CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 18 determined that three of 21 documents sought by an insured in an environmental contamination and chemical exposure coverage lawsuit are not privileged materials and must be produced by the insurer (Velsicol Chemical LLC v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., No. No. 15-2534, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 109736).
CHICAGO - An online retailer that sold earrings bearing a fake Tory Burch trademark was ordered Aug. 22 by an Illinois federal judge to pay two plaintiffs $100,000 in statutory damages, as a result of the retailer's failure to ensure that its product offerings were not counterfeit (River Light V L.P., et al. v. I Love You To The Moom And Back, No. 15-5918, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111301).
CHICAGO - A trade dress infringement defendant's request for declarations of trade dress noninfringement, invalidity and unenforceability was turned away Aug. 22 by an Illinois federal judge, who concluded that the defendant "is essentially seeking an inappropriate advisory opinion" that would do nothing to resolve the parties' dispute (Bodum USA Inc. v. A Top New Casting Inc., No. 16-2916, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111153).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 18 entered judgment in favor of an insurer after finding that it has no duty to defend or indemnify against claims arising from the insured's purchase of biodiesel fuel with invalidated renewable identification numbers (RINs) (Superior Fuels Inc. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Co., No. 14-1420, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108423).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 15 held that the failure of insureds, "as sophisticated lawyers," to review the terms of their commercial general liability insurance policy against underlying claims against them for eight months is unreasonable as a matter of law, finding that their insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify them (Sentinel Insurance Company, LTD. v. Michael Cogan, et al., No. 15-8612, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107761).
CHICAGO - In an admiralty case, an expert may opine that the sole cause of an incident was a lockmaster's failure to reduce the flow of water through a dam so that a vessel and a tow could safely enter a canal, an Illinois federal judge ruled Aug. 16 (In the matter of the complaint of Ingram Barge Co. as owner of the M/V Dale A. Heller and the IB9525, IN025300, IN085089, IN095041, IN096081, IN107057, and IN117513, petitioning for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-3453 c/w In the matter of American Commercial Lines, LLC, as owner and Inland Marine Service, Inc., as owner pro hac vice of the M/V Loyd Murphy for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-4292, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107984).
PHILADELPHIA - A man's failure to pursue litigation against a company and the existence of a clear statutory bar to recovery warrants a finding that the defendant was added in a bad faith attempt to defeat removal, a federal judge in Philadelphia held Aug. 11 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation (No. VI); William Ney, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., et al., No. MDL 875, 16-2408, E.D. Pa.).
CHICAGO - Allegations that Steak n Shake Inc. infringed the copyrighted television advertisement of a competitor were rejected Aug. 5 by an Illinois federal judge, who deemed the commercials dissimilar (Culver Franchising System Inc. v. Steak n Shake Inc., No. 16-75, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103091).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 4 vacated a Louisiana federal judge's ruling in favor of an insured seeking coverage for mitigation projects undertaken to address alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) because questions of fact exist as to whether the measures undertaken by the insured are "remediation costs" as defined by the policy at issue (Louisiana Generating LLC, et al. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-30914, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14344).
CHICAGO - The Illinois federal judge overseeing the testosterone multidistrict litigation on Aug. 4 identified eight AbbVie heart attack, stroke and blood clot cases for the MDL's first bellwether trials starting next year (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Aug. 1 dismissed an insurer's appeal and insureds' cross-appeal for lack of jurisdiction in a coverage dispute over a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against the insureds (Country Mutual Insurance Co. v. Best Pallet Company, LLC, et al., No. 1-14-1269, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1575).
CHICAGO - An insured's failure to obtain a storage agreement or warehouse receipt, as required by its insurance policy, bars coverage for the contamination of products stored at the insured's warehouse, but the policy's pollution exclusion does not apply because the pollution at issue is not "traditional" pollution under Illinois law, an Illinois federal judge said July 29 in granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (PQ Corp. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 13-3482, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99088).
PHILADELPHIA - In the second ruling of its kind, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 27 said the Avandia multidistrict litigation court has jurisdiction over common benefit fees and that an Illinois law firm is obligated to pay a 7 percent fee from the settlement of its state court multiplaintiff lawsuit (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-2990, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13655).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on July 22 approved the return of nearly $4 million Canadian to the Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co.'s liquidation estate that was held by a Canadian insurer that had been paying certain claims and obligation of Lumbermens' in Canada (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Andrew Boron, Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., No. 12-24227, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
CHICAGO - An insurer had no duty to defend an additional insured for construction defects in condominium units because nothing accidental was alleged, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed July 20, finding that the allegations include the additional insured's intentional bad acts or awareness of faulty workmanship (Westfield Insurance Co. v. West Van Buren, LLC and 933 Van Buren Condominium Association, No. 1-14-0862, Ill. App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 473).
CHICAGO - An art historian may opine that if a signature were authenticated, the market value for a piece of art would be between $6 million and $8 million, an Illinois federal judge ruled July 21, declining to exclude the historian's testimony (Robert Fletcher and Bartlow Gallery Ltd. v. Peter Doig, No. 13-3270, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95081).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 15 agreed to adopt a disability claimant's proposed additional findings; however, the judge said the judgment in favor of a disability insurer will stand because the claimant still did not prove that he was continuously disabled under the policy at issue (Stephen Dorf v. Standard Insurance Co., as successor to Minnesota Life Insurance Co., No. 13-6479, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92538).
CHICAGO - Yahoo Inc. and the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) filed simultaneous briefs in Illinois federal court July 15, debating whether the plaintiff had sufficiently pleaded damages to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Rachel Johnson v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 1:14-cv-02028, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - In an admiralty case, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on July 14 excluded an expert from testifying that boat captains could have requested that gates again be closed as they were approaching the protection cells (In the matter of the complaint of Ingram Barge Co. as owner of the M/V Dale A. Heller and the IB9525, IN025300, IN085089, IN095041, IN096081, IN107057, and IN117513, petitioning for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-3453 c/w In the matter of American Commercial Lines, LLC, as owner and Inland Marine Service, Inc., as owner pro hac vice of the M/V Loyd Murphy for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-4292, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91411).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on July 14 placed a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care marketplace co-op into rehabilitation because, according to the state's acting director of insurance, the insurer will suffer a $68 million loss due to the actions of Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which would place the insurer in a hazardous position (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Anne Melissa Dowling, Acting Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois v. Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Company, No. 2016CH09210, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chanc. Div.).