LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - Summary Judgment In Favor Of Patent Defendant Reversed By Federal Circuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Disputed issues of material fact should have precluded a Florida federal judge from granting Ericsson Inc. a summary judgment that it does not infringe two patents relating to bandwidth allocation, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 17 (Wi-LAN USA Inc. v. Ericsson Inc., No. 15-1766, -1794, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 769).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Negligent Misrepresentation Claims Barred By Quality Of Services Exclusion

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Jan. 13 entered judgment in favor of an insurer one day after finding that underlying negligent misrepresentation claims against its insured are "for or arising out of or resulting from" the failure of the insured's auction services to conform with a represented quality of performance contained in its advertising (Equipmentfacts LLC v. Beazley Insurance Co., Inc., No: 16-265, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4653).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Daughter Of Smoker Files Tobacco Suit In Florida State Court

TAMPA, Fla. - The daughter of a woman who died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) filed suit against three tobacco companies in Florida state court on Jan. 10 pursuant to the Engle findings (Angelia Garrett v. Lorillard Tobacco Co., et al., No. 17-CA-000242, Fla. Cir. Hillsborough Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - U.S. High Court Declines Appeal Over Agencies' Conciliation Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 9 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a Florida corporation asking it to review a decision by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that reversed a trial court's partial summary judgment ruling for the corporation on claims brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division on behalf of a class of female prison workers who allege gender discrimination and harassment, finding that the two agencies sufficiently conciliated their claims (The Geo Group, Inc. v. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., No. 16-302, U.S. Sup.; 2017 U.S. LEXIS 294).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Finds Navy Guidelines Sufficiently Precise For Removal Of Asbestos Case

TAMPA, Fla. - Experts' testimony that the U.S. Navy issued reasonably precise specifications for private manufacturers to meet sufficiently demonstrates control over the products in question, and Crane Co. need not show that the government would not have permitted additional warnings, a federal judge in Florida said Jan. 9 in denying remand of an asbestos case (Ralph Donson v. Air and Liquid Systems Inc., No. 16-3022, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Navy Guidelines Sufficiently Precise For Removal Of Asbestos Case

TAMPA, Fla. - Experts' testimony that the U.S. Navy issued reasonably precise specifications for private manufacturers to meet sufficiently demonstrates control over the products in question, and Crane Co. need not show that the government would not have permitted additional warnings, a federal judge in Florida said Jan. 9 in denying remand of an asbestos case (Ralph Donson v. Air and Liquid Systems Inc., No. 16-3022, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - U.S. High Court Declines Appeal Over Agencies' Conciliation Efforts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 9 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a Florida corporation asking it to review a decision by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that reversed a trial court's partial summary judgment ruling for the corporation on claims brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Arizona Civil Rights Division on behalf of a class of female prison workers who allege gender discrimination and harassment, finding that the two agencies sufficiently conciliated their claims (The Geo Group, Inc. v. U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., No. 16-302, U.S. Sup.; 2017 U.S. LEXIS 294).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Majority: No Coverage For Legal Expenses Incurred Without Insurer's Approval

ATLANTA - A majority of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 9 that an insurer has no duty to pay an insured's $405,989 in pre-tender legal expenses incurred in defending a copyright infringement lawsuit, affirming a lower court's finding that Florida's claims administration statute (CAS) does not control because the insurer relied on an exclusion and not a coverage defense in its refusal to pay the expenses (EmbroidMe.com, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 14-10616, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 368).

Mealey's Insurance - Insureds' Lack Of Breach Of Contract Claim Leads To Dismissal Of Bad Faith Claim

TAMPA, Fla. - Because insureds have failed to bring a claim for breach of contract, they have failed to state a claim for bad faith and have violated the particularity requirement pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a federal judge in Florida ruled Jan. 9 (Fred Fox, et al. v. Starr Indemnity & Liability Co., No. 16-3254, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2678).

Mealey's Insurance - Majority: No Coverage For Legal Expenses Incurred Without Insurer's Approval

ATLANTA - A majority of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 9 that an insurer has no duty to pay an insured's $405,989 in pre-tender legal expenses incurred in defending a copyright infringement lawsuit, affirming a lower court's finding that Florida's claims administration statute (CAS) does not control because the insurer relied on an exclusion and not a coverage defense in its refusal to pay the expenses (EmbroidMe.com, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 14-10616, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 368).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Panel Remands Tobacco Suit With Order To Reduce Damages

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Jan. 4 found that a trial court erred in not reducing the compensatory award by the comparative fault the jury found in an Engle progeny suit brought by a man whose wife died from lung cancer related to her smoking (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Jan Grossman, No. 4D13-3949, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 50).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Florida Federal Judge Won't Dismiss Copyright Lawsuit By DISH Network

TAMPA, Fla. - Allegations that the owners and operators of the Arabic television service "UlaiTV" committed copyright infringement will proceed in light of a Jan. 3 ruling by a Florida federal judge (DISH Network LLC v. Gaby Fraifer, et al., No. 16-2549, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 380).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Navy Specifications Keep Asbestos Case In Florida Federal Court

