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).
SAN FRANCISCO - A substance abuse treatment center's three surviving claims involve a provider-insurer relationship outside ERISA's scope, but the provider's unfair competition law (UCL) claims seek relief available through other means and are not among the surviving causes of action, a federal judge in California held Oct. 10 (Summit Estate Inc. v. Cigna Healthcare of California Inc., et al., No. 17-3871, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167462).
CHICAGO - After finding that a borrower's claims related to his requests for a loan modification from a lender were barred by a previous state court foreclosure judgment, an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 10 dismissed his claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) (James Alexander Saadi v. Citimortgage Inc., No. 17-1966, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166986).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 28 found that a trial court did not err in dismissing a suit in which the executor of a man's estate claimed that the staff of a hospital was negligent in giving the man coffee which he later spilled on himself because the executor's claims were based in health care liability and required an expert report (Nancy Youngblood v. River Park Hospital LLC, No. M2016-02311-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App., 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 647).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari, refusing to review a Maryland appeals court's ruling that a daughter cannot maintain a claim of fraudulent concealment against a hospital that cared for her mother and allegedly concealed the existence of her mother's bedsores because the daughter failed to prove that the mother's health care providers owed her any duty of care (Celeste Puppolo, personal representative of the estate of Nancy V. Puppolo v. Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring Inc., No. 16-1410, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 4788).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge agreed Sept. 25 to reclassify 72 claims against the bankruptcy estate of former Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC from general unsecured claims to asbestos claims (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
ATLANTA - After finding that a borrower failed to show that a loan servicer's response to her request for information regarding her loan did not violate the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 22 affirmed a summary judgment ruling for the servicer (Jaki Baez v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, No. 16-17292, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18362).
PITTSBURGH - In a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case, mortgagors and a reinsurer are not entitled to judgment on a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) claim under Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals law, homeowners say in a brief filed Sept. 19 in a Pennsylvania federal court (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86380).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Sept. 18 found that a trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to a university and its affiliates in a wrongful death suit because a woman who claimed that her husband developed cancer and died from radiation exposure during research did not show that her claims were not governed by The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (Estate of Jeffrey H. Ware v. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 16-3801, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17992).
PHILADELPHIA - Granting commercial general liability insurers' motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract lawsuit, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Aug. 31 that underlying construction defects claims against insureds fail to amount to an "occurrence" under the policies and that the "real estate development activities-completed operations" exclusion further bars coverage (Northridge Village LP, et al. v. Travelers Indemnity Co. of Connecticut, et al., No. 15-1947, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140541).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Aug. 28 dismissed all of a borrower's claims asserted against the servicer of his mortgage in relation to his requests for information on the loan but allowed him leave to amend his claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) (James W. Scott v. 360 Mortgage Group LLC, No. 17-cv-61055, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139673).
NEW YORK - Allegations that a law firm specializing in real estate and four of its partners infringed copyrighted software were dismissed, with leave to amend, by a New York federal judge on Aug. 30 on grounds that the complaint lacks requisite specificity (Automated Management Systems Inc. v. Rappaport Hertz Cherson Rosenthal, et al., No. 16-4762, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139728).
SAN FRANCISCO - A first-time homebuyer on Aug. 28 filed a class action complaint in a California federal court, alleging that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by wrongly charging borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock extension fees (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 23 dismissed a class suit filed by the owners of a Shaumburg, Ill., property who claimed that a real estate website underestimated the value of their property in violation of Illinois state laws, finding that the plaintiff's claims failed under Illinois statutory law (Vipul P. Patel, et al. v. Zillow, Inc., et al., No. 17-4008, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134785).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 23 held a primary insurer liable under the principles of equity to reimburse an excess insurer for the defense costs it was ordered to pay to their insured in connection with an underlying lawsuit arising from a failed real estate project, affirming a lower court's ruling that awarded the excess insurer the $7,996,655.57 in underlying defense costs plus $1,160,629.09 in prejudgment interest (IMG Worldwide Inc., et al. v. Great Divide Insurance Co., No. 15-4291, 6th Cir.).
EUGENE, Ore. - A couple's former loan servicer can be held liable for violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other state laws for misapplying their monthly mortgage payments, a federal judge in Oregon ruled Aug. 14, finding that a couple sufficiently stated claims against the company (Michael Wood, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, et al., No. 16-cv-02061-MC, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128782).
ATLANTA - After finding that a loan servicer was not required to provide a borrower with the contact information for the owner of the borrower's loan, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 8 affirmed dismissal of his claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (David Mejia v. OCWEN Loan Servicing LLC, No. 16-16353, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14533).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico federal judge on Aug. 8 awarded summary judgment to a doctor and his employer on an estate's wrongful death claims after excluding a late-filed expert report as untimely and, therefore, prejudicial (John Faure v. Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, et al., No. 1:14-cv-559, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125558).
SAN DIEGO - A California jury on Aug. 7 found that a railroad company and the city of San Diego were not liable for the death of a motorcyclist whose parents claimed that he died after running over a pothole and was ejected off of his bike (Estate of Jamie Scott Powell, et. al. v. City of San Diego, et al., No. 37-2015-00017317-CU-PO-CTL, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).
DALLAS - The estate of a deceased attorney was properly granted access to his emails related to a lawsuit at the heart of an unpaid fee dispute, a Texas appeals panel ruled July 25, finding that attorney-client privilege did not bar discovery because the estate stood in the attorney's shoes (In re Cokinos, Boisien & Young, No. 05-16-01331-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6911).