TAMPA, Fla. - An expert may testify as to his knowledge of police procedures and investigative techniques and whether they were followed by a detective in his mortgage fraud investigation of a married couple, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 16; however, the expert may not testify as to the ultimate legal conclusion of whether probable cause existed (Ricky Shew and Frances Shew v. William Horvath, No. 16-766, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21748).
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A Florida jury on Feb. 14 awarded a total of $5.4 million to a family after finding that two tobacco companies were responsible for a woman's addiction to cigarettes, which led to her lung cancer and death (John Brown v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 15-002451-CI, Fla. 6th Jud. Cir. Pasco Co.).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 15 reversed a lower court's ruling compelling appraisal against an insurer in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, finding that the insureds failed to comply with their post-loss duties under their insurance policy (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Jose R. Fernandez and Sandra Fernandez, No. 3D16-1441, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2004).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Judgment was entered in favor of insurers on Feb. 15, one day after a Florida federal judge found that there is no further coverage owed to insureds for lawsuits alleging that they have intentionally engaged in wrongful antitrust and monopolizing conduct in an effort to dominate the health care service industry (Health First Inc., et al. v. Capitol Specialty Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 15-718, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20320).
TAMPA, Fla. - A lawyer is not qualified to opine on the educational lead-generation industry's customs and practices because the lawyer failed to explain why her experience is a sufficient basis for her opinion and how her experience is reliably applied to the facts of a trade secrets and breach of contract case, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 13, excluding the testimony (Connectus LLC v. Ampush Media Inc., et al., No. 15-2778, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19829).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Two pension funds failed to plead any material misrepresentations or omissions or scienter in arguing that a company and certain of its executive officers issued misstatements regarding the company's financial condition in the wake of an industry downturn, a federal judge in Florida ruled Feb. 8 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (In re KLX Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 16-80023, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17764).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Feb. 10 reversed and remanded a lower court order and found that certain statutes of limitations do not apply to a case filed against an insurer before it became insolvent (Patricia Morrison v. Homewise Preferred Insurance Company and Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, No. 5D15-4312, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 1648).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge erred in concluding that an abbreviated new drug application (ANDA) satisfies various Markush group requirements set forth in claim 1(b) of a drug composition patent, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 10 (Shire Development LLC, et al. v. Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 16-1785, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2393).
PHOENIX - Allegations that two defendants infringed three patents relating to a process known as "singulation" will proceed in Florida federal court, where a separate case implicating the same three patents is already pending, an Arizona federal judge ruled Feb. 8 (ON Semiconductor Corporation, et al. v. Micro Processing Technology Inc., No. 16-1055, D. Ariz.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17753).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 8 held that there is a reasonable possibility that the introduction of irrelevant and prejudicial evidence as to an insured's health condition contributed to a jury verdict against an insurer in a dispute over coverage for roof damage caused by Hurricane Wilma, reversing for a new trial (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Dina Figueroa, No. 4D15-2698, Fla. App., 4th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 1548).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 6 dismissed claims for negligence and violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) against a bank in relation to a request for information but allowed a claim for violation of Florida consumer collection law to proceed (Loris B. Ranger, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. d/b/a America's Servicing Company, No. 15-62511, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17148).
SEBRING, Fla. - A Florida state jury on Feb. 8 rendered a verdict in favor of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in an Engle progeny trial after it found that a woman who was addicted to cigarettes knew or should have known that she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) by the Engle claim cutoff date (Angela Durance v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 11-26-GCS, Fla. 10th Jud. Cir., Highlands Co.).
ATLANTA - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 8 found that underlying counterclaims against an insured failed to assert facts that constituted an "advertising injury" under general liability and excess insurance policies, affirming a lower federal court's finding that the insurer did not have a duty to defend its insured (IVFMD Florida, Inc. v. Allied Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-15127, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2218).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Securities and Exchange Commission has pleaded its claims with particularity and has properly pleaded scienter in arguing that a hedge fund manager and others engaged in widespread securities fraud with regard to an investment scheme in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in Florida ruled Jan. 30 in substantially denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Kingdom Legacy General Partners LLC, et al., No. 16-441, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12717).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 30 found that a directors and officers liability insurance policy's insured vs. insured exclusion precludes coverage for underlying claims against a condominium association insured and one of its board of directors arising from the installation of hurricane impact windows and doors, granting the insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (The Marbella Condominium Association, et al. v. RSUI Indemnity Co., No. 16-80987, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12363).
MIAMI - A Florida federal magistrate judge on Jan. 30 recommended that a motion for garnishment filed by Del Monte International GMBH in relation to payment of a $29,290,440.54 international arbitral award issued in its favor be denied, finding that the award must first be confirmed pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (Del Monte International GMBH v. Ticofrut S.A., No. 16-23894, S.D. Fla.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Allegations that Ford Motor Co. committed tortious interference were rejected Jan. 30 by a Florida federal judge, who found that trademark and trade dress-related demand letters sent by the automaker to distributors of allegedly infringing products were not objectively baseless (Silverhorse Racing LLC v. Ford Motor Company, No. 16-53, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12213).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals court on Jan. 25 quashed a trial court order requiring Howmedica Osteonics Corp. to produce unredacted foreign adverse event reports about certain of its recalled hip prostheses (Howmedica Osteonics Corp. v. Joyce Trowbridge, et al., No. 4D16-2374, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 764).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge abused his discretion when awarding a prevailing copyright infringement plaintiff just 4.9 percent of the attorney fees and 6.8 percent of the costs it requested in connection with a successful copyright infringement case, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 24 (Yellow Pages Photos Inc. v. Ziplocal LP, No. 16-11868, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1197).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A declaratory judgment lawsuit filed by a contractor's insurer against excess insurers over denied additional insured coverage for a construction defects claim fails because the insurer failed to allege that its coverage had been exhausted, a Florida federal judge ruled Jan. 20 (Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Amerisure Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-81393, S.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8366).