SEATTLE - An estate's wrongful death asbestos action cannot proceed where the statute of limitations forecloses on the underlying personal injury action, a Washington appeals court held Nov. 23 (Karin Hill, as personal representative of the estate of Heinz Gerhard Schneider v. Bartell's Asbestos Settlement Trust, et al., No. 73960-3-I, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2015 Wash. App. LEXIS 2887).
TRENTON, N.J. - The Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) focuses on the equipment and preempts state law asbestos claims regardless of the operator, a New Jersey appellate court held in affirming summary judgment for five companies Nov. 19 (Estate of Sandra Brust and Philip Brust, et al. v. ACF Industries LLC, f/k/a American Care & Foundry Co., et al., No. A-3431-13T4, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Nov. 17 reversed a New York County Supreme Court ruling that tossed a real estate agent and her agency as third-party defendants in an injury suit, finding that the third parties failed to demonstrate that there were no triable issues of fact (Barbara Stimmel, et al. v. Julianne Osherow, et al., No. 15781, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8450).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - An expert may not testify in a slip-and-fall lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores East LP that a plaintiff's injuries resulted from "an unreasonably dangerous condition" and that a painted crosswalk "was not in compliance with industry standards for being slip resistant because the paint did not contain an appropriate aggregate material," an Alabama federal judge ruled Nov. 12 (Duane Alsip as administrator and personal representative of the Estate of Emma Alsip v. Wal-Mart Stores East, LP and Sovereign Commercial Maintenance Company LLC, No. 14-474, S.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153069).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Nov. 16 granted a bank's motion to dismiss, finding that former property owners' claims for wrongful foreclosure, violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other causes of action failed (Roy Smith, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage, No. 15-13019, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154344).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Nov. 13 found that an insurer has nonparty standing to move to vacate the amended default judgment against its title insurance company insured, and the lower court lacked subject matter jurisdiction when it amended the judgment, vacating the amended default final judgment in a dispute over misappropriated real estate deposits (Gotham Insurance Co. v. Andrew Matthew, et al., No. 5D13-3008, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 17004).
CONCORD, N.H. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a New Hampshire court on Nov. 9 to approve a $3 million settlement of environmental coverage claims between the liquidation estate and an electric utility company (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
CONCORD, N.H. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer told a New Hampshire court on Nov. 9 that the liquidation estate has concluded an arbitration proceeding and reached a settlement of an asbestos- and silica-related reinsurance dispute (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Oct. 29 granted motions to dismiss filed by various lenders in relation to alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Truth in Lending Act (TILA), the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other causes of action, finding that the claims were time-barred or failed (Ellen Sparks v. Countrywide Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 5:15-cv-99, E.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146986).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania judge on Oct. 23 approved a settlement agreement between the estate of an insolvent insurer and a number of states' insurance guaranty associations (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001; California Insurance Guarantee Association, Objector v. Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 3 REL 2014; California Insurance Guarantee Association, Objector v. Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 4 REL 2014, Pa. Cmwlth.).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Oct. 26 refused to reconsider an Aug. 28 ruling that held a primary insurer liable under the principles of equity to reimburse an excess insurer for the $7,996,655.57 in defense costs it was ordered to pay to their insured in connection with an underlying lawsuit arising from a failed real estate project, awarding the excess insurer $7,996,655.57 plus $1,160,629.09 in prejudgment interest (IMG Worldwide Inc., et al. v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., No. 11-1594, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144868).
MIAMI - An insurance professional may testify in an insurance bad faith lawsuit on claims regarding personal injury protection (PIP) benefits and an insurer's handling of the claims to the extent that he opines on the applicable law, a Florida federal judge ruled Oct. 26 (Frank Lopez, as personal representative of the Estate of Giraldo Lopez, and Magaly Nunez Delgado, individually and as assignee of Michelle Soto v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-20654, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144823).
HONOLULU - A Hawaii federal judge on Oct. 23 dismissed numerous federal law claims asserted by a borrower against several banks, but granted him leave to amend his claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) (Jeffrey G. Hagan v. Deutsche Bank, et al., No. 15-00189, D. Hawaii; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144560).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A trial court erroneously determined that litigation surrounding a patient's fall from an examining room table sounded in negligence and not medical malpractice, a New York appellate panel ruled Oct. 22 (Daniel M. Martuscello, executor of the estate of Maryanna J. Darmiento, v. Susan Jensen, et al., No. 518302, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.).
NEW ORLEANS - Merely demonstrating U.S. Navy ownership of a vessel does not demonstrate that the Navy retained control over daily operations sufficient for removal, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 19 (William E. Bartel, as personal representative of the estate of Silas B. Bishop v. Alcoa Steamship Company Inc., et al., No. 15-30004, William E. Bartel as personal representative of the estate of Joseph L. Dennis v. American Export Isbrandtsen, et al., No. 15-30005, Lawrence R. Craig v. Rio Grande Transport Inc., et al., No. 15-30032, 5th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on Oct. 16 issued an order to show cause, asking why an order should not be made terminating the liquidation of an insurer that has no assets and nearly $4 million in liabilities (In the Matter of the Liquidation of Washington Title Insurance Company, No. 401396/12, N.Y. Super., New York Co.).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on Oct. 20 granted a motion for summary judgment on a borrower's claims for wrongful foreclosure and negligence but allowed his claims against a lender and mortgage servicer for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to proceed (Harold H. Clark v. OCWEN Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-659, W.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142095).
LOS ANGELES - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer told a California court on Oct. 16 that the insurer's assets are inadequate to pay certain known claims and that it is therefore necessary to terminate the liquidation proceeding (Insurance Commissioner of the State of California v. Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company, No BS123005, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 30 granted motion filed by two banks, dismissing claims asserted by former homeowners for violation of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other claims related to the foreclosure of their home (Kimberly Andress, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 15-1779, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133689).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 1 dismissed counterclaims for violations of Pennsylvania's Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) and claims for fraud, intentional misrepresentation and negligent misrepresentation brought by a defendant claiming that an insurance company refused to accept certain forms of premium payments, finding that they were barred by the economic loss doctrine (Assurity Life Insurance Company v. John Nicholas, Executor of the Estate of Sally Nicholas, No. 14-6522, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133701).