MADISON, Wis. - Plaintiffs alleging asbestos exposure from a nearby plant may not establish the standard of care by referencing Clean Air Act (CAA) regulations, but otherwise may pursue nuisance claims under Wisconsin law, a federal judge held June 2 (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-286, Richard Masephol v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-186, Janet Pecher, et al. v. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-147, Virginia Prust, et al. v. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-143, Roger Seehafer and Janice Seehafer v. Weyerhaeuser Co. and Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 14-161, Wesley Sydow and Theresa Sydow v. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-219, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70899).
CHICAGO - Former professional hockey player Steven Ludzik filed suit in federal court on June 1, alleging that the National Hockey League violated its duty to properly evaluate, monitor and treat brain trauma he suffered during practices and games during his eight-year career, causing him to develop Parkinson's disease (Steven Ludzik v. National Hockey League, et al., No. 15-4816, N.D. Ill.).
MADISON, Wis. - Plaintiffs' claims of childhood exposure to asbestos from door cores on their parents' clothing push the "plausibility boundary" but may proceed, a federal judge in Wisconsin held in granting reconsideration on June 2 (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-286, Richard Masephol v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-186, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71243).
CHICAGO - Failure to disclose a medical diagnosis the previously dismissed case in which it was filed warrants dismissing a subsequent case, a federal judge held in an opinion filed June 1. The judge gave the plaintiff's law firm 10 days to cause why they should not bear costs (Georgia Arendt, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 13-727, E.D. Wis.).
CHICAGO - The First District Illinois Appellate Court on May 29 determined that settlement releases between an insured and its insurers were ambiguous and did not specifically include underlying claims alleging injuries arising out of the exposure to various chemicals at the insured's facilities (Motorola Solutions Inc. v. Zurich Insurance Co. et al., Nos. 1-13-1529, 1-13-1530, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 415).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 29 granted without prejudice a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement and federal unfair competition lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction (Appjigger GmbH v. BLU Products Inc. et al., No. 14-9650, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69477).
CHICAGO - While one causation expert cannot offer an opinion on labeling for the antidepressant drug Lexapro in a wrongful death action filed by the father of a man who committed suicide after taking the drug because the expert's report was untimely, another causation expert can testify that Lexapro probably caused the son to kill himself because the expert is reliable and used sound methodology, an Illinois federal judge ruled May 26 (Mahasukh K. Shah v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 10-8163, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67554).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 22 certified a class of Chicago teachers alleging that mass layoffs in 2011 disproportionately affected black educators (Chicago Teachers Union, et al. v. Board of Education of the City of Chicago, No. 12-10338, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66960).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 21 partially struck an airline's affirmative defenses in a class complaint alleging damages caused by delay and cancellation of a domestic flight (Aleksey Bernfeld, et al. v. U.S. Airways Inc., No. 14-5573, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66677).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal magistrate judge on May 18 partially dismissed a class suit accusing the marketers of a craft whiskey of falsely advertising how the whiskey is made and allowed the plaintiffs to proceed with two claims only as they relate to allegedly fraudulent statements made online and on the product labels (Mario Aliano, et al. v. WhistlePig, LLC, et al., No. 14-10148, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64401).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 18 found that an insurer has no duty to defend its interstate motor carrier insured against an underlying suit brought by one of its independent truck drivers because the directors and officers and company coverage is barred by the policy's unpaid compensation and breach of contract exclusions (Altom Transport Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins., et al., No. 14-cv-9547, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64397).
CHICAGO - A commercial general liability insurer had a duty to defend allegations of defects in design and workmanship in a residential condominium and townhome development, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed May 15, finding that the duty was triggered because some of the allegations potentially fell within the coverage of the insurer's policy (West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. v. Pulte Home Corp., et al., No. 1-14-0355, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 6th Div.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1039).
CHICAGO - An insured is precluded from relitigating its right to a defense by its commercial general liability insurer in an underlying faulty workmanship lawsuit, an Illinois federal judge ruled May 15, finding that a previous lawsuit decided that the insured provided untimely notice that prejudiced the insurer (QBE Insurance Corp. v. Barrier Corp., No. 14-9512, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63801).
MADISON, Wis. - Barry Castleman, though not an official historian, may testify regarding trade journals and government publications based on his knowledge about the history of asbestos, a federal judge in Wisconsin held May 14. The judge excluded "every exposure" testimony from trial, saying the plaintiffs failed to file a substantive response in support (Gary Suoja, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 99-475, Barbara Connell, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 05-219, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63170).
PITTSBURGH - Although a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge found that no jurisdiction existed over a Chicago-based chocolatier that is the defendant in a cybersquatting lawsuit, in a May 12 ruling she opted to transfer the matter to Illinois rather than grant the defendant's dismissal motion (Mon Aimee Chocolat Inc. v. Tushiya LLC, et al., No. 2:14-cv-01568, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62048).
ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on May 13 found that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an $8 million settlement stemming from claims that the insured transmitted unsolicited fax advertisements, once again reversing a lower court in part (G.M. Sign Inc. v. Pennswood Partners Inc., No. 2-12-1276, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 356).
PHILADELPHIA - Illinois asbestos plaintiffs originally alleging nonmalignant diseases must file amended complaints alleging subsequent lung cancer, and on remand, the court must determine whether such amendment is proper, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held May 11 (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation; plaintiffs - Collins, Doyle, and Larweth, Nos. 13-2087, 13-2088, 13-2090, 14-1235, 14-1755, 14-1756, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7753).