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Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Missouri Federal Judge Permits Discovery On Insured's Understanding Of Policies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on Nov. 1 determined that a pollution liability insurer is entitled to the production of documents related to whether overlapping coverage exists under the policies at issue and what the insured's understanding of the policies at issue was when the policies were issued (Sunflower Redevelopment LLC v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., No. 15-577, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180710).

Mealey's Insurance - Missouri Federal Judge Permits Discovery On Insured's Understanding Of Policies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on Nov. 1 determined that a pollution liability insurer is entitled to the production of documents related to whether overlapping coverage exists under the policies at issue and what the insured's understanding of the policies at issue was when the policies were issued (Sunflower Redevelopment LLC v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., No. 15-577, W.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180710).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Proves No Duty To Defend Absent 'Suit,' But Duty To Indemnify Remains

CHICAGO - Although the absence of a "suit" means that an insurer has no duty to defend a general contractor, an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 31 that the insurer failed to identify a limitation or exclusion that would preclude its duty to indemnify (Old Republic Insurance Co. v. Kenny Construction Co., No. 15-03524, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180412).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Illinois Federal Judge Transfers Suit Over Honda's Soy-Covered Wiring To California

CHICAGO - A class complaint accusing American Honda Motor Co. Inc. of warranty violations for failing to cover the cost to replace wiring covered in a soy-based product that was allegedly eaten by rodents belongs in California based primarily on the interest of justice, an Illinois federal judge ruled Nov. 2, granting a motion to transfer filed by the defendant (Michael Preston, et al. v. American Honda Motor Company, Inc., No. 17-3549, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181635).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Plaintiffs Will Ask 7th Circuit To Review Dismissal Of Dimensional Lumber Suit

CHICAGO - Two men who initiated a class action lawsuit against a home improvement store claiming that the company falsely advertised the size of dimensional lumber on Oct. 30 filed a notice of appeal in Illinois federal court stating that they intend to appeal a Sept. 29 ruling dismissing their suit (Michael Fuchs, et al. v. Menard, Inc., No. 17-01752, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiffs Will Ask 7th Circuit To Review Dismissal Of Dimensional Lumber Suit

CHICAGO - Two men who initiated a class action lawsuit against a home improvement store claiming that the company falsely advertised the size of dimensional lumber on Oct. 30 filed a notice of appeal in Illinois federal court stating that they intend to appeal a Sept. 29 ruling dismissing their suit (Michael Fuchs, et al. v. Menard, Inc., No. 17-01752, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Plaintiffs Defend Article III Standing In Facebook Biometric Class Action

SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 26 brief opposing Facebook Inc.'s dismissal motion, the plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging violation of Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via a photo-tagging feature tell a California federal court that they established standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution due to Facebook's invasion of their concrete, statutorily protected privacy rights (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer's Motion To Remove Bad Faith Suit Was Not Timely, Federal Judge Says

SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Oct. 25 granted an insured's motion to remand in an auto coverage suit after determining that the insurer's notice of removal was not timely filed because the insurer had knowledge when the insured filed the complaint in state court that the damages would exceed the federal jurisdictional minimum amount of $75,000 (Anthony Grazia v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois, No. 17-1130, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177179).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Has No Duty To Indemnify Insured For Loss Over Damaged Lawns, Panel Affirms

ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on Oct. 26 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to indemnify its insured for the expenses it incurred in restoring 26 lawns that were damaged due to the negligence of one of its employees (DeMeester's Flower Shop and Greenhouse, Inc. v. Florists' Mutual Insurance Company, Inc., et al., No. 2-16-1001, Ill. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 666).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Awards $650,000 In Copyright, Trademark Case

CHICAGO - A defendant who sold counterfeit "Monster Energy" products online was ordered by an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 23 to pay Monster Energy Co. $650,000 in damages in connection with allegations of copyright and trademark infringement (Monster Energy Company v. Zheng Peng, et al., No. 17-414, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175287).

Mealey's Insurance - Illinois Panel Reverses Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Dispute Over $5.2M Verdict

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Oct. 18 found that a lower court erred in determining that emergency medical services fell within the scope of an insurance policy's "products-completed operations hazard" provision, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer in a dispute over coverage for an underlying $5.2 million jury verdict (The City of Park Ridge, et al. v. Clarendon American Insurance Company, et al., No. 01-17-0453, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 3rd Div., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 656).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Divided Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Ineligibility Findings

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Illinois federal judge did not err in declaring four patents ineligible under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, because the invention is directed to the abstract idea of paying for public transportation with a credit card and lacks a sufficiently inventive concept, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 18 (Smart Systems Innovations LLC v. Chicago Transit Authority, et al., No. 16-1233, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20333).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert For Bankruptcy Fraud Defendant Cannot Testify, Federal Judge Rules

CHICAGO - An expert witness for a man charged with criminal bankruptcy fraud was barred from testifying at trial on Oct. 14 by an Illinois federal judge, who found that the expert's opinions are unreliable due to a lack of any methodology and amount to "legal conclusions that are not within the province of the expert" (United States of America v. Eric E. Neushwander, No. 15-cr-542, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170130).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Trade Secrets, Other Claims Not Plausible On Face, Former Business Partner Says

