ORLANDO, Fla. - A total pollution exclusion and impaired property exclusion preclude an insurer's duty to defend and indemnify an underlying judgment against an insured regarding alleged negligent insulation installation that caused toxic fumes, a Florida federal judge ruled March 10 (Thomas Dumbacher and Perri Dumbacher v. Landmark American Insurance Co., No. 14-798, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29106).
LOS ANGELES - A Florida man on March 6 filed a class action lawsuit in a California federal court, alleging that a mobile phone dating application company violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) when it stopped offering the app for free and began charging for its use (Billy Warner v. Tinder Inc., No. 15-1668, C.D. Calif.).
MIAMI - A trademark and copyright dispute between a franchisor and its former franchisees will proceed, thanks to a March 9 ruling by a Florida federal judge (Help at Home Inc. v. CAM Enterprises et al., No. 14-80255, S.D. Fla.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Trial got under way March 4 with opening statements in the Florida 15th District Circuit Court for Palm Beach County in a suit alleging that injuries suffered by a now-17-year-old boy resulted from the unnecessary use of vacuum extraction during his March 1998 delivery (Melissa MacDonald, et al. v. Women's Healthcare Associates, et al., No. 2000CA008025, Fla. Cir., 15th Dist., Palm Beach Co.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge on March 4 ordered a copyright and trademark infringement plaintiff to hand over evidence relating to its finances from 2010 to the present (Exist Inc. v. ESY Inc., No. 14-62429, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26248).
MIAMI - A Florida man on March 3 filed a class action lawsuit in federal court, claiming that veneer flooring manufactured in China and sold by Lumber Liquidators Inc. contains toxic levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde (Joaquin Badias, et al. v. Lumber Liquidators Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-20876, S.D. Fla.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A copyright infringement defendant on March 2 won dismissal of the allegations when a Florida federal judge found that exercising jurisdiction would violate due process (Exist Inc. v. Woodland Trading Inc., No. 14-61354, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24872).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A federal jury in Florida on Feb. 26 awarded $340,000 to the widow of a man who alleged that his lung cancer was the result of smoking cigarettes manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Philip Morris USA Inc. (Merle Zamboni, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 3:09-cv-11957, M.D. Fla.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 27 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's $166,518.17 judgment in favor of Florida insureds in a sinkhole coverage dispute with their homeowners insurer (Severin Hegel, et al. v. The First Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 14-10549, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3024).
CHICAGO - Allstate Life Insurance Co.'s breach of contract lawsuit against a former life insurance agent and his agency is better suited to Florida federal court, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Feb. 23, explaining that all of the former agent's allegedly fraudulent conduct occurred in Florida (Allstate Life Insurance Company v. Stanley W. Burns Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-7098, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20905).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida judge on Feb. 19 ordered a Nevada-domiciled insurer into an ancillary receivership after the insurer was put into liquidation in its home state (State of Florida, ex rel., the Florida Department of Financial Services v. Sensible Home Warranty, LLC, No. 2015-CA-0273, Fla. Cir., 2nd Cir., Leon Co.).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Feb. 20 reversed and remanded a lower court, holding that ordering the state's insurance guarantor to participate in an appraisal of a home's sinkhole damage is at odds with the guarantor's statutory mandate (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, Inc. v. Donna Frank, No. 2D13-5453, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 2352).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge applied Alabama law on Feb. 20 to dismiss breach of contract and bad faith claims against a commercial liability insurer regarding its duty to indemnify a settlement of an underlying construction defects case (MI Windows & Doors LLC f/k/a MI Windows & Doors Inc. and MI Home Products Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-3139, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20544).
MIAMI - A federal magistrate judge in Florida on Feb. 17 recommended accepting a home health care clinic owner's guilty plea in a $13 million Medicare fraud scheme, finding that the defendant was capable and competent in entering an informed plea (United States of America v. Alexander Lara, No. 15-cr-20029-KMM, S.D. Fla.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A plaintiff's proposed jury instructions and verdict form allowed a jury to find that her husband was a member of the Engle class but that his lung cancer and death were not caused by the negligence of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a state appeals court ruled Feb. 18 (Shirley B. Baker v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 4D13-570, Fla. App., 4th Dist.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Claims filed in 2007 alleging that a Florida city in 1992 unilaterally stopped following a 1982 consent decree requiring certain hiring protocol for its fire department were filed too late and barred by laches, a Florida federal judge ruled Feb. 16 (Olivette Coffey Jr., et al. v. Dwight Braddy, etc., et al., No. 71-44, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18424).
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).