Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Expert's Opinion Differs Sufficiently From 'Every Exposure' Testimony

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Eugene Mark's testimony that every significant asbestos exposure contributes to mesothelioma relies on the record and scientific evidence and is not the type of "every exposure" testimony portrayed by a defendant, an Alabama federal judge held Aug. 25 (Melissa Ann Bobo...

Mealey's Insurance - 2nd Circuit Affirms That New York Law Governs Reinsurance Case

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in an unpublished Aug. 27 opinion affirmed a lower court decision that Illinois law applies to a late notice reinsurance billing dispute and, therefore, that the reinsurer did not have to show prejudice to refuse payment (AIU Insurance Co. v. TIG...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Deceased Smoker's Family Wins $3M Verdict Against Reynolds In Florida Suit

MIAMI - A jury in Florida's 11th Judicial Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County on Aug. 27 ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to pay $3 million to the family of a man who alleged that his lung cancer resulted from smoking cigarettes manufactured by Reynolds for more than 45 years (Sherri Hubbird v....

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Reinstates ASARCO's Contribution Claim Against Union Pacific

SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 27 reversed a federal judge in Idaho's ruling that American Smelting and Refining Co. LLC's (ASARCO) claim for contribution under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Section 113(f) for cleanup...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 9th Circuit: FedEx Drivers In Oregon, California Were Employees

PORTLAND, Ore. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued two opinions on Aug. 27, finding that FedEx Ground Package System Inc. drivers were employees, not contractors, as a matter of law under Oregon and California law (Edward Slayman, et al. v. FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., DBA FedEx...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 3rd Circuit: Worker Terminated After Leave May Proceed With FMLA Claims

PHILADELPHIA - A hospital worker who was told by her employer to continue her leave after her doctor cleared her to return to work may proceed with claims that her former employer interfered with her rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and retaliated against her for taking leave, the...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Orders Environmental Service Contractor To Pay Spill Responder For Services

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Aug. 25 ordered an environmental services company to pay $237,484.35 to a spill responder for unpaid invoices related to the cleanup of an oil spill on the Mississippi River in 2008, ruling that the responder was entitled to the money and that the responder's...

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Had Reasonable Basis To Deny Coverage, Judge Says, Rejects Bad Faith Claim

RENO, Nev. - A Nevada federal judge on Aug. 26 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment on an insured's claim for tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, leaving only the breach of contract claims to survive in a coverage dispute over an underlying Employee...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California Suit Says Youth Soccer Fails To Prevent Head Injuries

SAN FRANCISCO - The organizations that govern youth soccer in the United States have failed to take steps to protect players from suffering traumatic brain injuries while playing the sport, a putative class action filed Aug. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California asserts...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - No Liability For Third-Party Manufacturers' Relabeled Parts Pa. Court Affirms

PHILADELPHIA - Two automobile parts companies cannot be held liable for asbestos exposure arising from products manufactured by others but sold under the companies' names in Great Britain, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel held Aug. 27 (Amy R. Smith, et al. v. BMW of North America LLC, et al.,...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Illinois Court Affirms Order Compelling Arbitration In London

CHICAGO - After finding that all of the claims asserted by two accountants in relation to an accounting firm being expelled from a network of firms relate to a London arbitration provision, an Illinois appeals court on Aug. 27 affirmed a trial court's ruling compelling arbitration of the dispute...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Jury Awards Meso Sufferer Nearly $37M For Brake Lining Exposures

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida jury on Aug. 27 awarded a man suffering from mesothelioma $36,984,800, found lone remaining defendant Pneumo Abex LLC strictly liable and found that it negligently failed to warn of the dangers of its asbestos-containing brake linings and held it 75 percent responsible, sources...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Philadelphia-Area Health Care Workers' Wage Claims Rejected By 3rd Circuit Panel

PHILADELPHIA - Philadelphia-area health care workers who alleged wage violations in five separate class actions failed to prove that any of the named plaintiffs actually worked any overtime hours for which they were not paid, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 26 in a single opinion addressing...

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Dispute As To Propriety Of Policy Cancellation Does Not Involve Insurer

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appellate panel on Aug. 27 rejected a nurse practitioner insured's contention that her insurer was legally responsible for the alleged improper cancellation of her professional liability policy, reversing and remanding with instructions to grant the insurer's motion...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Significantly Trims Claims In Insurance Bad Faith Suit

ATLANTA - A federal judge in Georgia on Aug. 26 granted summary judgment on a number of claims brought by insureds who alleged that their insurer, among other things, breached its contract and acted in bad faith in failing to provide coverage for damage sustained to their home due to a kitchen fire ...

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 1st Circuit Finds Federal Entities Are Exempt From Paying Real Estate Tax

BOSTON - After finding that the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) are excused from paying state and local taxes, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 27 affirmed decisions issued...

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Says Dismissal Of Patent Case Was Abuse Of Discretion

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 vacated a Texas federal judge's decision to dismiss a patent case with prejudice, after deeming the dismissal an abuse of discretion (Ki Ventures LLC v. CTA Digital Inc., No. 14-1187, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Asbestos MDL Judge Finds No Duty In Pennsylvania For Take-Home Exposures

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania would not burden employers with a duty to protect against take-home asbestos exposures given the weight the state gives public policy considerations, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held Aug. 27 (Marilyn Gillen v. The Boeing Co., et al.,...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Awards $8.5M In Punitive Damages To Family Of Deceased Smoker

MIAMI - A jury in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Aug. 28 returned an $8.5 million punitive damages verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a suit filed by the family of a longtime smoker who alleged that his death from lung cancer was the result of his smoking (Robert...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Tobacco Companies Partly Responsible For Diseases, Not Death, Florida Jury Finds

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A jury in the 17th Judicial District Court for Broward County, Fla., on Aug. 28 found R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Liggett Group partially responsible for the smoking-related diseases, but not the death, of a longtime smoker, awarding his family $2.75 million...

Mealey's Insurance - No Coverage For Exonerated Criminal Defendant's Suit Disputing Doctor's Testimony

JACKSON, Miss. - A lawsuit brought by an exonerated criminal defendant over testimony that a doctor insured gave as an expert witness is not covered under the doctor's medical malpractice insurance policy, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed Aug. 28 (Dr. Steven Hayne v. The Doctors Company, et...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Upholds Fees Award For Sallie Mae's Failure To Comply With E-Discovery

LOS ANGELES - Sallie Mae Inc.'s objections to electronic discovery requests by a group of students in a fraud lawsuit were without merit, a California appeals panel found Aug. 27, affirming an award of attorney fees to the students related to their opposition to Sallie Mae's motion to quash their...

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Class Claims Target Sugar Content In Yogurt Sold By Whole Foods Market

LOS ANGELES - Supermarket chain Whole Foods Market Inc. dupes customers into buying its Greek yogurt products by vastly understating on the product labels how much sugar the yogurt contains, in violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), according to a consumer class action complaint...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Jurors Return Defense Verdict In Massachusetts' 2nd Pelvic Mesh Bellwether Trial

LOWELL, Mass. - A Massachusetts state court jury on Aug. 29 returned a defense verdict for Boston Scientific Corp. after 2-1/2 days of deliberations in the state's second bellwether pelvic mesh trial (Maria Cardenas v. Boston Scientific Corp., No. MICV2012-02912, Mass. Super., Middlesex Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Somalia Requests Arbitration With Kenya, Seeks Ruling On Maritime Boundary

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Aug. 28 announced that the Republic of Somalia has commenced arbitration against the Republic of Kenya in relation to an Indian Ocean maritime boundary dispute.