MINNEAPOLIS - The federal judge overseeing the National Hockey League (NHL) concussion multidistrict litigation on Oct. 14 allowed the estate of a deceased hockey player who was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) to be added as a class representative in MDL, finding that the league will not be prejudiced (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
NEW ORLEANS - The exclusion of expert testimony on the mechanics of how a vehicle's fuel tank struck a flange and whether safer alternative designs existed was fatal to prove products liability claims, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 5, affirming summary judgment for the vehicle's manufacturers (Henry Lee Sims Jr., individually and as legal heir to the Estate of Henry Lee Sims Sr., et al. v. Kia Motors of America and Kia Motors Corp., No. 15-10636, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18116).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida jury on Sept. 28 awarded the estate of a man who died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) $6.4 million after finding that R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.'s role in a conspiracy among tobacco companies to hide the dangers of smoking led to the man's disease and death (Linda Prentice v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2008-CA-000386, Fla. 4th Jud. Cir. Duval Co.).
OMAHA, Neb. - A toxicology expert may testify on his opinion regarding the alleged wrongful death of a woman as a result of negligent drug prescription care, a Nebraska federal magistrate judge held Sept. 22, refusing to exclude the testimony because it is not speculative (Brian Crawford as personal representative of the estate of Hilary Crawford, deceased v. Safeway Inc., No. 14-5001, D. Neb.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129674).
SAN FRANCISCO - A divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 20 denied a petition for rehearing en banc in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case, with the majority saying that a plan administrator's decision in a dispute over a since-deceased plaintiff's entitlement to benefits was not illogical, implausible or without support (Estate of Bruce H. Barton v. ADT Security Services Pension Plan, et al., No. 13-56379, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17146).
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer reported to a Texas court on Sept. 15 the financial status of the liquidation estate and outlined details of reinsurance recoverables and recoveries (The State of Texas v. San Antonio Indemnity Company, No. D-1-GV-13-001153, Texas, 201st Dist., Travis Co.).
GULFPORT, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Sept. 15 denied a defendant company's motion for summary judgment in a suit seeking a declaration that the defendant is required to contribute to an arbitration award from a construction defects lawsuit, finding that the plaintiff is not judicially estopped from bringing suit because the present lawsuit differs from the earlier action (RDS Real Estate LLC v. Abrams Group Construction LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-361-LG-RHW, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125652).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Sept. 8 dismissed a borrower's claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) as barred by statutes of limitations, denying her request for leave to amend (Joan Ball v. Federal National Mortgage Association, as Trustee for FannieMae Guaranteed Remic Pass-Through Certificates FannieMae Remic Trust 2004-W12, formerly known as Cendant Mortgage Corp., No. 16-11475, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121562).
SELMA, Ala. - After granting voluntary dismissal of a borrower's claim for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), an Alabama federal judge on Sept. 6 remanded her remaining claims against a bank to a state court (Ashley Gill, as Administratrix of the Estate of Marshall Gill, v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 2:15-00162, S.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119870).
CONCORD, N.H. - Expert testimony on homeowners' loan modification application with mortgage lenders fails to offer interpretation of process outside of paraphrasing subsections of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA), a New Hampshire federal judge ruled Aug. 31, barring the testimony (Jason S. Dionne and Denise C. Dionne v. Federal National Mortgage Association and JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., No. 15-056, D. N.H.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117352).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court on Aug. 30 denied an Engle progeny plaintiff's petition to hear a case where a $5.8 million verdict awarded to a smoker's widow was vacated and a new trial was ordered by a lower appellate court (Kathleen Gafney, as Personal Representative of the estate of Frank Eugene Gafney v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. SC16-693, Fla. Sup.; 2016 Fla. LEXIS 1943).
TAMPA, Fla. - After finding that a borrower's request for information (RFI) did not constitute a qualified written request (QWR) under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a Florida federal judge on Aug. 29 granted a bank's motion to dismiss the complaint with leave to amend (Xavier A. Bracco v. PNC Mortgage, No. 8:16-cv-1640, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115269).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A declaratory judgment plaintiff's request for summary judgment that it did not infringe the "Audobon" trademark when it adopted a nearly identical name was denied Aug. 22 by a Louisiana federal judge, who cited the existence of genuine issues of material fact that are yet to be resolved (Audubon Real Estate Associates LLC v. Audobon Realty LLC, No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111437).
MINNEAPOLIS - The National Hockey League (NHL) says in an Aug. 18 brief to the judge overseeing the NHL's concussion multidistrict litigation that it opposes making the estate of a deceased hockey player a class representative in the case because it will be prejudiced by adding another class representative this late in this process (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
MIAMI - A Florida jury on Aug. 15 awarded the estate of a man who died from lung cancer as a result of smoking cigarettes $5 million in compensatory damages after finding that the deceased was a member of the Engle class (Hazel Mathis v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2007-CA-47118, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud. Cir., Dade Co.).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A tribunal for the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Aug. 3 issued a statement giving various updates in two arbitrations commenced against the Russian Federation, noting that a hearing on jurisdiction has been held and that Russia did not participate in the hearing (PJSC Ukrnafta v. the Russian Federation, No. 2015-34, PCA; [i] Stabil LLC, [ii] Rubenor LLC, [iii] Rustel LLC, [iv] Novel-Estate LLC, [v] PII Kirovograd-Nafta LLC, [vi] Crimea-Petrol LLC, [vii] Pirsan LLC, [viii] Trade-Trust LLC, [ix] Elefteria LLC, [x] VKF Satek LLC, [xi] Stemv Group LLC v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-35, PCA).
UTICA, N.Y. - A New York federal judge held July 29 that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify professional race car driver Anthony Wayne Stewart against an underlying wrongful death lawsuit brought by the estate of a fellow race car driver (Axis Insurance Co. v. Anthony Wayne Stewart, No. 15-1131, N.D. N.Y.).
MINNEAPOLIS - The attorneys representing a class of former professional National Hockey League (NHL) players on July 28 moved in federal court in Minnesota to add the estate of former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Lazarus Zeidel because Zeidel has posthumously been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - After finding that a bank's obligation to respond to a borrower's qualified written request (QWR) was never triggered under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a Florida federal judge on July 29 granted its motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim (Ricardo Basora v. MPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 16-civ-60999, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99635).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A North Carolina federal judge erroneously denied the real estate website Zillow Inc. summary judgment on allegations that it infringed two patents directed to a process for coordinating loans on a loan-processing computer over the Internet, because both patents are directed to ineligible subject matter, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 26 (LendingTree LLC v. Zillow Inc., Nos. 14-1435, -1531, 15-1186, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13462).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on July 22 approved the return of nearly $4 million Canadian to the Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co.'s liquidation estate that was held by a Canadian insurer that had been paying certain claims and obligation of Lumbermens' in Canada (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Andrew Boron, Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., No. 12-24227, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).