LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Expert From Testifying On Officers' 'Deliberate Indifference'

CHICAGO - A police practices expert may not testify on conclusions that the conduct of police officers amounted to "deliberate indifference" in the alleged wrongful investigation of a man for murder, an Illinois federal judge ruled May 2; however, the expert may testify to the relevant professional standards and identify departures from the standards (Rodell Sanders v. City of Chicago Heights, et al., No. 13-0221, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57704).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 7th Circuit Affirms Denial Of Request For Pension Benefit Refund

CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 29 affirmed an Illinois federal judge's determination that a pension fund need not refund contributions made by an employer on behalf of an erroneously classified employee, but reversed and remanded the district court's determination that the pension fund need not enforce its own rules, which required arbitration by and conforming to the procedures of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) (Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund v. Bulk Transport Corp., Nos. 15-3346, 15-3208, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7790).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Divided Indiana Top Court Denies Rehearing In Repose In Asbestos Cases

INDIANAPOLIS - A divided Indiana Supreme Court on April 28 denied rehearing in the case striking down the state's 10-year statute of repose in asbestos cases (Larry Myers and Loa Myers v. Crouse-Hinds, Division of Cooper Industries Inc.; and Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Hollingsworth & Vose, No. 49S00-1502-MI-119, General Electric Co. v. Mary R. Geyman, et al., No. 49S00-1501-MI-35, Owens-Illinois Inc. v. Mary R. Geyman, et al., No. 49SS00-1501-MI-36, Ind. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Divided Indiana Top Court Denies Rehearing In Repose In Asbestos Cases

INDIANAPOLIS - A divided Indiana Supreme Court on April 28 denied rehearing in the case striking down the state's 10-year statute of repose in asbestos cases (Larry Myers and Loa Myers v. Crouse-Hinds, Division of Cooper Industries Inc.; and Lorillard Tobacco Co. and Hollingsworth & Vose, No. 49S00-1502-MI-119, General Electric Co. v. Mary R. Geyman, et al., No. 49S00-1501-MI-35, Owens-Illinois Inc. v. Mary R. Geyman, et al., No. 49SS00-1501-MI-36, Ind. Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Claims Of Intentional Torts, Unfair Business Practices Do Not Trigger Coverage

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on April 29 found that allegations that an insured engaged in intentional torts and unfair business practices were insufficient to trigger coverage under a policy's "Optometrists Professional Liability-Illinois" endorsement, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Peerless Indemnity Ins. Co. v. Richard Surowiak, et al., No. 1-14-3170, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 841).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Plan Participants Seek Forced Consideration Of Pension Proposal

CHICAGO - Participants in a "massively underfunded" multiemployer defined benefit pension plan filed suit April 25 against the plan's trustees in Illinois federal court, alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Doris Campbell, et al. v. Charles A. Whobrey, et al., No. 16-4631, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge OKs Insolvent Insurer's Recommendation Regarding Insolvency Fund

CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on April 21 granted the liquidator of an insolvent workers' compensation insurer's recommendation for the allowance of the state's group workers' compensation pool insolvency fund's $716,283.59 claim (In the Matter of the Liquidation of Illinois Restaurant Risk Management Association, Inc., No. 11-CH-40307, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chancery Div.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Judge Denies Request For $1.2 Million Default In Trademark Case

CHICAGO - Writing that a trademark infringement plaintiff "failed to demonstrate that it is entitled to any of the relief it seeks," an Illinois federal judge on April 20 denied a request for damages and injunctive relief (Taurus Flavors Inc. v. More Flavors Inc., et al., No. 15-265, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52693).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Judge Allows Claims To Proceed In Products Liability Coverage Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 14 refused to dismiss a breach of contract claim against an excess insurer and bad faith and punitive damages claims against a primary insurer in a products liability coverage dispute involving the insured's da Vinci Surgical System product (Intuitive Surgical Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-04834, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51097).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Allows Claims To Proceed In Products Liability Coverage Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 14 refused to dismiss a breach of contract claim against an excess insurer and bad faith and punitive damages claims against a primary insurer in a products liability coverage dispute involving the insured's da Vinci Surgical System product (Intuitive Surgical Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-04834, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51097).

Mealey's Insurance - Liquidator: School Board's Construction Delay Claims Are Not Supported By Facts

CHICAGO - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer told an Illinois court on April 8 that a school board's $14 million liquidated delay damages claim is not valid because the construction of the schools in question was completed in a timely manner (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.).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Asks Court To Declare That It Has No Obligation Under Certificates

CHICAGO - A reinsurer told a federal court in Illinois on April 11 that its reinsured did not provide it with prompt notice of asbestos-related claims against an insured and that the reinsured is therefore in breach of certain facultative reinsurance certificates (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. The American Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-04199, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Transfers Insurer's Coverage Suit Over Construction Defects Claims

