LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Finds Failure To Produce Witness Warrants Sanctions, Not Dismissal

LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant's delay in producing a corporate witness despite court orders to do so warrants imposing sanctions and awarding attorney fees, but not dismissal of the case, a federal judge in California held Oct. 24 (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147072).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Failure To Produce Witness Warrants Sanctions, Not Dismissal

LOS ANGELES - An asbestos defendant's delay in producing a corporate witness despite court orders to do so warrants imposing sanctions and awarding attorney fees, but not dismissal of the case, a federal judge in California held Oct. 24 (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147072).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 3rd Circuit Finds No Error In Allowing Expert Testimony In Breach Of Agreement Suit

PHILADELPHIA - In a breach of a lease agreement lawsuit between a class of landowners and an exploration production company, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 24 that a trial judge did not abuse his discretion in refusing to reconsider allowing an expert to testify that natural gas sold to third-party buyers was made before any interstate transportation (David F. Pollock, as executor of the estate of Margaret F. Pollock, et al. v. Energy Corporation of America, Nos. 15-2648 & 15-2649, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 19167).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 11th Circuit Affirms Dismissal, Finds Borrower Failed To Show Causation

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 20 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a former property owner's wrongful foreclosure claims, finding that she failed to address how an allegedly inadequate notice by a loan servicer caused her to suffer any damages (Sara Bohannon v. PHH Mortgage Corporation, et al., No. 15-14508, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18843).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 'Unrepaid Loan Carve-Out' Does Not Bar Coverage For FDIC's Suit, 9th Circuit Rules

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 19 affirmed a federal court's finding that a bank's management liability insurance policy's "unrepaid loan carve-out" does not bar coverage for damages sought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) in an underlying lawsuit alleging tortious conduct by the bank's directors and officers (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, No. 14-56830, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18811).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Insurers Dispute Debtor's Attempt To Vacate Policy Exhaustion Finding

NEW YORK - A bid by Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. to vacate a finding that it has not paid a sufficient amount for asbestos claims to reach the level of excess coverage provided under three insurance policies should be rejected because the debtor is improperly trying to reargue the issue with a revised legal strategy, insurers assert in separate Oct. 18 response briefs in New York federal bankruptcy court (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Insurance - 'Unrepaid Loan Carve-Out' Does Not Bar Coverage For FDIC's Suit, 9th Circuit Rules

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 19 affirmed a federal court's finding that a bank's management liability insurance policy's "unrepaid loan carve-out" does not bar coverage for damages sought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) in an underlying lawsuit alleging tortious conduct by the bank's directors and officers (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, No. 14-56830, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18811).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Magistrate Judge Rejects Alter-Ego Theory Of Liability In Copyright Case

NEW YORK - A plaintiff on Oct. 19 won the right to amend his complaint to add several individual and corporate defendants in a New York copyright infringement dispute (Joseph Separzadeh v. Iconix Brand Group Inc., et al., No. 15-8643, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144772).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Rejects Claims That Starbucks Can't Include Ice In Size Of Iced Beverages

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Oct. 14 dismissed a class complaint accusing Starbucks Corp. of falsely advertising the size of its iced beverages by including the ice when advertising its drinks' volume (Steven Galanis, et al. v. Starbucks Corporation, No. 16-4705, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - MDL Sought For 6 Cases Alleging Sperm Supplier Misrepresented Donor

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Arguments will be heard Dec. 1 by a federal judicial panel on centralizing six cases in which plaintiffs allege that they were sold sperm that came from a convicted felon with schizophrenia who did not go to college, according to an Oct. 14 order (In Re: Xytex Corporation Sperm Donor Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2751, JPMDL).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Says Refinery Owner Not Covered Under Policy For Contamination Cleanup Costs

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 17 determined that a district court did not err in finding that a refinery owner seeking help with environmental cleanup costs was not covered under its parent company's policy because the refinery owner was not listed as an insured and did not show that the policy intended to provide coverage to any third-party beneficiaries (AIG Specialty Insurance Company, f/k/a Chartis Specialty Insurance Company v. Tesoro Corporation, No. 15-50953, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18613).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Supplier Denies Liability For Injuries From Lithium Battery Explosion

OKLAHOMA CITY - One of the defendants being sued in connection with injuries suffered by two workers when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation filed an answer and counterclaim in Oklahoma federal court on Oct. 14, contending that the plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and that it is entitled to immunity under the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation, et al., and Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation v. Engineered Power LP, et al., No. 15-145, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Whirlpool Dishwasher Settlement Granted Final Approval By California Federal Judge

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A settlement, estimated to be worth up to $100 million by plaintiffs' counsel, ending a class complaint alleging defects in Whirlpool Corp.-manufactured dishwashers that caused them to smoke, spark and catch on fire was granted final approval Oct. 11 by a California federal judge (Steve Chambers, et al. v. Whirlpool Corporation, et al., No. 11-1733, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140839).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Sleep Apnea Tests For Overweight Truck Drivers Is Not Bias, 8th Circuit Rules

