - The Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee on June 8 filed a supplemental brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin opposing the archdiocese's motion to withdraw certain claims (In Re: Archdiocese of Milwaukee, No. 11-20059, Chapter 11, E.D. Wis. Bkcy.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A shareholder argues in a June 8 filing in a Delaware court that presuit demand to a board of directors would have been futile because a majority of the board is allegedly not disinterested (Joel A. Gerber v. EPE Holdings, LLC n/k/a Enterprise Products Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 3543-VCN, Del. Chanc.).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A policyholder "fail$(ed$) to state a plausible claim for relief" in his claims for breach of contract and bad faith against his homeowners insurer because he did not establish that the insurer had a duty to pay a disputed claim within 60 days or to pay any related interest amounts, a South Carolina federal judge ruled June 6, granting the insurer's dismissal motion (Brent J. Griffith v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 2:12-cv-00239, D. S.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78184).
TAMPA, Fla. - Although a former 7-Eleven Inc. employee established a prima facie case of pregnancy discrimination by her employer, the company provided a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for firing her, a Florida federal judge held June 7 in granting 7-Eleven summary judgment on all of the woman's claims (Katie M. Selkow v. 7-Eleven, Inc., No. 8:11-cv-456, M.D. Fla.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79265).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A New York appeals court on June 8 affirmed a lower court's decision to deny summary judgment for a town on a resident's claims that a drainage system owned by the town caused flooding and toxic mold growth in her property that resulted in personal injuries, but it found that her property damage claim was not timely filed and the amount of damages she could recover must be limited (Kathleen Prachel v. Town of Webster, No. 450 CA 11-02197, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dept.; 2012 N.Y. Slip. Op. 4468).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 affirmed the denial of a motion for judgment as a matter of law for the defendant in a workplace injury action, upholding a verdict for a man who lost parts of two fingers on the job (Joshua David Poynor v. Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas Inc., No. 11-10981, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11409).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 7 affirmed dismissal of a wrongful death action involving a fire department recruit who died during a training exercise, noting that her estate did not assert that the fire department intended to harm her (Virginia Dean Slaughter, et al. v. Mayor of Baltimore, et al., No. 10-2436, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11482).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on June 6 partially granted a motion to dismiss a reimbursement suit brought by an out-of-network provider against an insurer of Medicaid-eligible individuals, saying that a claim for breach of contract as a third-party beneficiary will continue but that the plaintiff failed to support claims for subrogation and violation of the Medicaid statute (Prince George's Hospital Center v. Advantage Healthplan Inc., No. 03-2392, D. D.C.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78257).
NEW YORK - The Police and Fire Retirement System (PFRS) of the City of Detroit on June 7 filed a brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Ambac Financial Group Inc., contending that its appeal is valid due to what it calls Ambac's abandonment of the derivative claims PFRS brought prior to the bankruptcy filing (Public School Teachers' Pension & Retirement Fund of Chicago, et al. Ambac Financial Group Inc. $(In Re: Ambac Financial Group Inc.$), No. 11-4643, Chapter 11, 2nd Cir.).
PALM BEACH, Fla. - Luxury home builder Leonard Albanese on June 8 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida, listing more than $46.24 million in liabilities and $4.34 million in assets (In Re: Leonard Albanese, No. 12-24122, Chapter 11, S.D. Fla. Bkcy.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - An insurance agent was not acting as an investment adviser representative (IAR) under the terms of an endorsement to a professional liability insurance policy when she engaged in purported wrongful conduct, an Oregon federal magistrate judge ruled June 6, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a garnishment lawsuit seeking recovery of a limited judgment entered against the agent (Jeffrey Walston, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., et al., No. 09-CV-122, D. Ore., Portland Div.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - When a corporate representative speaks, he speaks not as an individual but on behalf of the company, a Pennsylvania court held June 8 reversing a ruling in an asbestos personal injury case that a deceased representative's testimony regarding a company's use of asbestos constituted hearsay (Margaret T. Petrina, et al. v. Allied Glove Corp., et al., No. 894 WDA 2011, Pa. Super.; 2012 PA Super 121).
PASEDENA, Calif. - A full Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 certified a question to the California Supreme Court, asking the state high court to address whether the distribution of studies related to drug costs violates free speech under the California Constitution Jerry Beeman and Pharmacy Services Inc., et al. v. Anthem Prescription Management, et al., Nos. 07-56692, 07-56693, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11392).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge's ruling denying a motion for injunctive relief that would bar disclosure of attorney invoices for the former executive director of the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) was affirmed June 7 by a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel after the panel found that the judge did not err in finding that the documents were not protected by the attorney-client privilege (Carl R. Greene v. Philadelphia Housing Authority, et al., No. 11-2745, 3rd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11502).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 8 affirmed an award of summary judgment to Countrywide Home Loans Inc., doing business as America's Wholesale Lender Inc., in a mortgage-lending dispute and upheld a judge's decision to not impose sanctions against the company over its 90-day email retention policy (Judith Silver v. Countrywide Home Loans Inc., d/b/a America's Wholesale Lender, No. 11-12282, 11th Cir.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 7 upheld the denial of an accountant's class action challenge of the U.S. Department of Treasury's annual fee for compensated tax return preparers (Jesse E. Brannen, III, P.C., et al. v. United States of America, No. 11-14138, 11th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11536).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a lawsuit seeking coverage for property damage and business interruption losses stemming from a collapse (Tastee Treats Inc. v. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Co., No. 11-1711, No. 11-1771, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11542).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Ohio federal judge erred in concluding that a patent plaintiff failed to adequately state a claim of direct infringement, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 7; in the same ruling, the appellate panel endorsed the pleadings standard of Form 18 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure over U.S. Supreme Court precedents Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly (550 U.S. 544 $(2007$)) and Ashcroft v. Iqbal (556 U.S. 662 $(2009$)) (R+L Carriers Inc. v. DriverTech LLC et al., Nos. 2010-1493, -1494, -1495, -1496, 2011-1101, -1102, Fed. Cir.).
NEW YORK - A New York appellate panel on June 7 affirmed a lower court decision and held that more discovery is required before it can be determined how many occurrences are involved in a large number of asbestos-related claims (Mt. McKinley Insurance Company, et al. v. Corning Incorporated, et al., No. 5187, 602454/02, N.Y. Sup., App. Div. 1st Dept.; 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4330).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 6 affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of a corporation's receiver, who brought a suit seeking to void allegedly fraudulent transfers the defendants received from the corporation, which was used to operate a Ponzi scheme (Robert G. Wing v. Bruce J. Dockstader, et al., No. 11-4006, 10th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11390).
CINCINNATI - A depository bank that allegedly facilitated a third-party administrator's (TPA's) embezzlement from plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act is not an ERISA fiduciary, and state-law claims against the bank are preempted by ERISA, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 8 in a divided opinion (John C. McLemore, et al. v. Regions Bank, Nos. 10-5480, 10-5491, 6th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11600).
SAN FRANCISCO - A letter sent by a debt-collecting law firm does not violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) because it does not expressly require a debtor to contest her debt in writing, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 8, affirming a district court's granting of summary judgment in favor of the firm (Joann Riggs v. Prober & Raphael, A Law Corp., et al., No. 10-17220, 9th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 11631).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The director of the World Trade Center Health Program announced June 8 that he will adopt the recommendations of the WTC Health Program Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) to add cancer to the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act list of covered conditions; the proposed regulation will be published June 13 in the Federal Register.