CHICAGO - Allegations that Steak n Shake Inc. infringed the copyrighted television advertisement of a competitor were rejected Aug. 5 by an Illinois federal judge, who deemed the commercials dissimilar (Culver Franchising System Inc. v. Steak n Shake Inc., No. 16-75, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103091).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 4 vacated a Louisiana federal judge's ruling in favor of an insured seeking coverage for mitigation projects undertaken to address alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) because questions of fact exist as to whether the measures undertaken by the insured are "remediation costs" as defined by the policy at issue (Louisiana Generating LLC, et al. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-30914, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14344).
CHICAGO - The Illinois federal judge overseeing the testosterone multidistrict litigation on Aug. 4 identified eight AbbVie heart attack, stroke and blood clot cases for the MDL's first bellwether trials starting next year (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Aug. 1 dismissed an insurer's appeal and insureds' cross-appeal for lack of jurisdiction in a coverage dispute over a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against the insureds (Country Mutual Insurance Co. v. Best Pallet Company, LLC, et al., No. 1-14-1269, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1575).
CHICAGO - An insured's failure to obtain a storage agreement or warehouse receipt, as required by its insurance policy, bars coverage for the contamination of products stored at the insured's warehouse, but the policy's pollution exclusion does not apply because the pollution at issue is not "traditional" pollution under Illinois law, an Illinois federal judge said July 29 in granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (PQ Corp. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 13-3482, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99088).
PHILADELPHIA - In the second ruling of its kind, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 27 said the Avandia multidistrict litigation court has jurisdiction over common benefit fees and that an Illinois law firm is obligated to pay a 7 percent fee from the settlement of its state court multiplaintiff lawsuit (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-2990, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13655).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on July 22 approved the return of nearly $4 million Canadian to the Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co.'s liquidation estate that was held by a Canadian insurer that had been paying certain claims and obligation of Lumbermens' in Canada (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.).
CHICAGO - An insurer had no duty to defend an additional insured for construction defects in condominium units because nothing accidental was alleged, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed July 20, finding that the allegations include the additional insured's intentional bad acts or awareness of faulty workmanship (Westfield Insurance Co. v. West Van Buren, LLC and 933 Van Buren Condominium Association, No. 1-14-0862, Ill. App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 473).
CHICAGO - An art historian may opine that if a signature were authenticated, the market value for a piece of art would be between $6 million and $8 million, an Illinois federal judge ruled July 21, declining to exclude the historian's testimony (Robert Fletcher and Bartlow Gallery Ltd. v. Peter Doig, No. 13-3270, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95081).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 15 agreed to adopt a disability claimant's proposed additional findings; however, the judge said the judgment in favor of a disability insurer will stand because the claimant still did not prove that he was continuously disabled under the policy at issue (Stephen Dorf v. Standard Insurance Co., as successor to Minnesota Life Insurance Co., No. 13-6479, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92538).
CHICAGO - Yahoo Inc. and the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) filed simultaneous briefs in Illinois federal court July 15, debating whether the plaintiff had sufficiently pleaded damages to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Rachel Johnson v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 1:14-cv-02028, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - In an admiralty case, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on July 14 excluded an expert from testifying that boat captains could have requested that gates again be closed as they were approaching the protection cells (In the matter of the complaint of Ingram Barge Co. as owner of the M/V Dale A. Heller and the IB9525, IN025300, IN085089, IN095041, IN096081, IN107057, and IN117513, petitioning for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-3453 c/w In the matter of American Commercial Lines, LLC, as owner and Inland Marine Service, Inc., as owner pro hac vice of the M/V Loyd Murphy for exoneration from or limitation of liability, No. 13-4292, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91411).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on July 14 placed a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care marketplace co-op into rehabilitation because, according to the state's acting director of insurance, the insurer will suffer a $68 million loss due to the actions of Congress and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which would place the insurer in a hazardous position (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Anne Melissa Dowling, Acting Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois v. Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Company, No. 2016CH09210, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chanc. Div.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 11 denied a motion by Santander Consumer USA Inc. to dismiss the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) claim in a class suit accusing it of hounding debtors by phone and then charging them excessive fees for payments made over the phone or online (Cheryl Johnson-Morris, et al. v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., No. 16-1456, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89081).
CHICAGO - An Ohio resident who sued the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority for allegedly failing to properly inform drivers about how the highway tolls work failed to state a claim for relief, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 8 (Jeffrey D. Cochran v. Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, et al., No. 15-2689, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12567).
CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on July 11 denied an insurer's motion to transfer an asbestos-related late notice reinsurance dispute to a federal court in California (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. The American Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-04199, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - A former National Football League (NFL) player sued a helmet maker in Illinois state court on July 7, claiming that the helmet maker led players to believe that their helmets would protect them from head injury (Paul Hornung, et al v. BRG Sports LLC, et al., No. 2016-L-006686, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
CHICAGO - Two plaintiffs that filed putative class complaints alleging that Google Inc. violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via facial recognition capability in its "Google Photos" feature, filed a brief on July 1 in Illinois federal court opposing Google's motion to dismiss, arguing that the Internet giant violated the statute by collecting their biometric identifiers without their consent (Lindabeth Rivera v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02714, and Joseph Weiss v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02870, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - An insurer told a federal court in Illinois on July 5 that its reinsurer's case against it should be transferred to a federal court in California because the dispute is centered in California and not Illinois (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. The American Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-04199, N.D. Ill.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge did not err in dismissing Lanham Act claims levied by the holder of the world record holder for "hacky sack," the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 30 (Johannes T. Martin v. Living Essentials LLC, No. 16-1370, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12057).
MOUNT VERNON, Ill. - Consulting firm Exponent Inc. must produce unredacted versions of agendas for its meetings with Ford Motor Co. and other asbestos-friction defendants, an Illinois appeals court held June 30 (In re: All Litigation filed by Maune, Raichle, Hartley, French & Mudd LLC v. 3M Co., et al., No. 5-15-0235, Ill. App., 5th Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1392).