MIAMI - A not-for-profit organization on March 16 won summary judgment from a federal judge in Florida on allegations that it violated the Lanham Act (Edward Tobinick MD v. M.D. Steven Novella, et al., No. 14-80781, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31884).
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.).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on March 13 found that a lower court erred in holding that insureds were entitled to appraisal of their claim for sinkhole damage, reversing, remanding and certifying two questions to the Florida Supreme Court (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Inc., v. Daniel Hunnewell, et al., No. 2D14-397, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 3614).
TAMPA, Fla. - An insurer has a duty to defend an insured in an underlying lawsuit regarding claims for statutory breach of warranty and building code violations because the allegations reference damage to "other property," a Florida federal judge ruled March 13 (Voeller Construction Inc. v. Southern-Owners Insurance Co. and Amerisure Insurance Co., No. 13-3169, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31176).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Trial got under way March 9 in the Florida 17th Judicial Court for Broward County with opening statements in a suit alleging that the death of a lung cancer sufferer was caused by his years of smoking (Rose Pollari, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 14-001563CA19, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir., Broward Co.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge transferred venue to a Florida federal court on March 10 of an insurer's coverage lawsuit against an insured regarding an underlying construction defects (Essex Insurance Co. v. DiMucci Development Corporation of Ponce Inlet Inc., No. 14-7234, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28710).
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).