BUFFALO, N.Y. - A jury's $250,000 award for pain and suffering in a mesothelioma case deviated from reasonable compensation and must be retried unless the defendant stipulates to a $600,000 award, a New York justice held Dec. 18 while also denying the defendant's post-trial motion (Estate of William Voelker v. John Crane Inc., No. 801886-2013, N.Y. Sup., 8th Jud. Dist.).
PHOENIX - A trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insured failed to show that the insurer did not attempt to honor the insured's claim for automobile insurance benefits, an Arizona Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 15 (Judith E. Indihar, as personal representative of the Estate of James L. Indihar, Jr. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 1 CA-CV 14-0621, Ariz. App., Div. 1; 2015 Ariz. App. LEXIS 1535).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 10 affirmed a district court's decision in favor of a bank, finding that former property owners failed to show that it violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) when it failed to respond to their letters (Martin Martini, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-1423, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21504).
CONCORD, N.H. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a New Hampshire court on Dec. 11 to grant approval of a reinsurance commutation agreement between the liquidation estate and one of the insolvent insurer's reinsurers (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
NEW YORK - A New York jury awarded a woman's estate $7 million on Nov. 24 for asbestos exposure from consumer talcum powder. It is believed to be the state's first such verdict, sources told Mealey's Publications (Claudine Discala, as administrator of the estate of Joan Robusto v. Charles B. Chrystal Company Inc., et al., No. 190413/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 20 declined to exclude regulation and causation experts in a Paxil suicide case (Wendy B. Dolin, individually and as independent executor of the Estate of Stewart Dolin v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. d/b/a GlaxoSmithKline, No. 12-6403, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156877).
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).