LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Coverage Owed For Mitigation Projects Under Pollution Policy, Federal Judge Says

BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on Aug. 5 determined that an insured is owed coverage for mitigation projects undertaken to address alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and said the insured's costs incurred during the mitigation were reasonable (Louisiana Generating LLC, et al. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al., No. 10-516, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102422).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Relator's False Claims Act Allegations Lack Specificity

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Aug. 5 dismissed without prejudice an office manager's allegations that two doctors violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by conspiring to unlawfully refer patients between two clinics and submitting fraudulent bills to Medicare, ruling that the pleadings did not satisfy the heightened pleading requirement of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b) (United States of America, ex rel. Deborah Radke v. Sinha Clinic Corp., et al, No. 12 cv 6238, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102699).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Economic-Loss Doctrine Does Not Bar Property Damage Claims

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on July 31 denied portions of Tamko Building Products Inc.'s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit over alleged defects in its roofing shingles, ruling that plaintiffs could pursue strict liability and negligence claims stemming from damage that allegedly occurred to their homes as a result of the shingles prematurely cracking (Richard Disher, et al. v. Tamko Building Products Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-740, S.D. Ill.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Montana High Court: Testimony That Crash Caused ALS Admissible

HELENA, Mont. - Although a Montana state court properly excluded testimony by an expert that trauma could contribute to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), it abused its discretion in finding that a second expert is not qualified to offer an opinion that trauma from a car crash was the "proximate cause" of a woman's ALS, the Montana Supreme Court held Aug. 4 (Carol J. McClue, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. DA 14-0375, Mont. Sup.; 2015 Mont. LEXIS 399).

Mealey's Insurance - Montana High Court: Testimony That Crash Caused ALS Admissible

HELENA, Mont. - Although a Montana state court properly excluded testimony by an expert that trauma could contribute to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), it abused its discretion in finding that a second expert is not qualified to offer an opinion that trauma from a car crash was the "proximate cause" of a woman's ALS, the Montana Supreme Court held Aug. 4 (Carol J. McClue, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. DA 14-0375, Mont. Sup.; 2015 Mont. LEXIS 399).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Economic-Loss Doctrine Does Not Bar Property Damage Claims

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on July 31 denied portions of Tamko Building Products Inc.'s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit over alleged defects in its roofing shingles, ruling that plaintiffs could pursue strict liability and negligence claims stemming from damage that allegedly occurred to their homes as a result of the shingles prematurely cracking (Richard Disher, et al. v. Tamko Building Products Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-740, S.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Montana High Court: Testimony That Crash Caused ALS Admissible

HELENA, Mont. - Although a Montana state court properly excluded testimony by an expert that trauma could contribute to the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), it abused its discretion in finding that a second expert is not qualified to offer an opinion that trauma from a car crash was the "proximate cause" of a woman's ALS, the Montana Supreme Court held Aug. 4 (Carol J. McClue, et al. v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. DA 14-0375, Mont. Sup.; 2015 Mont. LEXIS 399).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Panel: No Coverage Owed For Class Action Arising From Unsolicited Text Messages

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Aug. 3 held that a class action claimant has failed to show that a list of potential customers for cosmetic surgery services contained personally identifiable financial, credit or medical information, affirming a lower court's finding that a professional liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against the class action (Doctors Direct Insurance Inc. v. David Bochenek, et al., No. 1-14-2919, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 579).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 7th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Quiet Title, Fraud And ICFA Claims

CHICAGO - After finding that a district court properly dismissed claims for quiet title and violation of Illinois law, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 31 affirmed a district court's decision to grant summary judgment in favor of several lenders and mortgage entities (David Cocroft, et al. v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., et al., No. 14-1640, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13368).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: No Coverage Owed For Class Action Arising From Unsolicited Text Messages

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Aug. 3 held that a class action claimant has failed to show that a list of potential customers for cosmetic surgery services contained personally identifiable financial, credit or medical information, affirming a lower court's finding that a professional liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against the class action (Doctors Direct Insurance Inc. v. David Bochenek, et al., No. 1-14-2919, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 579).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Illinois Court Finds Exclusion Of Asbestos Exposure Evidence Fatal

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A judge erred in excluding evidence attempting to show that a man's disease arose not from a defendant's conduct but from work at a facility tainted with asbestos dust, an Illinois appeals panel held July 30 (James Smith v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., No. 4-14-0703, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 573).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Court Finds Exclusion Of Asbestos Exposure Evidence Fatal

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A judge erred in excluding evidence attempting to show that a man's disease arose not from a defendant's conduct but from work at a facility tainted with asbestos dust, an Illinois appeals panel held July 30 (James Smith v. Illinois Central Railroad Co., No. 4-14-0703, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 573).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 7th Circuit Affirms Dismissal, Sanctions For Third-Party Contribution Suit

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois did not err when finding that a trucking company could not pursue a contribution claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) against parties with which it previously entered into a settlement agreement and properly sanctioned the company $200,000 pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 11, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 27 (United States of America v. Rogers Carnage Company, et al., Nos. 12-3624, 13-3052, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12926).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Won't Reconsider Consumer Fraud Ruling Against Purdue Pharma

