MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A reinsurer told a federal court in Alabama on Jan. 2 that its reinsured submitted a reinsurance loss bill under a different agreement than the one listed in the reinsured's complaint (Alabama Municipal Insurance Corporation v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 16-cv-00948, M.D. Ala.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Dec. 30 that an insurer's request regarding testimony from its corporate designee is improper because among other reasons, the reinsurer says, it does not have the information the insurer seeks (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-00270, N.D. N.Y.).
RUTLAND, Vt. - A federal judge in Vermont on Dec. 28 denied a motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination lawsuit against a plastics manufacturer, ruling that a dispute over the state's groundwater contamination standards was not "essential" to the case (James D. Sullivan, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, No. 16-125, D. Vt.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180405).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 20 granted a clothing retailer's motion to dismiss a consumer's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and claims for false advertising in relation to its pricing, finding that she failed to allege facts to support her class action claims (Courtney Dennis v. Ralph Lauren Corporation, No. 16cv1056, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176856).
SAN FRANCISCO - Chevron Corp., which is being sued by Nigerian residents who contend that they have been injured as a result of an oil rig explosion, on Dec. 20 filed a brief in California federal court, arguing that the plaintiffs' motion to add photographs into evidence and file them under seal should be denied because they have not shown good cause to supplement the record (Natto Iyela Gbarabe v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
MIAMI - An insured cannot bring claims against its insurer for bad faith until it has first shown that the insurer breached the terms of its insurance policy with the insured, a federal magistrate judge in Florida ruled Dec. 19 in granting the insurer's motion to abate the insurer's bad faith claims (Katchmore Luhrs LLC v. Allianz Global & Corporate Specialty, No. 15-23420, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175004).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Dec. 20 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation that the majority of claims asserted by former property owners against two loan companies in relation to the foreclosure of their property be dismissed, but found that their cause of action for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) should be allowed to proceed (Rodney Helm, et al. v. Freedom Mortgage Corporation, et al., No. 15-cv-12394, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175450).
CHICAGO - An individual copyright defendant won dismissal of allegations on Dec. 20 by an Illinois federal judge, who cited a lack of evidence that the individual used a corporate defendant "as an instrument" to carry out "willful and deliberate" infringement (Live Face On Web LLC v. KAM Development LLC, et al., No. 16-8604, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175619).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 20 affirmed a district court's confirmation of an arbitral award that granted a California corporation the rights to intellectual property and patent applications for the development of microalga products, finding that an arbitral panel did not exceed its authority when issuing the award (Roquette Freres S.A. v. Solazyme Inc., Nos. 15-4030 and 16-1308, 3rd Cir.).
DALLAS - A request by a copyright infringement plaintiff for leave to amend its pleading to add an individual defendant's corporate identity was rejected Dec. 16 by a Texas federal judge, who deemed the proposed amendment futile pursuant to 17 U.S. Code Section 507(b) (RBH Energy LLC v. Stuart L. Brown, No. 16-830, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174072).
BOSTON - An Amtrak lineman who claims that he was improperly denied overtime opportunities and was subjected to a hostile environment failed to successfully link either claim to his race, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 16, affirming a trial court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the defendant (Gregory Garmon, Sr. v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation d/b/a Amtrak, No. 15-1803, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22402).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Dec. 14 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to a patent infringement defendant to decide the standard for determining the proper venue for such infringement suits to be brought against a corporate entity (TC Heartland LLC d/b/a Heartland Food Products Group v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341, U.S. Sup.).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 13 found that a corporation that makes plastics failed to show that a company falsely advertised that its product met a military specification, affirming dismissal of its claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising (Caltex Plastics v. Elkay Plastics Company Inc., No. 15-55331, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22134).
PORTLAND, Ore. - An Oregon federal judge on Dec. 13 granted Jack in the Box Inc.'s motion to dismiss the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims of plaintiffs in a putative class action against the fast food restaurant franchisor, finding that Jack in the Box was not the plaintiff's joint employer after it franchised several corporate-owned Jack in the Box restaurants (Jessica Gessele, et al. v. Jack in the Box Inc., No. 3:14-cv-1092, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172061).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Three experts retained by plaintiffs claiming that Pella Corp.'s Architect Series and Designer Series windows are defective cannot testify about "leakage paths" that allow water to penetrate into vulnerable areas of the windows, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Dec. 12, finding that the testing done by the experts to support their theory did not conform with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard E2128 (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and products Liability Litigation, MDL 2514, Case No. 14mn1, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171502).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 12 dismissed with prejudice a claim asserted by a putative class of homeowners accusing Pulte Home Corp. of intentionally applying stucco in a manner that violated the Florida Building Code, ruling that the statute does not allow such a cause of action (Shaun Parker Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-CV-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171271).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A common-law trademark dispute over the corporate identity and assets of Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc. will proceed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a federal judge there announced Dec. 9 (Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc. v. Jericho Baptist Church Ministries Inc., et al., No. 16-647, D. D.C.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Six federal lawsuits alleging that a sperm bank misrepresented the qualities of a donor do not need to be centralized in a multidistrict litigation, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) ruled Dec. 7 (In Re: Xytex Corporation Sperm Donor Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2751, JPMDL).
SAN FRANCISCO - Nigerian residents who contend that they have been injured as a result of an oil rig explosion on Nov. 30 filed a brief in California federal court, contending that their motion to substitute a fisheries expert in place of the expert they originally scheduled is based on good cause under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 16 (Natto Iyela Gbarabe v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
LAS VEGAS - A proposed class of Nevada homeowners who are suing the builder and developer of allegedly defective homes must pursue their claims in federal court and cannot seek damages for strict liability and breach of implied warranty under Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 116.4114, a federal judge ruled Nov. 27 (Brittany Lopez, et al. v. U.S. Homes Corporation, et al., No. 16-cv-01754-GMN-CWH, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163571).