LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Federal Judge Denies Dismissal In Trademark Dispute

CHICAGO - Allegations of trademark infringement, unfair competition and state law deceptive trade practices in connection with the "Four Aces" trademark for tobacco products will proceed, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 3 (Top Tobacco, et al. v. Fantasia Distribution Inc., No. 14-8981, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117533).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate: Sears Committed Sanctionable Discovery Offenses In Dryer Fire Case

CHICAGO - Sears Holdings Corp. improperly withheld certain documents during discovery and failed to disclose a key witness, an Illinois federal magistrate judge found in a Sept. 3 report and recommendation, holding that the insurer, the plaintiff in a dispute over claims regarding a home fire attributed to a clothes dryer, is entitled to sanctions for Sears' misconduct (MemberSelect Insurance Co. v. Electrolux Home Products Inc., et al., No. 1:13-cv-04097, N.D. Ill).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Says It Does Not Owe $4.4 Million Claimed By Reinsured

CHICAGO - A reinsurer told a federal court in Illinois on Sept. 3 that because of its reinsured's late notice, it is not obligated to pay more than $4.4 million in asbestos bodily injury related claims (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-07784, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Has No Duty To Defend, Indemnify 2 Construction Defects Suits

CHICAGO - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend an insured or additional insureds in underlying construction defects lawsuits because the lawsuits allege property damage to a condominium building itself, which is not covered, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 2 (Acuity, a mutual insurance company v. Lenny Szarek, Inc., et al., No. 13-7505, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116778).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Rules In Favor Of Insurer In Professional Liability Coverage Dispute

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 2 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment seeking to reform the 2013 and 2014 professional liability insurance policies that it issued to a plastic surgeon in a dispute over coverage for an underlying professional malpractice lawsuit (Hallmark Specialty Insurance Co. v. Bradford C. Roberg, et al., No. 14-cv-3657, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116617).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Action Asserts Biometrics Violations In Facebook's Photo Tagging

SAN FRANCISCO - In a consolidated complaint filed Aug. 28 in California federal court, three Illinois residents allege violations of an Illinois biometrics statute by Facebook Inc. in the social network's "Tag Suggestions" feature for pictures (Carlo Licata, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:15-cv-03748, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Class Action Asserts Biometrics Violations In Facebook's Photo Tagging

SAN FRANCISCO - In a consolidated complaint filed Aug. 28 in California federal court, three Illinois residents allege violations of an Illinois biometrics statute by Facebook Inc. in the social network's "Tag Suggestions" feature for pictures (Carlo Licata, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:15-cv-03748, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judgment For Plaintiff Denied In Abercrombie Voided Gift Cards Suit

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 28 denied a summary judgment motion brought by the lead plaintiff in a suit over a clothing retailer's voiding of promotional gift cards after finding that the plaintiff's legal theory on which she based her breach of contract claim is fatally flawed (GS Tiffany Boundas, et al. v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No. 10-4866, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114535).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Testimony Creates Fact Issues In Products Liability Case, Judge Finds

CHICAGO - A doctor's opinions rest on a reliable methodology, and his opinions create genuine disputes of material fact in a products liability lawsuit against Zimmer Inc. over alleged manufacturer defects in a replacement hip, an Illinois federal judge ruled Aug. 31 (Pamela M. Ballard v. Zimmer, Inc., No. 11-6786, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115632).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Strikes Testimony On Causation Of Mental Health In Detention Center

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 1 struck a doctor's testimony on his causation opinion concerning a formerly incarcerated man's mental health status during his detention in solitary confinement; however, the judge allowed the doctor to testify on the standard of care provided by the detention center's doctors (Matthew Nolan v. United States of America, No. 12-0247, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115807).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Rejects Challenges To Experts, 'Every Exposure' Asbestos Testimony

BENTON, Ill. - A medical doctor's certifications and experience qualify him to testify as an expert, and his testimony accounts for levels of exposure and thus goes beyond "every exposure" testimony, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 31 (Mrs. Sharon Bell, executor of the estate of Mr. Richard Bell v. ABB Group Inc., et al., No. 13-1338, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115341).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Rejects Challenges To Experts, 'Every Exposure' Asbestos Testimony

BENTON, Ill. - A medical doctor's certifications and experience qualify him to testify as an expert, and his testimony accounts for levels of exposure and thus goes beyond "every exposure" testimony, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 31 (Mrs. Sharon Bell, executor of the estate of Mr. Richard Bell v. ABB Group Inc., et al., No. 13-1338, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115341).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Denies Dismissal Of Insurer's Case Over Defense Of Excavation Damages Suit

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 28 refused to dismiss an insurer's coverage action concerning its duty to defend an underlying lawsuit against its insureds for alleged damages sustained during excavation and construction activities (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Osborn Homes, Inc. a/k/a Osborn Properties, et al., No. 14-1308, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114621).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Rejects Challenges To Experts, 'Every Exposure' Asbestos Testimony

