PITTSBURGH - In a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case, mortgagors and a reinsurer are not entitled to judgment on a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) claim under Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals law, homeowners say in a brief filed Sept. 19 in a Pennsylvania federal court (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86380).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Sept. 18 found that a trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to a university and its affiliates in a wrongful death suit because a woman who claimed that her husband developed cancer and died from radiation exposure during research did not show that her claims were not governed by The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (Estate of Jeffrey H. Ware v. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 16-3801, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17992).
PHILADELPHIA - Granting commercial general liability insurers' motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract lawsuit, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Aug. 31 that underlying construction defects claims against insureds fail to amount to an "occurrence" under the policies and that the "real estate development activities-completed operations" exclusion further bars coverage (Northridge Village LP, et al. v. Travelers Indemnity Co. of Connecticut, et al., No. 15-1947, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140541).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Aug. 28 dismissed all of a borrower's claims asserted against the servicer of his mortgage in relation to his requests for information on the loan but allowed him leave to amend his claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) (James W. Scott v. 360 Mortgage Group LLC, No. 17-cv-61055, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139673).
NEW YORK - Allegations that a law firm specializing in real estate and four of its partners infringed copyrighted software were dismissed, with leave to amend, by a New York federal judge on Aug. 30 on grounds that the complaint lacks requisite specificity (Automated Management Systems Inc. v. Rappaport Hertz Cherson Rosenthal, et al., No. 16-4762, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139728).
SAN FRANCISCO - A first-time homebuyer on Aug. 28 filed a class action complaint in a California federal court, alleging that Wells Fargo & Co. violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) by wrongly charging borrowers mortgage interest rate-lock extension fees (Victor Muniz v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 3:17-cv-04995, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 23 dismissed a class suit filed by the owners of a Shaumburg, Ill., property who claimed that a real estate website underestimated the value of their property in violation of Illinois state laws, finding that the plaintiff's claims failed under Illinois statutory law (Vipul P. Patel, et al. v. Zillow, Inc., et al., No. 17-4008, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134785).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 23 held a primary insurer liable under the principles of equity to reimburse an excess insurer for the defense costs it was ordered to pay to their insured in connection with an underlying lawsuit arising from a failed real estate project, affirming a lower court's ruling that awarded the excess insurer the $7,996,655.57 in underlying defense costs plus $1,160,629.09 in prejudgment interest (IMG Worldwide Inc., et al. v. Great Divide Insurance Co., No. 15-4291, 6th Cir.).
EUGENE, Ore. - A couple's former loan servicer can be held liable for violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and other state laws for misapplying their monthly mortgage payments, a federal judge in Oregon ruled Aug. 14, finding that a couple sufficiently stated claims against the company (Michael Wood, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, et al., No. 16-cv-02061-MC, D. Ore., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 128782).
ATLANTA - After finding that a loan servicer was not required to provide a borrower with the contact information for the owner of the borrower's loan, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 8 affirmed dismissal of his claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (David Mejia v. OCWEN Loan Servicing LLC, No. 16-16353, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14533).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico federal judge on Aug. 8 awarded summary judgment to a doctor and his employer on an estate's wrongful death claims after excluding a late-filed expert report as untimely and, therefore, prejudicial (John Faure v. Community Health Systems Professional Services Corporation, et al., No. 1:14-cv-559, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125558).
SAN DIEGO - A California jury on Aug. 7 found that a railroad company and the city of San Diego were not liable for the death of a motorcyclist whose parents claimed that he died after running over a pothole and was ejected off of his bike (Estate of Jamie Scott Powell, et. al. v. City of San Diego, et al., No. 37-2015-00017317-CU-PO-CTL, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).
DALLAS - The estate of a deceased attorney was properly granted access to his emails related to a lawsuit at the heart of an unpaid fee dispute, a Texas appeals panel ruled July 25, finding that attorney-client privilege did not bar discovery because the estate stood in the attorney's shoes (In re Cokinos, Boisien & Young, No. 05-16-01331-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6911).
NEW YORK - The U.S. Department of Justice on July 26 filed an amicus curiae brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on behalf of the United States stating that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect from discrimination based on sexual orientation (Melissa Zarda, co-independent executor of the estate of Donald Zarda, et al. v. Altitude Express, doing business as Skydive Long Island, et al., No. 15-3775, 2nd Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on July 12 refused to rule on a loan-servicing company's motion to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) until the parties move to substitute the deceased plaintiff with her successors in interest (Margarette Smith v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, No. 16cv2519, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109002).
JACKSON, Miss. - A majority of the Mississippi Court of Appeals on June 27 found that it was reversible error for a circuit court to grant a homeowners insurer's motion for partial summary judgment and dismiss its insureds' claims for punitive and extracontractual damages before trial (The Estate of Sylvia F. Minor and Paul S. Minor v. United Services Automobile Association, No. 2014-00372, Miss. App., 2017 Miss. App. LEXIS 386).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on June 21 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant summary judgment to a tobacco company in a wrongful death suit because a man who died from smoking related diseases was not an Engle class member and therefore the woman representing his estate cannot be considered an Engle class member and she filed the suit after the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim had expired (Donna Fanali v. R.J. Reynolds, No. 4D16-67, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 8987).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appellate panel on June 19 found that a trial court erred in denying summary judgment for a group of local government defendants in a negligence suit after the majority found that the defendants did not have a duty to protect a man who died after contracting a deadly, brain-deteriorating disease from swimming in a local pond and remanded the case to the trial court (Daviess-Martin County Joint Parks and Recreation Department, et al., v. The Estate of Waylon W. Abel, by John Abel, et al., No. 19A04-1607-CT-1563, Ind. App., 2017, Ind. App. LEXIS 260).
MIAMI - After a former property owner failed to respond to a bank's motion for summary judgment on his claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a Florida federal judge on June 12 entered a default ruling against him and entered judgment in favor of the bank (Francisco Urdaneta v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 1:16-cv-22987, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90693).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on June 12 refused to strike a wine maker's claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and another claim in relation to its alleged misuse of a trademark for a chardonnay, finding that the owner of the mark showed a probability of prevailing on its claims (JaM Cellars Inc. v. Vintage Wine Estates Inc., No. 17-01133, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90002).