NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on May 12 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute, finding that the insurer presented no admissible evidence supporting its contention that the insureds' attorney violated discovery and scheduling orders (Peter Blaso & Demeglio Family v. Alterra Excess & Surplus Insurance Co., No. 14-2574 [WHW-CLW], D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61869).
AUSTIN, Texas - An aerial lift that tipped over, killing a worker, was not unreasonably dangerous, the Texas Supreme Court ruled May 8, reversing a ruling by the state Court of Appeals upholding a jury verdict for the family of the worker (Genie Industries Inc. v. Ricky Matak, et al., No. 13-0042, Texas Sup.).
BAINBRIDGE, Ga. - A jury's $150 million award to the family of a 4-year-old boy who died in a fire after the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee in which he was riding was involved in a rear-end collision is "arbitrary, irrational and grossly excessive," Chrysler Group LLC argues in a motion for a new trial filed May 7 in the Decatur County, Ga., Superior Court (James B. Walden, et al. v. Chrysler Group LLC, No. 12-CV-472, Ga. Super., Decatur Co.).
TACOMA, Wash. - A federal judge in Washington on May 5 denied a motion to compel production of certain documents in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the documents the insureds seek to obtain are protected (Bret C. Kifer, et al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-6085, W.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58905).
BRADENTON, Fla. - A Florida state court judge declared a mistrial May 5 in a suit by the family of a smoker who died of coronary artery disease at age 45, citing the failure of the plaintiffs to inform the court that a key witness had changed his testimony part way through the trial (Madonna Dupre, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2011CA005529, Fla. 12th Jud. Cir., Manatee Co.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A state court jury awarded more than $6.3 million May 1 to the family of a longtime smoker who died of lung cancer but declined to award punitive damages against defendant Philip Morris USA Inc. (Mary Brown, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Rayfield Brown, et al. v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 2008-CA-015000, Fla. 4th Jud. Cir., Duval Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - The family of former professional football player Junior Seau on April 22 asked the federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation against the National Football League to schedule a status conference to discuss their request to transfer their wrongful death action to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (In re: National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2323, No. 12-md-2323, E.D. Pa.; Seau, et al. v. National Football League, et al., No. 13-cv-01531, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - The store manager of a discount retailer failed prove that he was improperly denied overtime wages, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 9, upholding a trial court (Albert Itterly, et al. v. Family Dollar Stores, Inc., et al., No. 14-1274, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5751).
DOVER, Del. - The law of Mexico applies to a suit brought by family members of the crew and passengers who died in the crash of a Bell B-212 helicopter in Mexico, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled April 6 (Bell Helicopter Textron Inc., et al. v. Andres Arteaga, et al., No. 333, 2014, Del. Sup.; 2015 Del. LEXIS 176).
BAINBRIDGE, Ga. - A state court jury on April 2 awarded $150 million to the family of a 4-year-old boy who died in a fire after the 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee in which he was riding was involved in a rear-end collision (James B. Walden, et al. v. Chrysler Group LLC, No. 12-CV-472, Ga. Super., Decatur Co.).
CHICAGO - A contractor's insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a subrogated homeowners insurer for damages caused by the contractor's alleged defective workmanship, an Illinois federal judge ruled March 31 (AMCO Insurance Co. v. Northern Heritage Builders LLC and American Family Insurance Co., No. 12-09071, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41341).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York court on April 1 reversed a lower court's decision and held that a landlord failed to establish that she did not have constructive notice that a hazardous lead-based paint condition existed in the apartment she rented to a family whose children tested positive for elevated blood-lead levels (Micah Greene, et al. v. Lula A. Mullen, No. 2013-00930, N.Y. Sup., App Div., 2nd Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2739).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 31 ruled that a group of plaintiffs alleging fraud against two hydraulic fracturing companies related to deductions they took from out of royalty payments had sufficiently alleged that the companies conspired to abuse their authority to deduct unlawful amounts from royalty payments in order to enrich themselves (The Suessenbach Family Limited Partnership, et al. v. Access Midstream Partners LP, et al., No. 14-1197, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40900).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After finding that lease agreements applied to the rental of bunk beds that allegedly contained bed bugs and black mold, a Florida federal judge on March 23 granted a rental corporation's motion to stay a case pending arbitration (Andre Teel, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., No. 3:14-cv-640-J-32, M.D. Fla.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 20 refused to dismiss a former employee's claims for violation of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), finding that she provided sufficient evidence to show that her husband suffered a serious health issue allegedly caused by mold and that she was entitled to FMLA leave (Sarah R. Novo v. City of Sacramento, et al., No. 2:13-cv-00521, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35309).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on March 12 issued a writ of certiorari and quashed a trial court's order compelling the deposition of the state's insurance commissioner in a suit against the accounting firm of three insolvent insurers (Florida Office of Insurance Regulation v. Florida Department of Financial Services, as Receiver for Southern Family Insurance Company, et al., No. 1D14-4417, Fla. App., 1st Dist.).
DENVER - An insurer's notice of removal in a lawsuit involving coverage for repairs to water damage at a condominium association was timely, a Colorado federal judge ruled March 9 (Chateau Village North Condominium Association v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-01583, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28411).
DENVER - Factual issues exist over whether an insurer is entitled to reimbursement from another insurer of defense costs incurred in an underlying construction defects case, a Colorado federal judge ruled March 6, denying summary judgment to the insurers (American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. and The Travelers Indemnity Co., No. 13-01162, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27708).
PHILADELPHIA - Finding that the remaining state law claims of conversion and unjust enrichment in a flood coverage dispute do not confer federal question jurisdiction, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 26 remanded the case to state court (Vincent J. Imbrenda Sr., et al. v. Santander Bank N.A., et al., No. 14-6103, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23150).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 13 reinstated a general contractor's third-party lawsuit against a subcontractor accused of improperly installing drywall in a single-family home, after finding that the general contractor's allegations, "although inartfully drafted," could survive a motion to dismiss (Ray Coudriet Builders Inc. v. R.K. Edwards Inc., et al., Nos. 5D13-2176, 5D13-4189, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 1916).