CHICAGO - A disability insurer is not entitled to recoup $40,000 in attorney fees because the disability claimant's arguments were reasonable and not so lacking in merit as to justify an award of attorney fees, an Illinois federal judge said Sept. 27 (Donna Geiger v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 15-3791, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 131807).
CHICAGO - Illinois law permits an insurer seeking declaratory judgment as to its coverage obligations to conduct discovery for evidence outside the underlying complaints as to whether a claimant qualifies as an insured, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 22, reversing a trial court's judgment in favor of the claimant (Landmark American Insurance Co. v. Peter Hilger, No. 15-2566, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17343).
NEW YORK - The assignee of certain reinsurance recoverables of an insolvent insurer told a federal court in Illinois on Sept. 22 that it is appealing to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the court's holding that the assignee had not shown that leave to amend its complaint should be granted after a motion for summary judgment had been decided (Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Banco De Seguros Del Estado, No. 12-cv-06357, N.D. Ill.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Saying that bellwether trials and global settlement talks for Depakote birth defect cases have failed, an Illinois federal judge on Sept. 21 vacated the next three bellwether trial dates and said she will instead pursue joint trials for the 698 plaintiffs (In Re: Depakote, Rhealyn Alexander, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., No. 12-52, S.D. Ill.).
ROCKFORD, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 19 granted a professional liability insurer's request to rescind three policies because of material misrepresentations that a patent and trademark attorney insured made on his application (Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Jerry A. Schulman, et al., No. 14-50142, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127261).
CHICAGO - An April 2016 dismissal, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), of allegations that myriad defendants infringed a patented method for enhanced mercury control in coal-fired power plants will not be reconsidered, an Illinois federal judge revealed Sept. 14 (Nalco Company v. Chem-Mod LLC, et al., No. 14-2510, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124800).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 8 vacated a Sept. 22 hearing on an insurer's motion to stay and for permission to appeal the issue of whether concealment in an insurance policy rescission lawsuit is measured under California law when the insurance policy is formed or when the policy is delivered to the insured (Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al. v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., No. 13-04863, N.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - A restaurant server may proceed with her class complaint seeking wages for time spent on nonserving duties, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 8; however, the judge ruled that the server's request to toll the statute of limitations was overbroad (Katrina Soto, et al. v. Wings 'R Us Romeoville, Inc., et al., No. 15-10127, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121223).
CHICAGO - A damages expert may not testify on whether a company would have reduced the value of an asset purchase agreement (APA) had it known about prior credits to alcohol beverage distributors and local marketing funds (LMF), an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 6, noting that the statements were speculative and subjective opinions (Luxco Inc. v. Jim Beam Brands Co., No. 14-0349, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119615).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 6 dismissed a man's counterclaim against State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Co. seeking attorney fees under Section 155 of the Illinois Insurance Code, ruling that the company's delay in making a payment under the policy was not vexatious and unreasonable since a dispute exists as to the cause of a fire that destroyed the man's home (State Auto Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Anthony Blair Jr., No. 15 C 8026, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119885).
CHICAGO - A notice of appeal filed by an employee in her age bias suit that occurred outside of the time limit granted by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(a)(5)(C), but within the extension granted by an Illinois federal judge, is untimely, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 31 (Charmaine Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago & Fannie Mae, No. 15-3764, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16113).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 1 affirmed a remand order from a lower court, noting that the reinsurance agreements at issue in the case have service of suit clauses that leave forum selection up to the reinsured (Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Transfercom, Ltd., No. 16-1073, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16225).
LOS ANGELES - One day after filing a notice of nonopposition to a motion to compel arbitration by Snapchat Inc., the lead plaintiffs in a putative class action on Aug. 30 filed a notice of voluntary dismissal in California federal court, agreeing to pursue their claim against the social network provider under Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via arbitration (Jose Luis Martinez, et al. v. Snapchat Inc., No. 2:16-CV-05182, C.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 29 granted final approval of a $12.1 million settlement, ending a consolidated class complaint accusing a mortgage lender of placing unauthorized debt collection calls, but reduced the fees for class counsel from 36 percent to 30 percent of the net settlement fund (Heather Wright, et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, No. 14-10457, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115729).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A copyright infringement plaintiff on Aug. 25 won partial summary judgment when an Illinois federal judge found that the "undisputed facts" demonstrate that three defendants copied the "particularized expression" of an idea for a clothespin featuring a silhouetted bird design (Design Ideas Ltd. v. Meijer Inc., et al., No. 15-3093, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113704).
CHICAGO - An Illinois state appeals court panel on Aug. 26 affirmed a trial court ruling that it had jurisdiction over GlaxoSmithKline LLP (GSK) in a multiplaintiff Paxil birth defect case in part because GSK conducted Paxil clinical trials in the state that included pregnant study participants (M.M., et al. v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC, et al., No. 1-15-1909, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 575).
CHICAGO - The Illinois attorney general on Aug. 25 filed a state consumer fraud complaint asking that Insys Therapeutics Inc. be enjoined from doing business in the state for its off-label promotion of the fentanyl-based opioid Subsys (The People of the State of Illinois v. Insys Therapeutics, Inc., No. 2016-CH-11216, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
CHICAGO - The First District Illinois Appellate Court on Aug. 22 determined that a trial court did not err in dismissing an environmental contamination coverage suit filed by excess insurers because New Jersey, where a similar suit is pending, is the more appropriate venue to resolve the dispute (American Home Assurance Co., et al., v. National-Standard LLC, et al., No. 1-15-1363, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1733).
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).