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).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 29 denied an employer's request for summary judgment on claims asserted by a former employee for violation of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) and other claims, allowing her mold-related exposure claims to proceed (Tina Canalejo v. ADG LLC, d/b/a Great Expressions, No. 8:14-cv-17, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10271).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Cost remains a barrier to obtaining medical insurance, with nearly one-third of uninsured but Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)-eligible adults citing it as the reason they remain uninsured, according to a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation report issued Jan. 29.
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 upheld a trial court's ruling for an employer that terminated an employee following his leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), finding that there was no proof of retaliatory animus (Murad Y. Ameen v. Amphenol Printed Circuits, Inc., No. 14-1086, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1150).
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Supreme Court on Jan. 23 affirmed that two siblings breached their duty of loyalty to a family ranch trust by self-dealing when they transferred water rights but said that a trial court erred in removing the two as trustees (William C. Forbes, et al. v. Waldo E. Forbes, No. S14-0122, Waldo E. Forbes v. William C. Forbes, et al., No. S-14-0123, Wyo. Sup.; 2015 Wyo. LEXIS 14).