LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 9th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Claims Against Software Provider Fail

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Homeowners Appeal Dismissal Of RESPA Claims Against Banks, Reinsurer

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 9th Circuit Affirms: Copyright Claims Against Software Provider Fail

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).

Mealey's Elder Law - Alabama High Court Affirms Court's Rejection Of Action Challenging Validity Of Will

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).

Mealey's Elder Law - Panel Affirms Vacatur Of $18M Verdict Against Long-Term Care Facility

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).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - At Retrial, Florida Tobacco Plaintiff Wins $500,000 Punitive Damage Award

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.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 7th Circuit Affirms: Daughter Not Entitled To Mother's Pension

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).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Tobacco Plaintiff's $18.7 Million Award Upheld By Appeals Court

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Successors To Abbott And Costello Estates Must Pay Fees In Copyright Case

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Home Builder Removes Class Action Suit Over Stucco, Says Damages Exceed $5M

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.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Judge Declares Mistrial In Tobacco Case When Jurors Can't Agree

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.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Federal Judge Won't Enforce Settlement Of Wrongful Death Claims

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).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Holds Bank's Response To Borrower Was Sufficient, Dismisses Complaint

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).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Holds Bank's Response To Borrower Was Sufficient, Dismisses Complaint

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Upholds Dismissal Of RESPA Claims Against Banks, Reinsurer

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).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Grants Dismissal Of Claims That Wells Fargo Wrongly Charged Fees

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).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Grants Dismissal Of Claims That Wells Fargo Wrongly Charged Fees

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).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - 2nd Circuit Panel Upholds Summary Judgment Ruling In Securities Suit

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - PCA Issues Award In UNCITRAL Arbitration Filed Against Russia

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Other Business Entities Exclusion Bars Professional Liability Coverage, Panel Says

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).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Panel Reverses Dismissal Of Engle Progeny Suit

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).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New Jersey Appeals Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Medical Malpractice Suit

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).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 11th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Claims Related To Loan Assignment

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).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 6th Circuit Deems RESPA, Other Claims Abandoned On Appeal

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).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Grants Judgment To Mortgagors, Reinsurer On RESPA, Unjust Enrichment Claims

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).