WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Because certain circumstances regarding a disability claimant's move to Florida may be relevant to a claim for total disability benefits, a Florida federal judge on March 29 determined that a disability insurer is entitled to information regarding the claimant's real estate transactions (Mark Goodman v. Security Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, No. 16-81742, S.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45966).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - A Maryland appeals panel on March 22 affirmed a trial court ruling that dismissed a lawsuit against the Kennedy Krieger Institute Inc. (KKI) brought by the estate of a deceased man who contended that he had suffered from lead-paint poisoning as a result of participating in a lead abatement study KKI ran in the 1990s (Kimberly Smith, personal representative of the Estate of Cecil Harris III v. Kennedy Krieger Institute Inc., No. 2241, Sept. Term, 2014; 2017 Md. App. LEXIS 305).
FLORENCE, S.C. - A Michigan federal judge on March 21 found that a borrower failed to allege a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in relation to the denial of her loan modification application, finding that even if her claims against the lenders were true, she failed to state a RESPA claim against them (Alice M. Mangum v. First Reliance Bank, et al., No. 4:16-CV-02214, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40103).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appeals panel on March 16 reversed a lower court's denial of a professional liability insurer's motion for summary judgment and its entry of a declaratory judgment in favor of the insured's estate in a coverage dispute erupting from an underlying malpractice claim (Admiral Insurance Co. v. Joseph Banasiak, No. 45A05-1604-PL-859, Ind. App., 2017 Ind. App. LEXIS 127).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Following the final distribution of an insolvent insurer's assets, a Pennsylvania judge on March 8 released the state's insurance commissioner of her duties regarding the liquidation estate (In re: Commonwealth Insurance Co., No. 1 CIC 2014, Pa. Cmwlth.).
NEW BERN, N.C. - Two medical doctors may testify that a decedent suffered a cardiac event before falling from his wheelchair, a North Carolina federal judge held March 1, also allowing an expert for the decedent's side to testify as to the cause of death (Gwendolyn Jackson Pinnix and Warren Ivan Jackson, executors of the estate of David W. Jackson Sr. v. SSC Silver Stream Operating Company LLC, No. 14-00161, E.D. N.C.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28679).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 affirmed a district court's decision to dismiss a borrower's claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in relation to a written request for information, finding that he failed to show that he had standing to assert a claim for statutory damages (Charles Meeks v. Ocwen Servicing LLC, No. 16-15536, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 3677).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Feb. 17 found that coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that an insured was negligent in the provision of settlement services for the sale of a home is barred by a professional liability insurance policy's exclusion for "insufficiency in the amount of the proceeds" (Resource Real Estate Services, LLC v. Evanston Insurance Co., No. 16-168, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22920).
MADISON, Wis. - Based on admitted opinions from police practices experts and forensic pathology experts, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled Feb. 13 that what happened between a police officer and a deceased man is "sharply and genuinely disputed" and thus, whether the officer's use of force was objectively unreasonable is an issue that must be resolved at trial (The Estate of Tony Robinson Jr., ex rel. personal representative Andrea Irwin v. The City of Madison, Wis., and Matthew Kenny, No. 15-502, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20733).
DENVER - The federal government's use of at least 22 armed agents wearing bullet-proof vests to search for illegally taken Native American artifacts at the house of a Utah doctor who killed himself the day after the search does not constitute excessive force, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 13 (Estate of James D. Redd, M.D. v. Daniel Love, et al., No. 16-4010, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2496).
OWENSBORO, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Feb. 10 dismissed in part a lawsuit alleging that Eli Lilly and Co. failed to warn that its anticoagulant drug Effient could cause uncontrolled bleeding like the kind that led to a patient's death (Estate of Jerry DeMoss, et al. v. Eli Lilly and Company, No. 16-103, W.D. Ky., Owensboro Div., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19142).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 6 dismissed claims for negligence and violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) against a bank in relation to a request for information but allowed a claim for violation of Florida consumer collection law to proceed (Loris B. Ranger, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. d/b/a America's Servicing Company, No. 15-62511, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17148).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Feb. 3 granted in part a motion to dismiss a class complaint against all 32 National Football League teams, dismissing claims of violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and conspiracy brought by a class of retired players and the estates of deceased players who claim that the teams they played for caused them injury by giving them medication rather than allowing them to rest and fully heal from their injuries (Etopia Evans, et al. v. Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC, et al., No. 16-01030, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15803).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 31 affirmed a bankruptcy court's finding that a mortgage company's statutory duty to respond to a request under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) was never triggered (Barry F. Mack v. Rescap Borrower Claim Trust, No. 16-304, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1683).
BILLINGS, Mont. - Allegations that the state of Montana declined to act after its investigation discovered asbestos contamination at the Libby, Mont., are sufficient to keep it in a case and defeats diversity, a federal judge in Montana held Jan. 30 in adopting a magistrate judge's recommendation and remanding the case (Timothy S. McDowell, personal representative of the estate of Susan K. McDowell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co., et al., No. 16-67, D. Mont., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12524).
NEW YORK - A man's failure to identify a defendant's product is not fatal to his asbestos case, especially in light of evidence placing the company's pumps aboard the ship on which the man served, a New York appeals court held Jan. 26 (In re New City Asbestos Litigation, Susan Krok as Adminstratrix for the estate of Raymond J. Krok Sr., etc. v. Aercto International Inc., et al., Nash Engineering Co., No. 190272/14, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A school board had a common-law duty to provide a teacher with a safe work space free from asbestos, and local agencies can be held liable for such exposure where it falls within an exception to the general government immunity, a Pennsylvania appeals court held Jan. 25 (John F. Geier, executor of the estate of Marianne M. Geier and John F. Geier v. Board of Public Education of the School District of Pittsburgh v. American Art Clay Company Inc., et al., No. 625 C.D. 2016, Pa. Cmwlth.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on Jan. 24 approved a confidential settlement agreement between the estate of an insolvent insurer and a mortgage insurer (In the Matter of the Rehabilitation of Triad Guaranty Insurance Corporation, No. 12-CH-43895, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
SEATTLE - An asbestos-insulation installer's conduct and knowledge supports imposing a duty on it for take-home exposure of a woman who died on the eve of trial and a resulting $3.6 million verdict, a Washington appeals court on Jan. 23 (Estate of Barbara Brandes v. Brand Insulation Inc., No. 73748-1-I, Wash. App., Div. 1; 2017 Wash. App. LEXIS 111).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 20 dismissed class action claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), negligence and other causes of action related to a data breach of a real estate trust's computer system, finding that former tenants of the trust's property failed to show that they had standing to sue (Mark Foster, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Essex Property Inc., No. .5:14-cv-05531, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8373).