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).
PHILADELPHIA - Testimony establishing exposure to dust in dryer felts falls short of linking that exposure to asbestos or the manufacturer in question, a Pennsylvania appeals court held Jan. 19 (James Floyd Jr., executor of the estate of James C. Floyd Sr., deceased v. AstenJohnson Inc., No. 3663 EDA 2015, Pa. Super.).
MINNEAPOLIS - The National Hockey League (NHL) on Jan. 19 asked the federal judge overseeing the NHL concussion multidistrict litigation to compel the Boston University CTE Center to release documents relating to the chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research it conducts and the autopsy information of a former player whose estate is a lead plaintiff in the MDL (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
GULFPORT, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Jan. 20 denied a property owner's motion for partial summary judgment, ruling that the plaintiff company did not present sufficient facts to show that a construction company's transfer of assets to another company after judgment had been entered against it in arbitration hearing was fraudulent (RDS Real Estate LLC v. Abrams Group Construction LLC, et al., No. 15CV361-LG-RHW, S.D. Miss.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8180).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 20 affirmed a district court's decision to dismiss a borrower's compulsory counterclaim of foreclosure, finding that a foreclosure case is not "logically related" to a claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (Christine Marais v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 16-3323, 6th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1095).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Finding that a lower court erred in permitting a plaintiff to argue and present evidence that a doctor breached her duty of care by providing samples of the antibiotic Levaquin to a patient who later died of meningitis, a Florida appeals panel on Jan. 20 reversed the wrongful death medical malpractice dispute and remanded for a new trial (Doctors Company, et al. v. Nancy Plummer, individually and as personal representative of the estate of William Plummer, and on behalf of B.A.P. and L.J.P., minors, No. 5D15-1963, Fla. App., 5th Dist.).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Jan. 13 issued various updates in an arbitration commenced by numerous real estate entities against the Russian Federation in relation to an alleged real estate investment in Crimea, announcing that the Russian Federation did not participate in a recent hearing on jurisdiction and admissibility (Everest Estate LLC, et al. v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-36, PCA).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 13 agreed to hear the appeal of two consolidated personal injury cases in which the employer, BNSF Railway Co., has asked the high court to decide whether a state court may decline to follow the decision in Daimler AG v. Bauman (134 S. Ct. 746 ) in a lawsuit against an American defendant under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) (BNSF Railway Company v. Kelli Tyrrell, as Special Administrator for the Estate of Brent T. Tyrrell, et al., No. 16-405, U.S. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - Surviving beneficiaries of a Merchant Marine's Jones Act survival action originally filed in 1989 should not be penalized simply because the court lacked the resources to quickly resolve asbestos cases, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held Jan. 6 (Creighton E. Miller (administrator for estate of Joseph F. Braun v. Manville Corporation Asbestos Disease Compensation Fund, et al., No. MDL 875, 11-33896, E.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1975).
CHICAGO - An insurer has no duty to indemnify an insured and no duty to reimburse an additional insured for alleged water damage to an apartment building because there was no covered "occurrence" for the insured's failure to properly cover the building's roof, an Illinois federal judge ruled Jan. 6 (Brit UW Ltd. v. Tripar Inc. and Davis Russell Real Estate and Management LLC, No. 15-5866, N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2462).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Dec. 20 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation that the majority of claims asserted by former property owners against two loan companies in relation to the foreclosure of their property be dismissed, but found that their cause of action for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) should be allowed to proceed (Rodney Helm, et al. v. Freedom Mortgage Corporation, et al., No. 15-cv-12394, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175450).
LONDON - An England and Wales court on Dec. 19 rejected the appeal of an investor in a Moscow real estate project of a judgment enforcing a $72,243,000 arbitral award issued in favor of another investor by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), finding that the judge did not err in his interpretation that an underlying arbitration clause existed (Ashot Yegiazaryan v. Vitaly Ivonovich Smagin, No.  EWCA Civ 1290, England and Wales App.).
CINCINNATI - An insurer did not act in bad faith in declining to settle a wrongful death lawsuit for policy limits without a release of all claims against its insured because under Kentucky law, the insurer was required to protect its insured from an excess judgment while attempting to settle the claim with the third-party in good faith, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 15 (Joseph Shaheen, ancillary administrator of the Estate of Nadia Shaheen, deceased, v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., No. 15-5863, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 22422).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 7 found that a homeowners insurance policy draws a clear distinction between an insurer's duty to defend that applies to suits alone and the insurer's right to investigate that applies to both suits and claims, affirming a lower federal court's ruling that the insurer has no duty to defend its insured (Harry Sanders, executor of the Estate of Nancy A. Andersen and assignee of John Doe, v. The Phoenix Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-2539, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21773).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A federal judge in New Mexico on Dec. 6 ordered a woman who pleaded guilty to disability insurance fraud and wire fraud to pay two beneficiaries of an estate more than $100,000 in restitution, finding that the contingency fees charged by a research firm and a law firm they hired to research where funds from their deceased father's estate were located were acceptable under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act (MVRA) (United States of America v. Juanita Roibal-Bradley, No. CR 15-3253, D. N.M.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168259).
NEW YORK - One of six employees who sued their former employer for age discrimination after they were terminated as part of a reduction in force (RIF) may proceed with her claims after providing sufficient evidence to survive a summary judgment motion, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 2 (Maria Martinez, as Executor of the Estate of Oscar Martinez, et al. v. New York City Transit Authority, et al., Nos. 15-3159, 15-3165, 15-3166, 15-3180, 15-3183, 15-3198, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21509).
NEW YORK - A group of institutional investors has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a real estate investment trust and several of its former executive officers and directors, a federal magistrate judge in New York ruled Nov. 29 (Westchester Putnam Counties Heavy & Highway Laborers Local 60 Benefit Funds v. Brixmor Property Group Inc., et al., No. 16-2400, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164682).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Nov. 30 vacated a $20 million verdict awarded to the estate of a woman following a trial in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the damages awarded by the jury were excessive (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Gwendolyn E. Odom, No. 4D14-3867, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 17713).