ST. LOUIS - A motor carrier that requires its truck drivers with body mass indexes (BMIs) of 35 or greater to undergo tests to determine whether they had obstructive sleep apnea is not in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Oct. 12 (Robert J. Parker v. Crete Carrier Corporation, No. 16-1371, 8th Cir. 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18374).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board Won't Review Sony Patent, Rejects Invalidity Allegation

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations by several petitioners that a bi-directional communications system patent owned by Sony Corp. is invalid pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103 were turned away Oct. 7 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (ARRIS International PLC, et al. v. Sony Corporation, No. IPR2016-00828, PTAB).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 3rd Circuit Affirms Jaw Injury Plaintiff Failed To Show Proximate Causation

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 5 affirmed summary judgment in an Aredia/Zometa osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) case, agreeing with a trial court judge that the plaintiff failed to show causation (William M. Bock v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 15-3696, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18042).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - JMOL, New Trial Denied In Boston Scientific $14.75M Pelvic Mesh Trial

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia federal judge overseeing the Boston Scientific Corp. (BSC) pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on Oct. 3 denied the defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law or a new trial in a consolidated trial that resulted in $14.75 million in compensatory and punitive damages for three women (Carol Sue Campbell, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 12-8633, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136669).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Denies States' Bid To Enjoin Privatization Of Domain Name System Functions

GALVESTON, Texas - In a Sept. 30 minute order, a Texas federal judge denied an application for declaratory and injunctive relief by four U.S. states that sought to halt the transfer of the U.S. government's trusteeship of certain name and addressing functions for the Internet domain name system (DNS) under its contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to a newly formed private entity (State of Arizona, et al. v. National Telecommunications and Information Administration, et al., No. 3:16-cv-00274, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit: Form 18 Inapplicable To Claims Of Joint Patent Infringement

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge's decision to dismiss allegations of patent infringement levied against CBS Corp. and CBS Interactive Inc. was affirmed Sept. 30 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which ruled that Form 18 in the Appendix to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure does not apply in cases alleging joint patent infringement (Edwin Lyda v. CBS Corporation, et al., No. 15-1923, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17694).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - High Court Refuses To Review Foreclosure Claims Against Freddie Mac

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 refused to grant certiorari in a case brought by former homeowners who challenged the foreclosure sale and forcible detainer of their home (Nicholas C. Daniels, et ux. v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, No. 16-168, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 5329).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Says Staffing Company's Insurer Owes No Duty In Carbon Monoxide Injury Case

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana appeals panel on Sept. 28 partially reversed and partially affirmed a ruling in a carbon monoxide poisoning case and determined that the insurer for a staffing company did not owe a duty to defend to the general contractor who had organized the project where two workers sustained their injuries (William F. Spencer v. Chevron Corporation, et al., No. 2016-CA-0174, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2016 La. App. LEXIS 1786).

Mealey's Health Law - Judge Says Health Care Provider's Attempt To Amend Complaint 'Futile'

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Sept. 27 ruled that a health care provider's attempt to file an amended complaint against BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. (BCBST) for alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was "futile" and accepted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation that the action should be dismissed because the plaintiff lacked standing to bring its ERISA claims (Apple Corporate Wellness Inc. v. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc., No. 1:15-cv-324, E.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131929).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel Says Staffing Company's Insurer Owes No Duty In Carbon Monoxide Injury Case

NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana appeals panel on Sept. 28 partially reversed and partially affirmed a ruling in a carbon monoxide poisoning case and determined that the insurer for a staffing company did not owe a duty to defend to the general contractor who had organized the project where two workers sustained their injuries (William F. Spencer v. Chevron Corporation, et al., No. 2016-CA-0174, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2016 La. App. LEXIS 1786).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Says Health Care Provider's Attempt To Amend Complaint 'Futile'

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Sept. 27 ruled that a health care provider's attempt to file an amended complaint against BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. (BCBST) for alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was "futile" and accepted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation that the action should be dismissed because the plaintiff lacked standing to bring its ERISA claims (Apple Corporate Wellness Inc. v. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc., No. 1:15-cv-324, E.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131929).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Finds Replacement Windows Do Not Extend Warranty

CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on Sept. 26 awarded summary judgment to Pella Corp. on a man's breach of express warranty claim, ruling that replacement windows the company installed to remedy allegedly defective ones did not extend the 10-year limited warranty (In re: Pella Corporation Architect and Designer Series Windows Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2514, Case No. 14-mn-0000, John Romig Jr., et al. v. Pella Corporation, No. 14-cv-00433, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131282).