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.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury in Florida's Fourth Judicial Circuit Court for Duval County on Nov. 24 awarded a total of $3,094,000 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.).
HOUSTON - The families of two Texas residents who were former employees of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. who died following exposure to what they referred to as "highly toxic gas" on Nov. 17 filed two lawsuits against the company in Texas state court, seeking $1 million each, alleging that DuPont is liable for the deaths because of a chemical leak at the chemical processing facility where the decedents worked (Jasmine Rae Wise, individually and as the representative of Chrystle Rae Wise, v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., No. 2014-67256, Texas Dist., Harris Co., and Michelle Tisnado, individually and as the representative of the Estate of Gilbert Tisnado v. E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., No. 2014-67139, Texas Dist., Harris Co.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - The family of a Florida woman who was killed in an auto accident filed a wrongful death action in state court Nov. 17, contending that her death resulted from injuries suffered when the driver's side air bag in her 2001 Honda Accord exploded (Tina Tran Dang, et al. v. Honda Motor Co. Ltd., et al., No. 14-11970, Fla. 9th Jud. Cir., Orange Co.).
RUTLAND, Vt. - A Vermont federal judge on Nov. 13 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insured's lawsuit seeking additional coverage for flood damage caused by Hurricane Irene (Abend Family Limited Partnership v. NGM Insurance Co., No. 5:13-cv-8, D. Vt.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160574).
NEW YORK - General Motors LLC told Judge Jesse M. Furman, who is overseeing the ignition-switch multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in a letter Nov. 14 that it will produce a number of privileged documents pursuant to an agreement with the lead plaintiffs' counsel in the litigation and an attorney who represents a Georgia family in an ignition-switch case (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-02543-JMF, S.D. N.Y.).
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - On a 3-2 vote, the Wyoming Supreme Court on Nov. 6 vacated a lower court's decision on how to supply water to a ranch being partitioned by members of the homesteader family (Alice A. Platt v. Ralph E. Platt, et al., Nos. S-13-0239, S-14-0053, Wyo. Sup.; 2014 Wyo. LEXIS 164).
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - The family of a man killed in an accident involving a Chevrolet Silverado manufactured by General Motors LLC (GM) filed suit on Nov. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleging that the truck was improperly designed (Leah McDaniel, et al. v. General Motors LLC, 7:14-CV-122, N.D. Texas, Wichita Falls Div.).
ST. LOUIS - After finding that a family failed to show that exposure to toxic mold caused them to suffer a disability that would constitute an undue hardship, the Eighth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel on Oct. 28 affirmed a bankruptcy court's decision refusing to discharge their debt (In re Erik Nielsen, et al. v. ACS Inc., et al., No. 13-6035, 8th Cir.; 2014 Bankr. LEXIS 4505).
TAMPA, Fla. - A jury in the Hillsborough County, Fla., 13th Judicial Circuit Court on Oct. 10 returned a total verdict of $1.37 million in a suit alleging that a woman's death from lung cancer was caused by her 40 years of smoking (James Lourie, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 07-CA-018137, Fla. Cir., 13th Jud. Dist., Hillsborough Co.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 30 granted a motion to dismiss breach of contract and other claims brought by an insolvent reinsurer against an insurer and the issuers of an allegedly falsified storm weather loss report (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. 13-cv-04657, S.D. N.Y.).
MINNEAPOLIS - The families of two teen-aged girls who alleged that their daughters' deaths in an auto accident resulted from a faulty ignition switch have accepted a settlement through the General Motors Ignition Compensation Claims Facility, their attorney announced Sept 25 (Jayne Rimer, et al. v. General Motors LLC, et al., No. 27-CV-14-4022, Minn. Dist., Hennepin Co.).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 19 upheld a jury's $43,200 award for a man found to have been jointly employed by several companies and, as a result, wrongly denied leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as well as the $331,000 award for attorney fees and costs (Darren Cuff v. Trans States Holdings, Inc., et al., No. 13-1241, 7th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18091).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury in the Fourth District Duval County, Fla., Judicial Court returned a defense verdict on Sept. 11 in a suit brought by the family of a woman who alleged that her death from lung cancer resulted from her 45 years of smoking (Kenneth Ellis, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 16-2007-CA-11175, Fla. Cir., 4th Jud., Duval Co.).
DALLAS - A Texas jury on Sept. 5 awarded $15 million in punitive damages and $3.6 million in other damages to the family of a tire builder who suffered exposure to asbestos during employment with a The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. subsidiary, sources told Mealey Publications (Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 10-03294-E, Texas Law, Dallas Co.).
MIAMI - A jury in Florida's 11th Judicial Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County on Aug. 29 ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to pay $25 million in punitive damages to the family of a man who alleged that his lung cancer resulted from smoking cigarettes manufactured by Reynolds for more than 45 years (Sherri Hubbird v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2012-18904-CA-01, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A jury in the 17th Judicial District Court for Broward County, Fla., on Aug. 28 found R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Liggett Group partially responsible for the smoking-related diseases, but not the death, of a longtime smoker, awarding his family $2.75 million in damages for pain and suffering and $373,436.55 in medical expenses (Heather Irimi, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-026337, Fla. Cir., 17th Jud., Broward Co.).
MIAMI - A jury in the 11th Judicial Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Fla., on Aug. 28 returned an $8.5 million punitive damages verdict against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a suit filed by the family of a longtime smoker who alleged that his death from lung cancer was the result of his smoking (Robert A. Wilcox v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2010-45462-CA-01, Fla. Cir., 11th Jud., Miami-Dade Co.).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appellate panel on Aug. 27 rejected a nurse practitioner insured's contention that her insurer was legally responsible for the alleged improper cancellation of her professional liability policy, reversing and remanding with instructions to grant the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute arising from an underlying professional negligence complaint (Evanston Insurance Co., et al. v. Samantha Meeks Family Practice Inc., et al., No. 33A01-1401-PL-32, Ind. App.; 2014 Ind. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1130).