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 27 denied a motion by Purdue Pharma L.P. to reconsider his order denying dismissal of consumer fraud claims brought by the City of Chicago and denied Chicago's motion to clarify the motion dismissing claims against six other opioid manufacturers (City of Chicago v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., et al., No. 14-4362, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Ill. Appeals Court Upholds Ruling That Agency Properly Responded To Comments

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A Illinois appeals panel on July 22 upheld the Pollution Control Board's ruling finding that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) properly responded to public comments regarding its decision to award a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination system (NPDES) permit to a coal-fired electric generating facility and that the agency was not required to establish a case-by-case basis for determining if the energy supplier was using the best available technology for limiting its discharges of mercury (Natural resources Defense Council, et al. v. The Pollution Control Board, et al., No. 4-14-0644, Ill. App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 559).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Experts Cleared To Testify At Michael Jordan's Right-Of-Publicity Damages Trial

CHICAGO - Two opposing damages experts - one for basketball great Michael Jordan and the other for two supermarket chains that Jordan says violated his right of publicity under Illinois state law - can testify on the fair market value of the chains' misappropriation of Jordan's identity in a magazine advertisement, a federal judge in Illinois held July 23 (Michael Jordan, et al. v. Dominick's Finer Foods, et al., No. 10-407, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95921).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Grants Final Approval To $62M Settlement And Fee Award In 401(k) Case

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on July 17 awarded $20.6 million in fees and $1.6 million in costs and, on July 20, granted final approval to a $62 million settlement of claims by participants in two of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s 401(k) plans that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing the plans to pay excessive administrative expenses, by investing in a stable-value fund (SVF) that did not result in a rate of return that was sufficient for a retirement asset and by mismanaging the plan's company stock funds (CSFs) (Anthony Abbott, et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., No. 06-cv-701, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93206).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Risk Of Diving Into Lake Was Obvious, Michigan Appeals Court Rules

ELGIN, Ill. - The danger posed by diving into a lake was open and obvious; therefore, the operator of a recreational resort owed no duty of care to a man who suffered a broken neck after diving off a pier, the Illinois Second District Appellate Court ruled July 21 (Krysztof Bujnowski v. Birchland Inc., No. 2-14-0578, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 557).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Avandia MDL Judge Rules Illinois Plaintiff Attorney Must Pay Common Fees

PHILADELPHIA - An Illinois plaintiff law firm implicitly agreed to used common benefit work product from the Avandia multidistrict litigation and its settled state court cases are subject to the MDL court's 7 percent common benefit assessment, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled July 21 (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1871, No. 07-md-1871, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Grants Final Approval To $62M Settlement And Fee Award In 401(k) Case

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on July 17 awarded $20.6 million in fees and $1.6 million in costs and, on July 20, granted final approval to a $62 million settlement of claims by participants in two of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s 401(k) plans that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing the plans to pay excessive administrative expenses, by investing in a stable-value fund (SVF) that did not result in a rate of return that was sufficient for a retirement asset and by mismanaging the plan's company stock funds (CSFs) (Anthony Abbott, et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., No. 06-cv-701, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93206).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Nurse Was 'Borrowed Employee' Subject To Workers' Comp Act, Illinois Court Rules

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - No issue of material fact remains as to whether a nurse assigned by a health care staffing agency to work in a hospital was a temporary employee of the hospital when she was injured after slipping and falling on the hospital premises, an Illinois appeals court ruled July 16 (Shelley Reichling v. Touchette Regional Hospital Inc., No. 5-14-0412, Ill. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 543).

Mealey's Insurance - Massachusetts Federal Judge: Factors Weigh In Favor Of Transferring Suit To Illinois

BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on July 15 granted an insured's motion to transfer an insurer's suit to Illinois federal court because the State of Illinois has a greater interest in resolving the dispute as it involves the cleanup of contaminated property within Illinois (Federal Insurance Co. v. XTRA Intermodal Inc., et al., No. 14-14010, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91992).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Nurse Was 'Borrowed Employee' Subject To Workers' Comp Act, Illinois Court Rules

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - No issue of material fact remains as to whether a nurse assigned by a health care staffing agency to work in a hospital was a temporary employee of the hospital when she was injured after slipping and falling on the hospital premises, an Illinois appeals court ruled July 16 (Shelley Reichling v. Touchette Regional Hospital Inc., No. 5-14-0412, Ill. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 543).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Substantially Trims Claims In Securities Class Action Lawsuit

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on July 10 substantially dismissed a shareholder class action lawsuit against Navistar International Corp. and certain of its officers and directors, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action failed to plead an actionable misrepresentation or scienter (Construction Workers Pension Trust Fund, et al. v. Navistar International Corp., et al., No. 13-2111, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90152).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Illinois Federal Judge Tosses Class Suit Over Wine Telemarketing Calls

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 9 dismissed a class complaint without prejudice after determining that the plaintiff, who sued wine sellers for allegedly violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by placing telemarketing calls, failed to show that the defendants employed an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) (Nicholas Martin, et al. v. Direct Wines, Inc., et al., No. 15-757, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89015).