Mealey's Labor & Employment - Plan's Forum-Selection Clause Is Enforceable, Divided 6th Circuit Rules

CINCINNATI - A federal judge properly dismissed without prejudice a pension plan participant's claim that the plan improperly reduced his benefits, where the suit was not brought in the federal court specified in the plan's forum-selection clause, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled...

Mealey's Banking & Finance - U.S. Supreme Court Grants Leave To Solicitor General In TILA Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 14 granted a motion by the U.S. solicitor general for leave to participate in oral arguments as amicus curiae in a dispute over whether a letter or a lawsuit is required to properly exercise the right to rescind under the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) ...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Court Sees Flurry Of Objections To NFL Settlement As Deadline Passes

PHILADELPHIA - At least 15 memoranda were filed by as many as 83 former National Football League players or their representatives on Oct. 14, the deadline for objections to the proposed settlement of the concussion multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California DA Asks GM MDL Judge To Remand Suit To State Court

NEW YORK - A suit brought on behalf of California owners of vehicles manufactured by General Motors LLC (New GM) should be remanded to California state court, Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas argues in a memorandum filed Oct. 14 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Cook IVC Filter MDL Created, Assigned To Judge Young In Indiana Federal Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judicial panel on Oct. 15 centralized 32 federal cases in which plaintiffs allege that they were injured by a design defect in Cook Medical Inc. inferior vena cava (IVC) filters and assigned it to Chief Judge Richard L. Young of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 11th Circuit Finds Error In Exclusion Of Alcohol Use Evidence, Vacates Jury Award

ATLANTA - A federal judge erred in excluding evidence of alcohol use in a suit alleging that a smoker's death from lung cancer was caused by his addiction to nicotine, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 16, vacating a $5.9 million jury award and ordering a new trial (Thelma Aycock...

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel Reverses Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Dispute Over Defense Costs

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Oct. 15 reversed and remanded a lower court's dismissal of a veterinarian insured's complaint against his insurer for breach of contract and a defense cost determination under Florida Statutes Section 627.426 (Dr. Scott J. Swerdlin v. Florida...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM Plaintiffs Seek Recovery For Economic Losses In MDL Court

NEW YORK - Lead plaintiffs' counsel in the General Motors LLC (GM) ignition-switch multidistrict litigation filed two consolidated complaints on Oct. 14, one related to recalled vehicles purchased before July 11, 2009, and the other related to vehicles purchased thereafter, in the U.S. District Court...

Mealey's Insurance - 2nd Circuit: Policy Requires Insurer To Pay No More Than $50,000 Already Tendered

NEW YORK - Because an insured's flood-damaged generator was located in a building's basement and not on a covered floor, an insurer is not required to pay more than the $50,000 it has already tendered in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Oct...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Judge Dismisses Smoker's Suit For Lack Of Specificity In Complaint

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - A smoker's failure to specify the years during which he smoked each manufacturer's cigarettes renders his complaint insufficient under the federal pleading standards, a federal judge in Florida ruled Oct. 15 (Daniel S. Echols, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 7th Circuit Holds That Physician-Shareholder Is Employer, Not Employee

CHICAGO - A physician who was also a shareholder and member of the board of directors of the anesthesiology practice where she worked was an employer, not employee, so she has no standing to sue the practice for disability discrimination after she was terminated, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Montana Court Denies Summary Judgment In Suit Against Freddie Mac

MISSOULA, Mont. - The issue of whether the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) owed a duty of care to a woman who was injured when she fell in a home it owned is a question of fact within the province of a jury, a federal judge ruled Oct. 15 (Sherri Young v. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Assumption Of Risk Not A Complete Bar To Recovery, Virgin Islands Court Rules

ST. CROIX, Virgin Islands - The doctrine of assumption of the risk is not a complete bar to recovery under a negligence theory in a premises liability case but can be used in apportioning damages between the premises owner and an injured party, the Supreme Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands ruled Oct....

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Multiemployer Funds Entitled To Enforce Unsigned Document, 7th Circuit Rules

ST. LOUIS - An employer that complied with the terms of a document written by the union representative is liable for delinquent contributions to a multiemployer fund pursuant to that document under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, even though the employer did not sign the document containing...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas High Court Vacates Verdict Against Electricity Distribution Company

HOUSTON - A trial judge erred in submitting a charge of general negligence, rather than a charge of premises liability, against an electricity carrier to a jury, the Texas First District Court of Appeal ruled Oct. 16 (Oncor Electric Delivery Co. v. Marco Murillo, No. 01-10-01123-CV, Tex. App., 1st Dist...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - District Court's Order Is Not Final Order, Not Appealable, 2nd Circuit Rules

NEW YORK - A federal district court order that held that a plan sponsor is a plan administrator within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and remanded for additional evidence is not an immediately appealable final order, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 15 in...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Failure To Offer Expert Testimony Fatal To Claim, Utah Appeals Court Rules

SALT LAKE CITY - Expert testimony was required to prove an injured skier's negligence claim against a ski resort where he was hit by a tram or something hanging from it, the Utah Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 17 (Bradley R. Callister v. Snowbird Corp., No. 20130269-CA, Utah App.; 2014 Utah App. LEXIS...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM Tells MDL Judge California District Attorney's Suit Belongs In MDL

NEW YORK - A suit brought By Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas on behalf of California owners of vehicles manufactured by General Motors LLC (New GM) belongs in the GM ignition-switch multidistrict litigation pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York...

Mealey's IP/Tech - 6th Circuit Affirms: Defense In Copyright Case Not Waived

CINCINNATI - A Tennessee federal judge did not err in granting a copyright infringement defendant summary judgment on grounds that his license agreements with the plaintiffs were valid and had never been withdrawn or canceled under the requirements of Russian law, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals...

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Grants Preliminary Approval To Deal Settling Newspaper Carriers' Claims

SAN DIEGO - A newspaper company will pay $3.2 million to resolve claims that it violated California labor laws and the unfair competition law (UCL) by misclassifying newspaper carriers as independent contractors under a class action settlement that received preliminary approval Oct. 17 from a federal...

Mealey's Insurance - Owners Of 2 Diagnostic Centers To Pay $2.6M To Resolve False Claims Suit

HOUSTON - The owners of two diagnostic centers in Texas on Oct. 16 agreed to pay a combined $2.6 million to resolve claims from three whistle-blowers alleging that the owners violated the False Claims Act and Stark statute, according to filings in Texas federal court (United States, ex rel. Maribeth...

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Disclosure Of Audit Results Not Fatal To Suit

RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on Oct. 16 denied a health care company's motion to dismiss a False Claims Act suit against it, ruling that the dissemination of audit results concerning its billing practices to doctors employed by the company did not constitute a public disclosure (United...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - NFL Objectors Ask MDL Judge To Order Pre-Fairness Hearing Scheduling Conference

PHILADELPHIA - Two groups of objectors to the proposed settlement of the National Football League concussion multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania filed separate motions with the court Oct. 16, seeking a scheduling conference in advance of an upcoming...

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Denying Coverage Under Policy

NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in granting summary judgment in an insurance bad faith lawsuit because an insurer was not required to provide coverage for an insured's losses in the basement of the property because the basement was not a "covered location" under the terms...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Returns Defense Verdict In Medical Malpractice Suit

BRADENTON, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on Oct. 17 returned a unanimous defense verdict for a pediatrician in a medical malpractice case involving the death of a 15-year-old girl (Virginia Chapman, et al. v. Snehal V. Parikh, M.D., et al., No. 12CA03280, Fla. Cir., 12th Jud., Manatee Co.).