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).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 11 granted a lender's motion to dismiss causes of action for violation of the unfair competition law (UCL), the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and other claims, finding that a borrower's communications about the origination of her loan did not trigger the lender's duty to respond under RESPA (Susan Ann Feighery, et al. v. Ditech Financial LLC, No. 2:17-cv-01473, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5472).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 10 reversed a $4.5 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit without explanation but ordered that a plaintiff who represents her mother's estate be able to file leave to add punitive damages (Philip Morris USA Inc., et al. v. Jacqueline Mechelle Blackwood, No. 4D16-897, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 309).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Jan. 8 orders list, the U.S. Supreme Court moved one step closer to resolving a circuit split on whether a copyright infringement lawsuit may commence only upon receipt of a copyright registration or earlier, when an application for copyright is filed (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).
DETROIT - A panel of the Michigan First District Court of Appeals on Dec. 26 affirmed a jury's "no cause of action" verdict in favor of the defendants in a medical malpractice suit after finding that the trial court did not err by barring the estate of a woman who died following knee surgery (Estate of Patricia A. Watland v. Ali J. Manns, et al., No. 331563, Mich. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 2137).
WAUKESHA, Wis. - The Second District Wisconsin Court of Appeals on Dec. 13 affirmed that a trial court correctly entered judgment for an insurer in a suit seeking damages as a result of injuries caused by mold contamination in a rented apartment because the policy at issue clearly bars coverage for mold damages and mold-related injuries (Susan M. Smith v. Mumm Real Estate LLC, No. 2016AP1944, Wis. App., Dist. 2, 2017 Wisc. App. LEXIS 1039).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A news content provider argues in a Dec. 13 brief that a copyright infringement suit may be filed for an unregistered work if a copyright application has been filed for the work, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split on the matter (Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com LLC, et al., No. 17-571, U.S. Sup.).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - In preparation for the issuance of a final award in a treaty dispute over real estate investments in Crimea, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Dec. 13 announced that it has posed certain questions to the investors and the Russian Federation in relation to responsibility and quantum (Lugzor LLC, et al. v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-29, PCA).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 1 granted a motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and a claim related to debt collection asserted against landlords, finding that their alleged practice of charging late fees was neither unfair nor fraudulent and that the late fees did not constitute debt collection (Jordan Kohler v. Greystar Real Estate Partners, LLC, et al., No. 15cv2195, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198151).
HONOLULU - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 30 affirmed a district court's decision that denied a Korean corporation's motion to compel an estate's negligence claims related to the death of a seaman to arbitration in South Korea, finding that the corporation was not a signatory to the arbitral agreement in an underlying employment contract (Esther Margarita Limia Suarez Viuda De Yang, et al. v. Majestic Blue Fisheries LLC, et al., No. 15-16881, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24308).
NEW ORLEANS - After finding that a borrower failed to show that the sale of a mortgage between lenders was void, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 1 affirmed a district court's summary judgment ruling for the lenders (David Johnson v. Real Estate Mortgage Network, et al., No. 17-20347, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24369).
CHICAGO - Efforts by two defendants to obtain dismissal of allegations they committed copyright and trademark infringement by copying and exhibiting photographs by the late Vivian Maier were unsuccessful on Nov. 20, when an Illinois federal judge deemed claims by a public administrator appointed to Maier's estate upon her death in 2009 adequately pleaded (The Estate of Vivian Maier v. Jeffrey Goldstein, et al., No. 17-2951, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191294).
TOLEDO, Ohio - A trial court did not err in granting an insurer's motion for summary judgment in a bad faith dispute over underinsured motorist coverage because the insured's voluntary dismissal of a prior bad faith claim was with prejudice and, therefore, prohibited the insured from refiling the claim, the Sixth District Ohio Court of Appeals said Nov. 9 (The Estate of Faye Brummitt, et al., v. Ohio Mutual Insurance Group, et al., No. E-17-014, Ohio App., 6th Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 4898).
GREENBELT, Md. - A Maryland federal judge on Nov. 6 found that a lawyers professional liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against underlying claims arising from the insured's handling of the closing of the short sale of an estate's property (James River Insurance Co. v. Brick House Title, LLC, No. 16-3464, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183225).
SEATTLE - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 26 affirmed a district court's decision to dismiss claims for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) asserted against a bank, finding that a borrower failed to show that any issues of material dispute existed as to the owner of the mortgage note (Frederick T. Brewster v. Wachovia Mortgage, FSB, et al., No. 12-35490, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21287).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Oct. 26 announced several updates in an arbitration commenced by real estate investors against the Russian Federation, noting that it recently held a hearing on the merits and that Russia has yet to participate in the case (Everest Estate LLC, et al. v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-36, PCA).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After finding that a borrower sufficiently pleaded facts to support her causes of action for violation of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and other claims against a loan servicer in relation to her mortgage, a Florida federal judge on Oct. 24 refused to dismiss the borrower's amended complaint (Mary R. Johnson v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-178, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176142).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Oct. 13 shot down all of an estate's challenges to a jury's verdict in favor of a nursing home on the estate's wrongful death claims, including the estate's argument that the trial court abused its discretion by limiting testimony from the estate's expert witness (Jerry Stamper v. Berea Area Development, LLC, d/b/a The Terrace Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, No. 2014-CA-000690-MR, Ky. App., 2017 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 764).
ST. LOUIS - A panel of the Third Division of the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals on Oct. 17 vacated a $72 million verdict in favor of the estate of a woman who died from ovarian cancer caused by years of using talcum powder made by Johnson & Johnson because the trial court lacked personal jurisdiction (Estate of Jacqueline Fox v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. ED104580, Mo. App., Eastern Dist., 3rd Div., 2017 Mo. App. LEXIS 1043).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 16 granted a motion to dismiss filed by estates named as defendants in an insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit accusing a law firm of making misrepresentations on its Lawyers Professional Liability Policy application, finding that an underlying action in state court filed by the estates is a more appropriate forum for the insurer's allegations (Markel Insurance Company v. Connolly, Connolly & Huen LLP, et al., No. 17-1885, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170325).
LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Property & Casualty Guaranty Association (MPCIGA) could not raise any valid defense as to why it wrongfully failed to pay an amount owed to an estate by an insolvent insurer, a Michigan appeals panel ruled Oct. 12, affirming summary disposition to the estate (Dorothy Hassan v. Michigan Property & Casualty Guaranty Association, No. 332738, Mich. App., 2017 Mich. App. LEXIS 1593).