WILMINGTON, Del. - Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) on July 23 filed an amended plan of reorganization that includes two options for emerging from bankruptcy, with the company favoring a plan that includes $12.1 billion of new debt and equity arranged by an ad hoc group and the conversion of EFH into a real estate investment trust (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appeals panel on July 22 found that a business owners insurance policy's "limitation of real estate operations" endorsement precludes coverage for an underlying negligence suit against a real estate listing agent insured, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling against the insurer (Property-Owners Insurance Co. v. Gerald T. Powers and Phyllis J. Powers, et al., No. 73A05-1501-PL-2, Ind. App.; 2015 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 826).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 held that the estate of a man who was killed when an inflatable slide fell on top of him at a Kids Fun Day event at a Cleveland Indians baseball game failed to establish negligence and breach of contract claims against an insurance broker (Kimberly Johnson, as executrix of the estate of Douglas Johnson, deceased v. Doodson Insurance Brokerage of Texas LLC d/b/a CSI Special Insurance Group d/b/a CSI Insurance Group, No.14-1379, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12150).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A complaint seeking a declaration of noninfringement in connection with the use of the "Audobon" trademark is adequately pleaded to survive a defense motion to dismiss, a Louisiana federal judge ruled July 7 (Audobon Real Estate Associates L.L.C. v. Audobon Realty L.L.C., No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87758).
TAMPA, Fla. - No coverage is afforded for an underlying suit alleging that an insured real estate agent failed to disclose that the ground upon which a home was built once served as a neighborhood dumping pit because the nondisclosure did not cause the property damage and the policies' pollution exclusions bar coverage, a Florida federal judge said July 6 (Southern-Owners Insurance Co., et al. v. Yvonne Herrera, et al., No. 13-2887, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87420).
NEW YORK - A multiemployer pension plan failed to demonstrate the amount of unfunded benefits attributable to post-petition operation of a bankruptcy estate, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on July 2 in a summary order disallowing the plan's administrative expense claim for a portion of the estate's withdrawal liability (Food Employers Labor Relations Association and United Food and Commercial Workers Pension Fund v. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, No. 14-3349-bk, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11402).
PHILADELPHIA - The wife of a man killed in the May 12 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train filed suit in federal court on June 29 on her own behalf and on behalf of her husband's estate (Danna Gildersleeve, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. a/k/a Amtrak, No. 2:15-cv-03626, E.D. Pa.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court must weigh whether a premises owner owes a duty to protect household members from asbestos exposures and whether but-for or substantial-factor causation applies in multiple toxic exposure cases after receiving certified questions from a federal judge on June 22 (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-1930, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80404).
ST. LOUIS - A federal appeals panel on June 23 affirmed dismissal of an Aredia jaw injury case because the deceased plaintiff's widow failed to have a state probate court name her as personal representative of the estate (Jeanine Rapa, et al. v. Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, No. 14-3612, 8th Cir.).
FRESNO, Calif. - In an initial screening order, a California federal judge on June 19 found that a borrower's claims against a bank for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) can proceed (Jeffrey Wayne Taylor v. Chase Bank, No. 1:13-cv-00982, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79978).
RICHMOND, Va. - An insurer has a duty to defend allegations that an additional insured's negligence caused a building collapse, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 10, finding that the scope of coverage under an endorsement extends beyond acts or omissions of the named insured for which the additional insured was vicariously liable (Capital City Real Estate LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, subscribing to Policy Number: ARTE018240, No. 14-1239, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9662).
ATLANTA - After finding that a district court properly found that it lacked jurisdiction over numerous claims asserted by borrowers, including causes of action for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 8 affirmed dismissal of the case (Leonardo Cavero, et al. v. One West Bank FSB, et al., No. 14-14369, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9464).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2 affirmed a lower federal court's dismissal of a lawsuit brought by the previous owners of a self-storage company alleging that they were denied the insurance proceeds they were owed for Hurricane Katrina damage, as well as the ability to maintain an ownership stake in the self-storage company (BCR Safeguard Holding L.L.C., et al. v. Morgan Stanley Real Estate Advisor Inc. et al., No. 14-31068, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9268).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on June 1 found that most of a borrower's claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) should be dismissed, but granted her leave to file an amended complaint to add more details about the qualified written requests she allegedly sent to Bank of America Corp. (BOA) (Michelle McCray v. Bank of America Corp., No. 14-02446, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70657).
PHOENIX - An Arizona state court jury on May 22 awarded $2.5 million to the estate of a woman who contracted Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) after developing a bedsore while in a nursing home (The Estate of Doris L. Cote, et al. v. Five Star Quality Care Inc., et al., No. CV2012-094285, Ariz. Super., Maricopa Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - The mother of a 2-year-old boy who died when a bedroom dresser tipped over, crushing him, filed suit May 21 in state court against the Ikea Group, which sold her the dresser, alleging design defect and negligence on the part of the retailer (Jacquelyn Collas, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Curran Collas v. The Ikea Group, et al., No. 150502365, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A former student of the late, famed golfer Moe Norman was preliminarily enjoined, in part, by an Oklahoma federal judge on May 20 from using the "Moe Norman" trademark in connection with golf services (Estate of Moe Norman et al. v. Greg Lavern, No. 14-1435, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65611).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A trial court focused too intently on a decedent's testimony in finding insufficient evidence of exposure from two shipping companies in an asbestos action and applied the wrong causation standard for a Jones Act case, a Pennsylvania appeals panel held May 18 (Timothy Criswell, executor of the estate of Earl J. Criswell v. Atlantic Richfield Co. and Sunoco Inc., No. 2175 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - An insurer did not have a duty to defend allegations against an insured for trespass, nuisance and strict liability, a Minnesota appeals panel affirmed May 18, finding that the policy's intentional-act exclusion and criminal-act exclusion apply (Estate of Gladys I. Norby, et al. v. Waseca Mutual Insurance Co. n/k/a Austin Mutual Insurance, No. A14-1146, Minn. App.; 2015 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 461).
NEW YORK - A $20 million asbestos award exceeds what New York courts consider reasonable, meaning a widow must retry the damages phase of her action or stipulate to a $6 million award, a New York justice held May 15 in otherwise affirming the verdict (Charlene Hillyer, as executrix for the estate of Charles F. Hillyer v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190132/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).