LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - Jackson Estate Counterclaim In Copyright Case Survives Motion To Dismiss

NEW YORK - A counterclaim by the estate of Michael J. Jackson seeking a declaration of ownership rights with regard to certain video footage will proceed, a New York federal judge ruled Feb. 9 (Noval Williams Films v. John Branca, et al., No. 14-4711, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15958).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Group Liable To State Of New York For Chemical Cleanup Costs

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 9 ruled that a group of defendants, including the trustees of an estate and two property management companies, is liable to the state for the costs the state incurred in remediating groundwater contamination from numerous chemicals, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) tretrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE) and 1,1,1-trichloroethane (1,1,1-TCA), that flowed downstream from properties owned by the defendants (State of New York, et al. v. Next Millennium Realty LLC, No. 06-1133, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15775).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Court Affirms Ruling Awarding Nothing To Parties To Real Estate Agreement

SAN FRANCISCO - A California appeals court on Feb. 8 affirmed a trial court's decision that a party to a real estate purchase agreement who asserted causes of action for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and declaratory relief was pari delicto and not entitled to damages and affirmed an order that refused to award a party to the agreement attorney fees (Milton Righetti, et al. v. Braddock & Logan Group III L.P., No. A136930, 1st Cir., Div. 2; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 980).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Appeals Court Orders Judge To Reinstate $168,000 Verdict In Defects Suit

LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Feb. 5 ordered a trial court judge to reinstate a jury's $168,000 verdict in favor of a woman who claims that the defective construction of her home rendered it worthless, finding that the opinions of a general contractor, a real estate agent and a structural engineer that the home should be demolished showed that the home was valueless (Angela M. Gray v. Mark Hall Homes Inc., et al., No. 2D15-616, Fla. App,. 2nd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 1578).

Mealey's Insurance - Liquidator Tells Court That Final Actions Have Been Taken To Close Estate

SAN FRANCISCO - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer told a California court on Feb. 2 that he had completed the court's instructions regarding the closure of the liquidation and considers himself discharged (Insurance Commissioner of the State of California v. HIH America Compensation & Liability Insurance Company, No. CPF-01-320049, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Following Recusal, 11th Circuit Again Votes To Rehear Engle Case

ATLANTA - Less than two weeks after announcing that it would revisit its April holding that strict liability and negligence claims asserted in Engle progeny suits are preempted by federal law, an en banc 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 2 vacated its Jan. 21 rehearing order in light of a recusal by Chief Circuit Judge Ed Carnes (Earl E. Graham, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Faye Dale Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-14590, 11th Cir.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appellate Panel Reverses $21M Wrongful Death, Injury Verdict

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas appellate panel on Jan. 28 reversed a more than $21 million verdict in a wrongful death and injury suit against the owner of the facility where an explosion occurred and killed one worker and injured three others, finding that there was no evidence of actual knowledge (Oiltanking Houston, L.P., et al. v. Alberto Delgado, individually and as a Representative of the Estate of Javier Delgado, et al., No. 14-14-00158-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 886).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Malignancy Occurring Post-Bankruptcy Not Part Of Estate, Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - An administratively dismissed nonmalignancy claim belongs with a bankruptcy estate, but a subsequent malignancy is a distinct disease under the discovery rule and falls outside the estate's purview, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held Jan. 25 (Willard E. Bartel, administrator for Henry E. Boden v. A-C Product Liability Trust, et al., No. MDL 875, 11-31030, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8048; Willard Bartel [Felix Long], et al. v. A-C Product Liability Trust, et al., No. MDL 875, 11-31575, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8047).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Malignancy Occurring Post-Bankruptcy Not Part Of Estate, Judge Says

PHILADELPHIA - An administratively dismissed nonmalignancy claim belongs with a bankruptcy estate, but a subsequent malignancy is a distinct disease under the discovery rule and falls outside the estate's purview, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held Jan. 25 (Willard E. Bartel, administrator for Henry E. Boden v. A-C Product Liability Trust, et al., No. MDL 875, 11-31030, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8048; Willard Bartel [Felix Long], et al. v. A-C Product Liability Trust, et al., No. MDL 875, 11-31575, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8047).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Finds Horse Trainer Was Not Qualified To Testify On Horse-Breeding Business

CHICAGO - A horse trainer was not qualified in the business and financial aspects of horse breeding, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Jan. 26, upholding the exclusion of the trainer's testimony in a tax refund lawsuit (Estate of Harold Stuller, deceased, Wilma Stuller and L.S.A., Inc. v. United States of America, No. 15-1545, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 1233).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Reserves Ruling On RESPA Claim, Partially Grants Dismissal

DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Jan. 22 granted a bank's motion to dismiss a former property owner's claims for violation of federal mortgage guidelines and wrongful foreclosure but reserved its decision on his claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in consideration of a recent court ruling on a similar claim (Walter W. Lawson Jr. v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 15-11287, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7386).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses Claims For Violation Of RESPA And FDCPA For Lack of Standing

