SAN FRANCISCO - Allegations by two residential real estate photographers that the real estate software provider for a multiple listing service (MLS) violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by removing their copyright management information (CMI) were properly rejected on summary judgment, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 20 (Robert Stevens, et al. v. CoreLogic Inc., No. 16-56089, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16620).
PHILADELPHIA - Homeowners filed a notice of appeal on June 18 of a Pennsylvania federal judge's dismissal of claims for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and unjust enrichment in a putative class action alleging a captive reinsurance scheme between banks and an affiliated reinsurer (Christopher Blake, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 13-6433, E.D. Pa.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on June 15 affirmed a lower court's ruling that rejected an action challenging the validity of a will that was executed in September 2012, finding that there was a disputed factual issue as to the decedent's competency (Stephen Colley v. The Estate of Sara Dees, et al., No. 1170042, Ala. Sup., 2018 Ala. LEXIS 58).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A Kentucky appeals court on June 15 held that a trial court did not err when it vacated an $18 million jury verdict and granted a long-term care facility's motion for a new trial, finding that an estate's claims based on Kentucky's long-term Resident's Rights Acts could not be submitted to the jury because the resident died before the claims were filed (Patty Jennings, ex rel. Estate of Eliza Jennings v. Berea Area Development, LLC, No. 2016-CA-001823-MR, Ky. App., 2018 Ky. App. LEXIS 185).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The widow of a smoker who was awarded $4 million in compensatory damages in November 2014 won an additional $500,000 on June 15 following a new trial on her entitlement to seek punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (Debra Perrotto, as personal representative of the estate of Nicholas Perrotto v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 502007CA023841XXXXMB, Fla. 15th Jud Cir., Palm Beach Co.).
CHICAGO - A denial of pension benefits sought by the daughter of a plan participant who died three days after retirement and three days before the start of her pension was neither arbitrary nor capricious, a unanimous Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 13 (Estate of Linda Faye Jones, et al. v. Children's Hospital and Health System Inc. Pension Plan, No. 17-3524, 7th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15845).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - In a June 13 per curium decision, the First District Florida Court of Appeal let stand a jury's award of $18.7 million on behalf of the widow of a smoker in an Engle progeny wrongful death case (Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Mary Faricy Pardue on behalf of the estate of John H. Faricy, No. 1D17-959, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 8282).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 12 adopted a New York federal magistrate judge's recommendation that defendants accused of copyright infringement by the successors in interest to the estates of comedy duo Bud Abbott and Lou Costello should be awarded $50,123.04 in attorney fees in connection with the case (TCA Television Corp., et al., v. Kevin McCollum, et al., No. 15-4325, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98551).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Centex Real Estate Co. LLC on June 11 removed a class action suit accusing the builder and contractors of improperly installing the stucco on 137 homes in an Apopka, Fla., development, arguing that the federal court has jurisdiction over the case under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) because the proposed class seeks more than $5 million in damages (Emerson Park Homeowners Association Inc., et al. v. Brett Lundequam, et al., No. 18-CV-913-ORL-37-DCI, M.D. Fla.).
MELBOURNE, Fla. - An Engle progeny case ended in a mistrial on May 30 after jurors empaneled in the 18th Judicial Circuit Court for Brevard County, Fla., announced that they were unable to reach a verdict (Pearl Morse, as Personal Representative for the Estate of Jay S. Morse v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 08-CA-6848, Fla. 18th Jud. Cir., Brevard Co.).
MIAMI - In a May 25 order, U.S. Judge Kenneth A. Marra of the Southern District of Florida declined a joint request by attorneys for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and the widower of a smoker that the court retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of their settlement of wrongful death claims (Herbert Potish, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Lena Potish, v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 15-81171, S.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89211).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a bank's response to a borrower's qualified written request was sufficient and that missing information from loan modification documents would not stop foreclosure, a California federal judge on May 25 dismissed a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and other causes of action (Robert Vaughn v. Wells Fargo Bank, et al., No. 17-cv-2365, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88518).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 24 refused to reconsider his ruling dismissing claims for violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and unjust enrichment filed by homeowners in a putative class action alleging a captive reinsurance scheme between banks and an affiliated reinsurer (Christopher Blake, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 13-6433, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87428).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on May 14 found no facts to support causes of action asserted by a first-time homebuyer who alleged that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) when it improperly charged borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock fees, dismissing his claims with partial leave to amend (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81040).
NEW YORK - A federal district court properly found that victims of a real estate investment scheme pleaded reliance, loss causation and scienter in claiming that an investment adviser misrepresented key aspects of the scheme to investors in violation of federal securities laws, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 9 in affirming (Scott Charney, et al. v. Jennifer S. Wilkov, et al., No. 16-3239, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 12120).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on May 9 announced that it has issued a confidential award on the merits in an arbitration commenced by real estate investors against the Russian Federation (Everest Estate LLC, et al. v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-36, PCA).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on April 26 affirmed a court's ruling that an accountant's professional liability insurance policy's "Other Business Entities" exclusion unambiguously bars coverage for underlying claims arising from a real estate venture (Martin Leffler v. Camico Mutual Insurance Company, Inc., No. B269275, Calif App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2889).
MIAMI - A panel of the Third District Florida Court of Appeal on Feb. 14 found that a trial court erred in dismissing an Engle progeny suit because the 90-day period to substitute a plaintiff had been extinguished when the plaintiff's family filed a motion before an executor of the estate was named (Jerry Feller v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 3D16-2389, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 2160).
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - A panel of the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on Jan. 29 affirmed the dismissal of a medical malpractice suit against a doctor and the practice he worked for after finding that the estate of a woman did not file a timely appeal over the dismissal of the suit (Estate of Patricia Grieco v. Hans J. Schmidt M.D., et al., No. A-0756-16T4, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super Unpub. LEXIS 205).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 22 affirmed a district court's ruling dismissing causes of action for violation of the Truth In Lending Act (TILA), the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and other claims asserted by a borrower against a bank and loan servicer, finding that the claims were barred by collateral estoppel or were abandoned on appeal (Hussain Kareem v. Ocwen Services LLC, et al., No. 16-15589, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1761).
CINCINNATI - After finding that a borrower failed to raise any new arguments on appeal, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 18 affirmed a district court's decision finding no evidence to support a claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other causes of action asserted against a loan servicer (Tiffany Wiggins v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 17-1228, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1153).
PITTSBURGH - In a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 19 granted judgment on the pleadings to mortgagors and a reinsurer with regard to a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) claim and an unjust enrichment claim (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8648).