CHICAGO - A company has failed to show that its trade secrets misappropriation, trademark infringement, breach of contract and other claims against its former business partner are plausible on their face and, thus, dismissal of those claims is warranted, the former business partner argues in an Oct. 10 motion to dismiss filed in Illinois federal court (Mighty Deer Lick Inc., d/b/a Mighty Deer Lick Sweet Apple Inc., v. Morton Salt Inc., No. 17-5875, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Fact Issues Exist Over Knowledge Of Claim Under Performance Bond

CHICAGO - Material fact issues remain as to when a contractor knew of a construction defects claim under a performance bond, an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 10, denying summary judgment on a surety's statute of limitations defense (James McHugh Construction Co. v. International Fidelity Insurance Co., No. 14-02399, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166729).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses RESPA Claim As Barred By State Court Ruling

CHICAGO - After finding that a borrower's claims related to his requests for a loan modification from a lender were barred by a previous state court foreclosure judgment, an Illinois federal judge on Oct. 10 dismissed his claim for violation of the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) (James Alexander Saadi v. Citimortgage Inc., No. 17-1966, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166986).

Mealey's Insurance - Disability Claimant Properly Exhausted Administrative Remedies, Federal Judge Says

PEORIA, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Oct. 10 denied a motion to dismiss a complaint alleging wrongful denial of disability benefits after determining that the claimant exhausted her administrative remedies by submitting additional medical evidence in response to the disability insurer's denial of her claim (Sherry Meyer v. Group Long Term Disability Plan for Employees of Edward D. Jones & Co. L.P., et al., No. 16-1282, C.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166947).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Transvaginal Mesh Expert's Opinions Mostly Allowed By Illinois Federal Judge

CHICAGO - An expert for a couple seeking damages for injuries caused by a transvaginal mesh can offer opinions on several topics, such as using other synthetic mesh devices as safer alternatives to the one in question, "but the testimony must be limited to his area of expertise, and his opinions must not involve legal or regulatory matters," an Illinois federal judge held Oct. 6 (Christine Wiltgen, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-2400, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165932).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Transvaginal Mesh Expert's Opinions Mostly Allowed By Illinois Federal Judge

CHICAGO - An expert for a couple seeking damages for injuries caused by a transvaginal mesh can offer opinions on several topics, such as using other synthetic mesh devices as safer alternatives to the one in question, "but the testimony must be limited to his area of expertise, and his opinions must not involve legal or regulatory matters," an Illinois federal judge held Oct. 6 (Christine Wiltgen, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-2400, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165932).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Illinois Appeals Panel Affirms Defense Verdict In Medical Malpractice Suit

ELGIN, Ill. - A panel of the Second District Illinois Appellate Court on Oct. 4 affirmed a defense verdict in a medical malpractice suit after finding that the trial court did not err in allowing two expert witnesses to testify and that there was not any improper contact between a hospital's attorneys and one of its former employees (Judith Caldwell v. Advocate Condell Medical Center, No. 2-16-0456, Ill. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 638).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - AbbVie Ordered To Pay $140.1M Awarded In Retrial Of AndroGel MDL Bellwether Case

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal jury on Oct. 5 awarded an AndroGel heart attack plaintiff $140.1 million in a testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict litigation retrial (Jeffrey Konrad, et al. v. AbbVie, Inc., et al., No. 15-966, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Illinois Federal Judge Decides Admissible Evidence In Bad Faith Coverage Dispute

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 27 determined that an insured's claims for punitive damages and attorney fees should be withheld from a jury but that evidence related to how long the insurer took to process the insured's claim is relevant for the jury to hear as it pertains to the insured's claim for bad faith arising out of a dispute for lost business property and income caused by the contamination of the insured's property and business with lead dust (Jordan Mozer & Associates Ltd. v. General Casualty Company of Wisconsin, No. 14-10264, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159518).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Facebook Renews Bid To Dismiss Biometric Collection Class Action

SAN FRANCISCO - Facebook Inc. on Sept. 28 filed a renewed motion in California federal court to dismiss a putative class action alleging violation of Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via a photo-tagging feature, arguing that the plaintiffs fail to allege concrete injury sufficient to establish jurisdiction under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Judge Orders Rolling Paper Documents To Be Turned Over For Discovery

CHICAGO - A magistrate judge in an Illinois federal court on Sept. 27 ordered a tobacco company to produce documents regarding the design of its rolling papers that are in the possession of one of its French subsidiaries in a trademark infringement countersuit after finding that French law does not entirely preempt the company making those documents available for discovery (Republic Technologies LLC, et al. v. BBK Tobacco & Foods LLP, No. 16 3401, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158986).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Magistrate Judge Orders Rolling Paper Documents To Be Turned Over For Discovery

CHICAGO - A magistrate judge in an Illinois federal court on Sept. 27 ordered a tobacco company to produce documents regarding the design of its rolling papers that are in the possession of one of its French subsidiaries in a trademark infringement countersuit after finding that French law does not entirely preempt the company making those documents available for discovery (Republic Technologies LLC, et al. v. BBK Tobacco & Foods LLP, No. 16 3401, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158986).