TAMPA, Fla. - Evidence that a company complied with the U.S. Navy's precise specifications for products it ordered from private contractors keeps an asbestos case in federal court, a federal judge in Florida held Dec. 27 (Marc Killam v. Air & Liquid Systems Inc., et al., No. 16-2915, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178637).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Navy Specifications Keep Asbestos Case In Florida Federal Court

TAMPA, Fla. - Evidence that a company complied with the U.S. Navy's precise specifications for products it ordered from private contractors keeps an asbestos case in federal court, a federal judge in Florida held Dec. 27 (Marc Killam v. Air & Liquid Systems Inc., et al., No. 16-2915, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178637).

Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Judge: No Bad Faith Claim Without Showing Of Breach Of Contract

MIAMI - An insured cannot bring claims against its insurer for bad faith until it has first shown that the insurer breached the terms of its insurance policy with the insured, a federal magistrate judge in Florida ruled Dec. 19 in granting the insurer's motion to abate the insurer's bad faith claims (Katchmore Luhrs LLC v. Allianz Global & Corporate Specialty, No. 15-23420, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175004).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Awards Amputee $275,000 In Medical Malpractice Suit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida jury on Dec. 15 awarded $275,000 to a man who had his leg amputated after finding that if a hospital had diagnosed his arterial blockage, the man's leg could have been saved (Stanley Rovner v. West Boca Medical Center, No. 2015-CA-004973, Fla. 15th Jud. Cir. Palm Beach Co.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - SEC Pleaded Material Misrepresentation, Scienter Against CFO, Judge Rules

TAMPA, Fla. - The Securities and Exchange Commission has properly pleaded a material misrepresentation or omission in claiming that the former chief financial officer (CFO) of a petroleum storage and sales company withheld information from investors regarding, inter alia, the storage capacity of tanks at the company's three facilities in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in Florida ruled Dec. 9 in denying the CFO's motion to dismiss the complaint in its entirety (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Michael P. Toups, et al., No. 16-1798, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171478).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Walt Disney Employees File Race Bias Class Suit

ORLANDO, Fla. - Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc. discriminated against approximately 250 employees when it terminated them and replaced them with workers from India, more than two dozen of the former employees allege in a class complaint filed Dec. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Leonardo Perrero, et al. v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc., No. 16-2144, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Walt Disney Employees File Race Bias Class Suit

ORLANDO, Fla. - Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc. discriminated against approximately 250 employees when it terminated them and replaced them with workers from India, more than two dozen of the former employees allege in a class complaint filed Dec. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Leonardo Perrero, et al. v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc., No. 16-2144, M.D. Fla.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Dismisses Claim That Pulte Intentionally Violated Building Code

ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 12 dismissed with prejudice a claim asserted by a putative class of homeowners accusing Pulte Home Corp. of intentionally applying stucco in a manner that violated the Florida Building Code, ruling that the statute does not allow such a cause of action (Shaun Parker Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-CV-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171271).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Florida Condo Owners Granted Class Certification In Suit Alleging Overcharges

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Dec. 8 certified a class of Florida condo owners suing the owners and managers of a hotel located in the same complex for allegedly overcharging the unit owners for the cost of upkeep for the shared components such as lobby, parking garage and fitness center (Gary Dear, et al. v. Q Cub Hotel, LLC, No. 15-60474, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91200).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Dismisses Claim That Pulte Intentionally Violated Building Code

ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 12 dismissed with prejudice a claim asserted by a putative class of homeowners accusing Pulte Home Corp. of intentionally applying stucco in a manner that violated the Florida Building Code, ruling that the statute does not allow such a cause of action (Shaun Parker Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-CV-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171271).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appellate Panel Remands Engle Suit To Disqualify Plaintiff's Attorney

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Dec. 7 found a trial court erred in denying Philip Morris USA Inc.'s motion to dismiss the law firm representing her because one of her attorneys previously represented Philip Morris in similar lawsuits, which prevents him from being the plaintiff's attorney under Florida law (Philip Morris USA Inc. v. Ada Caro, No. 4D16-2416, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 18077).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Florida Federal Judge: Copyright, Trademark Case Fails To State A Claim

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Allegations by a pro se plaintiff that two individual defendants committed copyright and trademark infringement are insufficiently pleaded, a Florida federal judge ruled Dec. 6 (Daniel A. Bernath v. Don Shipley, et al., No. 16-40, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168253).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Appellate Panel Reverses Summary Judgment In Dog Bite Suit

MIAMI - A Florida appellate panel on Nov. 30 reversed summary judgment in favor of a guard dog company in a dog bite suit because Florida's dog bite law "imposes strict liability on dog owners, subject only to a plaintiff's comparative negligence, which in this case must be determined by the trier-of-fact" (Lisa Arellano v. Broward K-9/Miami K-9 Services Inc., No. 3D16-314, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 17699).