BENTON, Ill. - A medical doctor's certifications and experience qualify him to testify as an expert, and his testimony accounts for levels of exposure and thus goes beyond "every exposure" testimony, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 31 (Mrs. Sharon Bell, executor of the estate of Mr. Richard Bell v. ABB Group Inc., et al., No. 13-1338, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115341).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Expert Testimony Creates Fact Issues In Strict Liability Case, Federal Judge Finds

PEORIA, Ill. - The expert testimony of a mechanical engineer and a biomechanical engineer creates genuine issues of material fact in a strict liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of a rocket cart for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., an Illinois federal judge ruled Aug. 26, denying summary judgment to the manufacturer (William Jones v. National Cart Co. Inc. and National Cart LLC v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 12-1186, C.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112844).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Evidence Of Exposure, Need To Warn Sufficient Against Asbestos Defendants

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Evidence of work with and the presence of asbestos on two defendants' products and the state-of-the-art knowledge at the time warrants denying summary judgment, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 28 (Charles Neureuther v. Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, et al., No. 13-1327, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108782l, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114580).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Illinois Participants, Boeing Settle Excessive-Fee Case On Eve Of Trial

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Boeing Co. and participants in its 401(k) plan reached a provisional settlement on claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act related to excessive fees, ending nine years of litigation and canceling the bench trial that was set to begin Aug. 26 (Gary Spano, et al. v. The Boeing Company, et al., No. 06-743, S.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Testimony Creates Fact Issues In Strict Liability Case, Federal Judge Finds

PEORIA, Ill. - The expert testimony of a mechanical engineer and a biomechanical engineer creates genuine issues of material fact in a strict liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of a rocket cart for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., an Illinois federal judge ruled Aug. 26, denying summary judgment to the manufacturer (William Jones v. National Cart Co. Inc. and National Cart LLC v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., No. 12-1186, C.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112844).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Evidence Of Exposure, Need To Warn Sufficient Against Asbestos Defendants

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Evidence of work with and the presence of asbestos on two defendants' products and the state-of-the-art knowledge at the time warrants denying summary judgment, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 28 (Charles Neureuther v. Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, et al., No. 13-1327, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108782l, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114580).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Rejects Expert, Juror Challenges, Affirms Asbestos Defense Verdict

CHICAGO - A judge properly excluded Arthur Frank's trial testimony as a repackaging of his excluded "every exposure" testimony, and an investigation into a juror did not prejudice a jury's finding that tobacco and not asbestos caused a man's lung cancer, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 25 (Charles Krik v. Crane Co.; ExxonMobil Oil Corp.; Owens-Illinois Inc.; and The Marley-Wylain Co., No. 1:10-cv-70435, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Rejects Expert, Juror Challenges, Affirms Asbestos Defense Verdict

CHICAGO - A judge properly excluded Arthur Frank's trial testimony as a repackaging of his excluded "every exposure" testimony, and an investigation into a juror did not prejudice a jury's finding that tobacco and not asbestos caused a man's lung cancer, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 25 (Charles Krik v. Crane Co.; ExxonMobil Oil Corp.; Owens-Illinois Inc.; and The Marley-Wylain Co., No. 1:10-cv-70435, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Appellate Panel: Tobacco Store's License Properly Revoked For Code Violations

CHICAGO - An Illinois appellate court on Aug. 24 affirmed a trial court ruling that it was not an abuse of discretion for Chicago agencies to revoke a tobacco store's license for its violations of the city's municipal code regarding proper packaging - and payment of taxes - pertaining to cigarettes (Smoke N Stuff v. City of Chicago, et al., No. 1-14-0936, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 646).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Rejects Expert, Juror Challenges, Affirms Asbestos Defense Verdict

CHICAGO - A judge properly excluded Arthur Frank's trial testimony as a repackaging of his excluded "every exposure" testimony, and an investigation into a juror did not prejudice a jury's finding that tobacco and not asbestos caused a man's lung cancer, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 25 (Charles Krik v. Crane Co.; ExxonMobil Oil Corp.; Owens-Illinois Inc.; and The Marley-Wylain Co., No. 1:10-cv-70435, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Illinois Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Insurance Bad Faith Suit

CHICAGO - A state trial court did not err in granting an insurer's motion to dismiss in a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit because an insured failed to show that any breach of a homeowners insurance policy existed, an Illinois appellate panel ruled Aug. 21 (Robert Lytle v. Country Mutual Insurance Co., No. 1-14-2169, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div.; 2015 Ill App. Unpub. LEXIS 1855).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Rejects Daubert Challenges To 'Every Exposure' Asbestos Testimony

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A medical doctor's familiarity with different fibers qualifies him to testify as an expert in an asbestos case, and Illinois precedent does not bar him even if he plans on testifying that every exposure to asbestos leads to disease, a federal judge in Illinois held Aug. 20 (Charles Neureuther v. Atlas Copco Compressors LLC, et al., No. 13-1327, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 108782).