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on April 8 transferred an insurer's coverage lawsuit regarding its duty to defend and indemnify an underlying construction defects case to another Illinois federal court (Hastings Mutual Insurance Co. v. Atlantis Pools, Inc., et al., No. 15-3341, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47570).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Deceased Expert's Report In Medical Treatment Lawsuit, Denies New Discovery

CHICAGO - Despite the death of its expert, a health care provider may not engage in new expert discovery in a lawsuit over its medical treatment practices because its original expert's report failed to meet the standards of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (509 U.S. 579 [1993]), an Illinois federal judge ruled April 7, excluding the deceased expert's report (Donald L. McDonald v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc., et al., No. 09-4196, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47286).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Denies Stay, Award Of Fees In Copyright Case

BENTON, Ill. - Claims by a copyright infringement defendant that it is entitled to an award of attorney fees for defending a previous action voluntarily dismissed by a plaintiff and later re-filed as a new lawsuit were rejected April 7 by an Illinois federal judge (Heartland Homes Inc. v. Homes by Deesign Inc., No. 15-583, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47201).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Denies Motion To Compel Identity Of Anonymous Posters On Job Gripe Website

SAN FRANCISCO - An Illinois man's motion to compel identifying information about an anonymous commenter from the operator of an employee gripe website was denied on April 1, with a California judge citing protections of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and failure of the movant to establish a sufficient need for the information to defend against an underlying defamation claim (Mason Awtry v. Glassdoor Inc., No. 3:16-cv-80028, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44804).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Denies Motion To Compel Identity Of Anonymous Posters On Job Gripe Website

SAN FRANCISCO - An Illinois man's motion to compel identifying information about an anonymous commenter from the operator of an employee gripe website was denied on April 1, with a California judge citing protections of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and failure of the movant to establish a sufficient need for the information to defend against an underlying defamation claim (Mason Awtry v. Glassdoor Inc., No. 3:16-cv-80028, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44804).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Transfers Asbestos-Related Reinsurance Dispute

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on March 30 ordered the transfer of a $4.4 million asbestos-related reinsurance dispute to a Pennsylvania federal court, noting that the Pennsylvania court is a more proper venue than Illinois (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-07784, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42489).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Has No Duty To Pay $4M 'Blast Fax' Ads Settlement, Illinois Panel Affirms

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel held on March 30 that a commercial general liability insurer is not obligated to indemnify its insured's assignee for an underlying $4 million settlement over a "blast fax" ads dispute, noting as an aside its concern that underlying Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class lawsuits are not about compensating class members but have everything to do with compensating the class action lawyers (First Mercury Insurance Co. v. Nationwide Security Services Inc., et al., No. 1-14-3924, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 636).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge: Accountant May Testify On Sales Lost In Employee Agreement Suit

PEORIA, Ill. - A certified public accountant (CPA) may testify on total sales lost by a medical device maker in an employee agreement dispute, an Illinois federal judge ruled March 31, finding that a former employee failed to show that the CPA inappropriately applied accounting practices (Orthofix Inc. v. Melissa Gordon, No. 13-01463, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43105).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Accountant May Testify On Sales Lost In Employee Agreement Suit

PEORIA, Ill. - A certified public accountant (CPA) may testify on total sales lost by a medical device maker in an employee agreement dispute, an Illinois federal judge ruled March 31, finding that a former employee failed to show that the CPA inappropriately applied accounting practices (Orthofix Inc. v. Melissa Gordon, No. 13-01463, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43105).

Mealey's Insurance - Insured's Faulty Work Is Not A Covered 'Occurrence,' Illinois Federal Judge Says

CHICAGO - Insurance policies do not cover a settlement of an underlying claim against a subcontractor stemming from its defective workmanship, an Illinois federal judge held March 31, because claims of an insured's faulty work resulting in damage to its own work do not constitute an "occurrence" causing covered "property damage" (Allied Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and AMCO Insurance Co. v. Metro North Condominium Association, No. 15-3925, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43952).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Class Suit Seeking Money From Online Gambling Company Is Dismissed With Prejudice

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on March 25 dismissed with prejudice a woman's class suit seeking to stop an online gambling game manufacturer from operating allegedly unlawful gambling devices and recovery of all monies paid by players (Margo Phillips v. Double Down Interactive LLC, No. 15-4301, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39189).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Allowed To Remove Pollution Liability Suit To Federal Court, Judge Says

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on March 28 denied an insured's motion for reconsideration on the basis that the insured failed to prove the court committed any legal error in denying the insured's motion to remand and determining that the pollution liability policy at issue did not prohibit the insurer from removing the suit to federal court (Sunflower Redevelopment LLC v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., No. 15-577, W.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39858).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Suit Seeking Money From Online Gambling Company Is Dismissed With Prejudice

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on March 25 dismissed with prejudice a woman's class suit seeking to stop an online gambling game manufacturer from operating allegedly unlawful gambling devices and recovery of all monies paid by players (Margo Phillips v. Double Down Interactive LLC, No. 15-4301, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39189).