PATERSON, N.J. - A New Jersey man sued the state's insurance guaranty association in a New Jersey court on July 11 for personal injuries sustained when he was struck as a pedestrian by a vehicle (Arison Rodriguez v. New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., No. PAS-L-002309-19, N.J. Super., Passaic Co.).
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A life insurer's motion to dismiss claims for breach of contract, bad faith and declaratory judgment was denied by an Iowa federal judge on July 11 in a purported class action accusing the insurer of improperly transferring reserve funds through reinsurance transactions (Karen McMahon, et al. v. Transamerica Life Insurance Co., No. 17-149, N.D. Iowa, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115260).
SEATTLE - In a water damage and mold coverage suit concerning an insurer's denial of investigation costs, a Washington federal judge on July 12 ordered an in camera review of documents provided by the insurer to determine whether attorney-client privilege applies (Market Place North Condominium Association v. Affiliated FM Insurance Co., No. 17-625, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116381).
CHICAGO - Seven auto dealers accusing Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC (FCA) and FCA Realty LLC (FCAR) of engaging in a scheme to falsely boost sales numbers and then rewarding those franchisees that padded their numbers failed to show that their sales would have been higher but for the alleged scheme or that they were denied popular vehicles because they refused to participate in the alleged scheme, an Illinois federal judge ruled July 10, dismissing their franchisees' Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims (Napleton's Arlington Heights Motors, Inc., et al. v. FCA US LLC, et al., No. 16-403, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114952).
BISMARCK, N.D. - A North Dakota state court has concurrent jurisdiction to decide an Indian father's child support obligation where the father is an enrolled member of the Crow Nation but lived on land of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, the North Dakota Supreme Court ruled July 11, rejecting the father's claim that the Turtle Mountain Tribal Court had exclusive subject matter jurisdiction (North Dakota, et al. v. Daniel Peltier, No. 20170463, N.D. Sup., 2018 ND 170).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on July 10 affirmed a trial court judge's ruling granting a nursing home facility's request for a new trial for liability and compensatory damages based on a resident's fall and overturned a decision nonsuiting the plaintiff's claims against the facility's management company (James Temple v. Providence Care Center LLC, No. 87 WDA 2017, Pa. Super., 2018 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2421).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on July 10 affirmed a trial court's denial of a nursing home's motion to dismiss claims for wrongful death and survival asserted by the heir of a resident who died, holding that a doctor's expert report in which he opined that the facility breached the standard of care was sufficient at the present stage to support his claims (Bay Oaks SNF, LLC v. Barry Clayton Lancaster, as an heir of Barry Lancaster, No. 01-17-00982, Texas App., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 5140).
DENVER - A shareholder filed a securities class action lawsuit against a real estate company and certain of its executive officers in Colorado federal court on July 11, alleging that the defendants overstated the company's revenues for its farm real estate lending business in violation of federal securities laws, causing the company's stock to trade at an artificially high rate during the class period (Alexander Kachmar v. Farmland Partners Inc., et al., No. 18-1771, D. Colo.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Allegations that Brown University engaged in prohibited transactions with regard to two retirement plans were dismissed July 11, but in the same ruling a Rhode Island federal judge agreed to let other claims by a purported class of plan participants and beneficiaries move forward (Diane G. Short, et al., v. Brown University, No. 17-318, D. R.I., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115065).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent directed to waking a device from a low-power state in response to detected acceleration, such as when a device is moved, recites "well-known accelerometer techniques," Samsung Electronics America Inc. asserts in a July 11 petition for inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Samsung Electronics America Inc. v. Uniloc Luxembourg S.A., No. IPR2018-01383, PTAB).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - An insurer and reinsurers submitted a stipulation of dismissal with prejudice on July 11 of their breach of contract dispute in the Connecticut federal court regarding an underlying asbestos claims settlement (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-00088, D. Conn.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 11 dismissed a lawsuit over an alleged kickback insurance premium scheme involving insurers, reinsurers and lenders (Nelson White Jr., et al. v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 11-7928, E.D. Pa.).
SPOKANE, Wash. - A Washington federal judge on July 11 held that whether an underlying negligence claim arises solely from an insured's professional services is a question of fact, finding a commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend its insured (Evanston Insurance Company v. Rells Fire Protection Inc., et al., No. 17-00249, E.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115779).
TRENTON, N.J. - Insufficient evidence of exposure to asbestos or its role in a man's lung cancer supports a widow's workers' compensation claim, a New Jersey appeals court held Jul 11 (Michelle Lomet, et al. v. Lawes Coal Co., No. A-1169-16T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1635).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 11 affirmed a district court's summary judgment ruling in favor of a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, agreeing with the lower court that the death benefits can be paid only to the designated beneficiary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Emma Cehovic-Dixneuf v. Lisa Wong, No. 17-1532, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18853).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The federal judge in New York overseeing criminal proceedings against convicted former pharmaceutical company CEO and hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli on July 10 granted the U.S. government's motion to liquidate a portion of Shkreli's E*Trade brokerage account and apply the liquidated funds to the outstanding fine and restitution liability that were part of his conviction on securities fraud and conspiracy charges (United States v. Martin Shkreli, No. 15-637, E.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114792).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 12 ruled that a federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action complaint against retailed Kohl's Corp. and certain of its executive officers with prejudice because a pension fund failed to show that the defendants acted with the required scienter and failed to show that amendment of its complaint would cure the pleading defects that led to dismissal (Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers, et al. v. Kohl's Corp., et al., No. 17-2697, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 19014).
MIAMI - Fifteen students who survived the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., sued law enforcement and school officials on July 11 in federal court, alleging that they failed to take action on the day the shooter killed 17 students and teachers at the school and failed to heed warnings about the shooter in the months and years leading up to that day (L.S., et al. v. Scot Peterson, et al., No. 18-61577, S.D. Fla.).
ATLANTA - Allegations by a purported inventor of an electronic reading device that Apple Inc. copied the "non-functional aesthetic look and feel" of his technical drawings submitted in conjunction with a patent application were properly dismissed by a Florida federal judge, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 12 (Thomas S. Ross v. Apple Inc., No. 17-13712, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18991).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 13 ruled that no private right of action exists under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (ICA) for challenging "the continued validity of an ICA exemption," affirming a federal district court's dismissal of a shareholder derivative lawsuit against Yahoo! Inc. and certain of its executive officers and directors over their investment in a Chinese retail website (UFCW Local 1500 Pension Fund v. Marissa Mayer, et al., No. 17-15435, 9th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a derivative lawsuit brought by parties to variable annuity contracts with AXA Life Insurance Co. because the plaintiffs failed to show that AXA and its subsidiary breached their fiduciary duty by charging excessive management and fund administration fees under the provisions of the Investment Company Act (ICA), a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 10 (Mary Ann Sivolella, et al. v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-4241, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18678).
SAN FRANCISCO - Efforts by Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and others to overturn a March ruling that upheld a $5.3 million damage award for copyright infringement stemming from the hit song "Blurred Lines" failed July 11, when the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied panel and en banc rehearing (Pharrell Williams, et al. v. Frankie Christian Gaye, et al., No. 15-56880, 16-55089 and 16-55626, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 18954).