ST LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on Jan. 25 granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), finding that the plaintiff was not a party to the underlying loan and lacked standing (Jasan Sayles v. BSI Financial Services, No. 4:15-CV-612, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8134).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 11th Circuit Appeal Challenges Expert, Causation, Duty To Household Members

ATLANTA - A power company on Jan. 19 asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to throw out a $3 million asbestos verdict against it, saying it owed no duty to household members while also challenging causation and expert witnesses (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 15-15271, 11th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 11th Circuit Appeal Challenges Expert, Causation, Duty To Household Members

ATLANTA - A power company on Jan. 19 asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to throw out a $3 million asbestos verdict against it, saying it owed no duty to household members while also challenging causation and expert witnesses (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 15-15271, 11th Cir.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 11th Circuit Appeal Challenges Expert, Causation, Duty To Household Members

ATLANTA - A power company on Jan. 19 asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to throw out a $3 million asbestos verdict against it, saying it owed no duty to household members while also challenging causation and expert witnesses (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 15-15271, 11th Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 11th Circuit Appeal Challenges Expert, Causation, Duty To Household Members

ATLANTA - A power company on Jan. 19 asked the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to throw out a $3 million asbestos verdict against it, saying it owed no duty to household members while also challenging causation and expert witnesses (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 15-15271, 11th Cir.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Borrower Lacks Standing, Dismisses RESPA Claims

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - A Michigan federal judge on Jan. 19 granted a bank's motion to dismiss claims asserted against it in relation to the foreclosure of a property, finding that the former homeowner lacked standing to sue and that he had no private right of action under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (David J. Pauley v. Bank of America N.A., No. 15-12405, D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5693).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Court: Asbestosis Diagnosis Started Clock On Claim, Even If Inaccurate

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Virginia's statute of limitations began with a man's asbestosis diagnosis, and any challenge to the accuracy of that diagnosis should properly have been raised at that time, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel held Jan. 12 (James Herbert, executor of the estate of Vincent W. Gatto Sr. v. American Biltrite and its division, Amtico, et al., No. 1702 WDA 2014, Pa. Super.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Pennsylvania Court: Asbestosis Diagnosis Started Clock On Claim, Even If Inaccurate

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Virginia's statute of limitations began with a man's asbestosis diagnosis, and any challenge to the accuracy of that diagnosis should properly have been raised at that time, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel held Jan. 12 (James Herbert, executor of the estate of Vincent W. Gatto Sr. v. American Biltrite and its division, Amtico, et al., No. 1702 WDA 2014, Pa. Super.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Court: Asbestosis Diagnosis Started Clock On Claim, Even If Inaccurate

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Virginia's statute of limitations began with a man's asbestosis diagnosis, and any challenge to the accuracy of that diagnosis should properly have been raised at that time, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel held Jan. 12 (James Herbert, executor of the estate of Vincent W. Gatto Sr. v. American Biltrite and its division, Amtico, et al., No. 1702 WDA 2014, Pa. Super.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Judge Rejects Final Judgment In Pending Asbestos Case

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Final judgment in a pending asbestos action requires more than a conclusory statement that no reason exists for delay, a federal judge in Alabama said Jan. 12 in rejecting a magistrate judge's recommendation (Donna Franklin, as personal representative of the estate of Ray Franklin v. Dana Holding Corp., et al., No. 11-2731, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3481).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Rejects Final Judgment In Pending Asbestos Case

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Final judgment in a pending asbestos action requires more than a conclusory statement that no reason exists for delay, a federal judge in Alabama said Jan. 12 in rejecting a magistrate judge's recommendation (Donna Franklin, as personal representative of the estate of Ray Franklin v. Dana Holding Corp., et al., No. 11-2731, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3481).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Laundry Work Testimony Insufficient To Keep Valve Company In Asbestos Case

BENTON, Ill. - A co-worker's recollection of working with a man does not sufficiently establish a link to a defendant's steam traps, a federal judge held Jan. 6 in dismissing the company from an asbestos action (Sharon Bell, executor of the estate of Mr. Richard Bell v. ABB Group Inc., et al., No. 13-1338, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1253).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Laundry Work Testimony Insufficient To Keep Valve Company In Asbestos Case

BENTON, Ill. - A co-worker's recollection of working with a man does not sufficiently establish a link to a defendant's steam traps, a federal judge held Jan. 6 in dismissing the company from an asbestos action (Sharon Bell, executor of the estate of Mr. Richard Bell v. ABB Group Inc., et al., No. 13-1338, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1253).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Qualified Written Request Triggers Duty Under RESPA

CINCINNATI - After finding that borrowers have stated plausible claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in relation to its provisions on qualified written requests (QWRs) and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), an Ohio federal judge on Jan. 5 found that a loan servicer was not entitled to judgment on the pleadings at this time (William H. Schatzman, et al. v. Partners for Payment Relief LLC, No. 1:15-cv-302, S.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 462).