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).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal magistrate judge in Oregon on Jan. 8 denied a motion for reconsideration of an earlier ruling granting summary judgment with regard to an insurance bad faith claim, ruling that the federal district court lacks jurisdiction over the action since it was appealed to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Sonia Braun-Salinas, et al. v. American Family Insurance Group, d/b/a American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-0264, D. Ore.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1914).
NEW YORK - A reinsurer in liquidation told the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 19 that a trial court judge erred when considering a motion to dismiss because the judge allegedly made inferences in favor of the defendant/reinsureds instead of the plaintiff/reinsurer (Mariah Re Ltd. [In Liquidation], acting by and through Geoffrey Varga and Jess Shakespeare, in their capacities as Liquidators thereof v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 14-4062, 2nd Cir.).
DENVER - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend a construction defects lawsuit arising from an insured's alleged negligent work in a home, a Colorado federal judge ruled Dec. 17, finding that there was no "property damage" and, alternatively, that the "your work" exclusion applied (Cool Sunshine Heating & Air Conditioning Inc. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-1637, D. Colo.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174818).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - An appraisal panel did not err in determining for purposes of insurance coverage that the replacement of an insured's damaged siding panels with siding of comparable material and quality required replacement of all of the siding on the insured's buildings to achieve a reasonable color match, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed Dec. 17 (Cedar Bluff Townhome Condominium Association Inc. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. A13-0124, Minn. Sup.; 2014 Minn. LEXIS 661).
SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on Dec. 15 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion for a protective order in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer is not required to "produce loss reserve documents that are entitled to work product or attorney-client privilege" (Theresa L. Schreib v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-0165, W.D. Wash.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172973).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - The families of nine of the victims who died and a woman who was injured in the December 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in filed suit in Connecticut state court Dec. 13 against Bushmaster Firearms International LLC, manufacturer of the rifle used in the assault, several other manufacturers and distributors and the shop that sold the rifle used in the assault to the mother of the assailant, Adam Lanza (Donna L. Soto, et al. v. Bushmaster Firearms International LLC, et al., No. N/A, Conn. Super., Fairfield Jud. Dist.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury in Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit Court for Duval County on Nov. 25 awarded $15,510,831 in punitive damages to the family of a woman who alleged that her death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) was caused by her 35 years of smoking (Andy R. Allen, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 16-2007-CA-008311- BXXX-MAX, Fla. 4th Jud. Cir., Duval Co.).