SAN FRANCISCO - Stating that a transgender man was terminated in retaliation for his posting on an employer-rating website that criticized the employer's purported discriminatory practices the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 24 filed a complaint on the employee's behalf in California federal court, alleging violation of federal anti-discrimination statutes (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. IXL Learning Inc., No. 3:17-cv-029979, N.D. Calif.).
DETROIT - Consumers of diesel-model Silverado and Sierra trucks made by General Motors LLC from 2011 to 2016 filed a class action May 25 in Michigan federal court against the automaker and the manufacturer of a part that allegedly allows the vehicles to cheat emissions tests, claiming that the car maker misrepresented the vehicles' fuel economy and emission levels (Andrei Fenner, et al. v. General Motors, LLC, et al., No. 17-cv-11661, E.D. Mich.).
BOSTON - Granting in part a reinsurer's request for documents relating to an insurer's allocation of an insured's asbestos losses to its reinsurers, a Massachusetts federal magistrate judge on May 26 ordered the insurer to produce facultative certificates for a few similarly situated reinsurers (Lamorak Insurance Co. v. Everest Reinsurance Co., No. 15-cv-13425, D. Mass.).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on May 25 upheld the conviction of a woman for setting fire to her house to collect insurance money after rejecting her challenge to an expert's opinion that the fire was caused by arson (Audrey Pruitt v. Anthony Stewart, No. 2:15-cv-10812, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80162).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 23 granted preliminary approval of a $3 million settlement to be paid by an industrial service company to end claims that it improperly classified directional drillers as independent contractors and failed to pay overtime wages and meal and rest period premiums (Marc McCulloch, et al. v. Baker Hughes Inteq Drilling Fluids, Inc., et al., No. 16-157, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78367).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on May 24 denied a motion filed by the makers of a defective dehumidifier that caused fires to dismiss class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and negligence and other claims and ordered them to show cause as to why they should not be sanctioned for misrepresenting the law as it pertains to insurer's rights to subrogate the rights of insureds (Homesite Insurance Company of the Midwest, et al. v. Gree USA Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-06769, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79809).
LOS ANGELES - A federal district court erred in holding that claims in a securities class action lawsuit against a Chinese agricultural products manufacturer and certain of its officers and directors were time-barred because the statute of limitations was tolled pursuant to Supreme Court precedent in American Pipe & Construction Co. v. Utah and Crown, Cork & Seal Co. v. Parker, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 24 in reversing and remanding (Michael H. Resh, et al. v. China Agritech Inc., et al., No. 15-55432, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9029).
SEATTLE - A couple must file supplemental briefs explaining why dismissal of a complete diversity defeating defendant is possible and providing a better explanation of a second defendant's corporate structure, a federal judge overseeing an asbestos action in Washington state held May 24 (Patrick Jack, et al. v. Asbestos Corporation LTD., et al., No. 17-537, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79813).
ATLANTA - An Alabama federal judge correctly determined that a policy's total pollution exclusion cannot be asserted as a bar to coverage for two underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from sewage exposure because the interpretation is consistent with Alabama law, an appellee argues in a May 25 brief filed in the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Evanston Insurance Co. v. J&J Cable Construction LLC, et al., No. 17-11188, 11th Cir.).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on May 24 entered summary judgment in favor of Scottsdale Insurance Co., finding that misrepresentations made by a carpentry contractor on its policy application were material (Scottsdale Insurance Company v. Pine Construction Corp., No. 15-cv-4764, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80475).
MOBILE, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on May 23 denied without prejudice a motion by a the lead plaintiff in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class suit to enjoin a copycat class action filed in the New Jersey federal court because a motion to dismiss, stay or transfer is currently pending in New Jersey (Family Medicine Pharmacy, LLC v. Impax Laboratories, Inc., No. 17-0053, S.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77797).
UTICA, N.Y. - Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. (FFIC) and Utica Mutual Insurance Co. on May 23 held a settlement conference in their reinsurance dispute concerning an underlying $325 million settlement of asbestos claims asserted against an insured (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, No. 09-cv-00853, N.D. N.Y.).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on May 23 granted a disability claimant's motion to stay to allow the claimant additional time to enforce a subpoena in Massachusetts federal court against a Massachusetts-based company whose services were used by a disability insurer during the handling of the insured's benefits claim (Susan Card v. Principal Life Insurance Co., No. 15-139, E.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77819).
OKLAHOMA CITY - Although a California-based actuary company lacks the more-traditional contacts with a forum state, an Oklahoma federal judge on May 25 denied the company's motion to dismiss a professional negligence suit brought by an insolvent insurer's receiver because one court from "this district has already found personal jurisdiction in a similar scenario" (State of Oklahoma ex rel., John D. Doak, Insurance Commissioner, as receiver for Driver's Insurance Co. v. CTK Actuarial Services Inc., No. 17-371, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80293).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 25 ordered United Parcel Service Inc. to pay a total of $246,975,614 after finding in March that UPS knowingly shipped cigarettes to unauthorized sellers and on behalf of those sellers to residents in New York (The State of New York, et al. v. United Parcel Service Inc., No. 15-cv-1136, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43495).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The record-keeping provisions of the Contraband Cigarettes Trafficking Act (CCTA) applies to tribal entities for tobacco sales on as well as off the reservation, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled May 24 (Ho-Chunk, Inc., et al. v. Jeff Sessions, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States, et al., No. 16-cv-01652, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79397).
OXFORD, Miss. - Summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is not proper because an insured has stated material issues of genuine fact that must be determined before any judgment may be issued in the action, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled on May 23 in denying an insurer's motion (Patricia L. Smith, et al. v. Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Co., No. 16-0001, N.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78104).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A rejection by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of a petition for cancellation of the "Alec Bradley Star Insignia" trademark was vacated and remanded by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 24 (Joseph Phelps Vineyards LLC v. Fairmont Holdings LLC, No. 16-1089, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9006).