DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a loan servicing company's request to transfer a borrower's lawsuit, which asserts a cause of action for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), to a bankruptcy court, finding that its arguments were moot or inappropriate (Christine Warren v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, No. 14-cv-02241, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114978).
HAGATNA, Guam - A Guam federal judge on Aug. 24 found that a Delaware company did not waive its right to compel arbitration in South Korea of claims asserted by a widow on behalf of her husband who died aboard one of its vessels, but found that former owner of the vessel was not entitled to compel arbitration of the dispute as a nonsignatory to an underlying employment contract (Esther Margarita Lima Suarez Viuda De Yang, individually and as personal representative of the Estate of Chang Cheol Yang, et al. v. Majestic Blue Fisheries LLC, et al., No. 13-00015, D. Guam; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112040).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on Aug. 24 rejected certified questions from a federal judge regarding premises owner liability and the proper causation standard in a take-home asbestos exposure case (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 1141023, Ala. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 24 affirmed dismissal of claims asserted by borrowers for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and other claims, but remanded the case so that they can have the chance to amend their complaint (Nina Shahin, et al. v. PNC Bank, Local Branch at 87 Greentree Driver, Dover, DE 19904, et al., No. 15-1405, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14836).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An appeals court in Florida on Aug. 19 reversed a trial court decision and ruled that a plaintiffs' wrongful death case against tobacco companies was improperly dismissed because the statute of limitations did not bar the action (Diana Pappas, as personal representative of the Estate of Mina Pappas, v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al. No. 4D13-4600, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; Fla. App. LEXIS 12480).
HOUSTON - A father who sued a vehicle manufacturer and others in relation to his daughter's death in a vehicle accident argued Aug. 18 before the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Texas federal court erred when it dismissed his claims related to allegedly defective air bags (Joseph B. Flynn, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., et al., No. 15-20220, 5th Cir.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida state court jury on Aug. 7 awarded $800,000 in punitive damages to the estate of a woman who developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer after 52 years of smoking (Lillian Kaplan v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 08-19469, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A state court jury awarded $1,028,000 Aug. 7 to the estate of a woman who developed constructive obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer after 52 years of smoking (Lillian Kaplan v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 08-19469, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
NEW YORK - A take-home and friction asbestos exposure case must be tried separately from a pair of trial groups each featuring a couple of cases with similar diseases and sufficient overlap in work histories and time periods, a New York justice held in an opinion filed July 31 (Gwendoline Santos, as executrix of the estate of Robert Flahive, as deceased, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190043/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2752).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on July 27 found that a borrower's claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) were valid but that her damages claims failed and that the case should be dismissed with leave to replead (Elina Zaychick v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 9:15-CV-80336, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. LEXIS 97514).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appeals panel on July 22 found that a business owners insurance policy's "limitation of real estate operations" endorsement precludes coverage for an underlying negligence suit against a real estate listing agent insured, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling against the insurer (Property-Owners Insurance Co. v. Gerald T. Powers and Phyllis J. Powers, et al., No. 73A05-1501-PL-2, Ind. App.; 2015 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 826).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) on July 23 filed an amended plan of reorganization that includes two options for emerging from bankruptcy, with the company favoring a plan that includes $12.1 billion of new debt and equity arranged by an ad hoc group and the conversion of EFH into a real estate investment trust (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 15 held that the estate of a man who was killed when an inflatable slide fell on top of him at a Kids Fun Day event at a Cleveland Indians baseball game failed to establish negligence and breach of contract claims against an insurance broker (Kimberly Johnson, as executrix of the estate of Douglas Johnson, deceased v. Doodson Insurance Brokerage of Texas LLC d/b/a CSI Special Insurance Group d/b/a CSI Insurance Group, No.14-1379, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12150).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A complaint seeking a declaration of noninfringement in connection with the use of the "Audobon" trademark is adequately pleaded to survive a defense motion to dismiss, a Louisiana federal judge ruled July 7 (Audobon Real Estate Associates L.L.C. v. Audobon Realty L.L.C., No. 15-115, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87758).
TAMPA, Fla. - No coverage is afforded for an underlying suit alleging that an insured real estate agent failed to disclose that the ground upon which a home was built once served as a neighborhood dumping pit because the nondisclosure did not cause the property damage and the policies' pollution exclusions bar coverage, a Florida federal judge said July 6 (Southern-Owners Insurance Co., et al. v. Yvonne Herrera, et al., No. 13-2887, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87420).
NEW YORK - A multiemployer pension plan failed to demonstrate the amount of unfunded benefits attributable to post-petition operation of a bankruptcy estate, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on July 2 in a summary order disallowing the plan's administrative expense claim for a portion of the estate's withdrawal liability (Food Employers Labor Relations Association and United Food and Commercial Workers Pension Fund v. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, No. 14-3349-bk, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11402).
PHILADELPHIA - The wife of a man killed in the May 12 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train filed suit in federal court on June 29 on her own behalf and on behalf of her husband's estate (Danna Gildersleeve, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. a/k/a Amtrak, No. 2:15-cv-03626, E.D. Pa.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court must weigh whether a premises owner owes a duty to protect household members from asbestos exposures and whether but-for or substantial-factor causation applies in multiple toxic exposure cases after receiving certified questions from a federal judge on June 22 (Melissa Ann Bobo and Sharon Jean Cox, as co-personal representatives of the estate of Barbara Bobo v. Tennessee Valley Authority, No. 12-1930, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80404).