TAMPA, Fla. - An insurer did not breach its policy by denying coverage for an insured's damages caused by fungus, rot, rain, decay and termites eating wood, a Florida federal judge ruled June 3 (N.P.V. Realty Corp. d/b/a Park Place Apartments v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. and Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-03235, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71744).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 3 limited the testimony of a damages expert in a patent dispute, directed the expert to file an amended total royalty analysis and questioned the expert's qualifications, reserving ruling on whether he is qualified until he is questioned at trial (Chico's Fas, Inc. v. Andrea Clair, et al., No. 2:13-cv-792, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71716).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 1 held that there are material issues of fact to be determined by a trier of fact regarding whether an insurer is estopped from denying coverage for underlying copyright infringement claims brought against a designer of pre-drawn home plans (State National Insurance Company Inc. v. Highland Holdings Inc., et al., No. 8:14-cv-00524, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70616).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on May 29 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion to dismiss claims in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insureds' breach of fiduciary duty claim is duplicative of their bad faith claim, but that their breach of contract claim is not (Ryan J. Padilla, et al. v. The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co., No. 14-1770, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69961).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on June 1 agreed with two declaratory judgment patent infringement plaintiffs that a defendant's counterclaims of patent infringement fail to demonstrate sufficient intent or knowledge of the patents in suit (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC v. Nissim Corp., No. 14-81349; Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Nissim Corp., No. 14-81350, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70467).
PENSACOLA, Fla. - A Florida state court jury returned a defense verdict May 21 in a suit alleging that the death of a former smoker from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular disease was caused by his years of smoking (Ethel Gray, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2013 CA 002813. Fla. Dist., 1st Dist., Escambia Co.).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 24 declined to exclude the testimony of a patent validity expert but limited the testimony of a damages expert so that taxes are not deducted from an accused infringer's gross profit margin, finding that if there is infringement, it is more equitable for the patent holder to receive any windfall that may occur by not deducting the taxes paid (Chico's Fas, Inc. v. Andrea Clair, et al., No. 2:13-cv-792, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67394).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Two Florida women have sufficiently alleged defamation against Fox News Networks LLC related to its airing of a video clip of the women on television and posting of it online, a Florida federal judge ruled May 21, denying the network's motion to dismiss (Kathleen M. Duffy, et al. v. Fox News Networks LLC, No. 6:14-cv-01545, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66534).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on May 20 reversed and remanded the issues of whether an insured failed to provide "prompt" notice of her Hurricane Wilma claim and whether the insurer was prejudiced by the purported late notice in a breach of contract dispute (Edie Laquer v. Citizens Property Insurance Corp., Nos. 3D13-1115, 3D14-34, Fla., App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 7570).
PALM BEACH, Fla. - A title insurer breached its policy by failing to catch title defects that ended land sales, a Florida state jury found May 19, awarding $4.45 million to a hotel developer in the Bahamas for damages it suffered by the breach (Governor's Harbour Resort and Marina Ltd. v. First American Title Insurance Co., No. 502010CA027629XXXX MB AI, Fla. Cir., Palm Beach Co., 15th Jud. Cir.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court on May 14 found that a first-party bad faith cause of action under Section 624.155(1)(b), Florida Statutes, does not fall under the willful tort exception to the immunity granted to a nonprofit insurer by the Florida Legislature, quashing an appellate court's ruling in favor of the insured and answering a certified question in the affirmative in a coverage dispute arising from Hurricane Ivan (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Perdido Sun Condominium Association Inc., etc., No. SC14-185, Fla. Sup.; 2015 Fla. LEXIS 1053).
TAMPA, Fla. - CVS Health Corp. will pay a $22 million civil penalty to resolve federal allegations that two of its pharmacies in Sanford, Fla., distributed controlled substances on the basis of illegitimate prescriptions, the government and company announced May 13.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A smoker who is seeking a new trial after a jury found her suit barred by the statute of limitations is asking the court "to undertake the role of a tenth juror," R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. argues in a brief filed May 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Karen Lennox v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No 3:09-cv-13744, M.D. Fla.).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The coordinating judge in the federal Engle cases pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on May 11 approved a plan for distributing $100 million in settlement funds to plaintiffs in more than 400 cases (In re Engle Cases, No. 3:09-10000, M.D. Fla.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 11 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment after determining that a policy's endorsement for injuries arising from the aerial application of chemicals provides coverage for underlying claims stemming from the insured's use of an herbicide (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. Florida Crystals Corp., et al., No. 14-81134, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61308).
TAMPA, Fla. - An environmental group's lawsuit alleging that the City of North Port, Fla., and three state officials violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) by allowing sand, 55-gallon drums and plastic sheeting to be disposed of at Warm Mineral Springs, a 200-foot-deep pond, was found untimely May 8 by a federal judge in Florida, who ruled that the materials were put there more than five years ago (Friends of Warm Mineral Springs Inc., et al. v. Gina McCarthy, No. 13-cv-3236-T-23TGW, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60601).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on May 8 reversed a trial court judge's ruling that a condominium association's construction defects lawsuit was barred by the state's 10-year statute of repose, finding that the statute begins to run when a contract is completed rather than when construction is finished (Cypress Fairway Condominium Association, et al. v. Bergeron Construction Co. Inc., et al., No. 5D13-4102, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 6841).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on May 5 granted a bank's motion to dismiss claims in a class action lawsuit alleging that the bank and insurers colluded to manipulate the force-placed insurance market and artificially inflated the amounts that mortgage borrowers were charged for policy premiums (Wilson, et al. v. EverBank, N.A., et al., No. 14-22264, S.D. Fla.).
ATLANTA - A group of firms that represent plaintiffs in litigation against the tobacco industry in Florida state court filed an amicus curiae brief with the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 4 in support of a petition urging the court to reconsider its ruling that strict liability and negligence claims asserted in Engle progeny suit are preempted by federal law (Earl E. Graham, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Faye Dale Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-14590, 11th Cir.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on May 6 reversed a lower court's denial of an insurer's motion to compel arbitration in a dispute over coverage for a $1 million judgment, remanding for an order compelling the issue of arbitrability to an arbitrator (Allied Professionals Insurance Co. v. Brian Fitzpatrick, et al., No. 4D13-3961, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 6746).