LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - MDL Judge Denies Interlocutory Appeal Of AndroGel Failure-To-Warn Preemption Issue

CHICAGO - The Illinois federal judge overseeing the testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict litigation on Sept. 18 denied a motion by defendants AbbVie Inc. and Abbott Laboratories to certify for interlocutory appeal the court's ruling denying summary judgment on failure-to-warn claims (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-01748, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - MDL Judge Won't Keep AndroGel Marketing Out Of Bellwether Retrial

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal multidistrict litigation judge on Sept. 13 denied a motion by AbbVie Inc. to reconsider his decision allowing certain marketing evidence in a Sept. 18 retrial of an AndroGel heart attack case (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 14-1748, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Black & Decker Loses Out On $54M Trademark Verdict Due To Expert's Flawed Survey

CHICAGO - Two companies got a $54 million trademark infringement verdict against them tossed Sept. 11 when an Illinois federal judge granted them a new trial based on the unreliability and irrelevance of expert testimony regarding the likelihood of consumer confusion about the products at issue, which the judge said probably "unfairly influenced the jury's verdict" (The Black & Decker Corporation, et al. v. Positec USA Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-5426, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147463).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Black & Decker Loses Out On $54M Trademark Verdict Due To Expert's Flawed Survey

CHICAGO - Two companies got a $54 million trademark infringement verdict against them tossed Sept. 11 when an Illinois federal judge granted them a new trial based on the unreliability and irrelevance of expert testimony regarding the likelihood of consumer confusion about the products at issue, which the judge said probably "unfairly influenced the jury's verdict" (The Black & Decker Corporation, et al. v. Positec USA Inc., et al., No. 11-cv-5426, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147463).

Mealey's Insurance - Repopulation Of Bird Flock Lost In Avian Flu Outbreak Is Covered Under Policy

MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on Sept. 12 determined that an insured is entitled to reimbursement for the costs of repopulating its bird flock after an outbreak of the avian flu virus required the flock to be destroyed because the destruction of the birds qualifies as a remediation expense as it is damaged property (Rembrandt Enterprises Inc. v. Illinois Union Insurance Co., No. 15-2913, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147030).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Dermatologist Convicted On Fraud Charges Does Not Deserve New Trial

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 11 ruled that a dermatologist who was found guilty of eight counts of health care fraud and eight counts of making false statements related to health care matters is not entitled to a new trial, finding that the evidence presented by the government supported his conviction and that even if statements made by the prosecution during closing arguments were improper, they were not a reversible error (United States of America v. Omeed Memar, No. 15 CR 345, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146306).

Mealey's Insurance - Court: ACA Lifetime Benefit Cap Provision Doesn't Cover ERISA Retiree Plan

PASADENA, Calif. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s ban on lifetime benefit maximums does not apply to retiree plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, but the plan documents are sufficiently confusing to state a cause of action, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 8 (Gary King, et al. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, et al., No. 15-55880, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17387).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Affirms Dismissal Of Law Firm's Suit Seeking Legal Fees From Clients' Insurer

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Sept. 7 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a law firm's amended complaint against its clients' professional liability insurer fails to adequately plead claims for account stated and fraudulent misrepresentation (Law Offices of Arnold Landis, P.C., v. OneBeacon Midwest Insurance Company, No. 1-16-0079, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 4th Div., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1834).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Trims RICO Claims From Insurers' Fraud Suit, Finds No Enterprise

MINNEAPOLIS - A federal judge in Minnesota on Sept. 7 dismissed with prejudice claims asserted by four insurance companies that two chiropractors, their firms and individuals who allegedly recruited patients for the doctors violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, finding that the companies' allegations failed to show the existence of an enterprise (Illinois Farmers Insurance Company, et al. v. Timothy W. Guthman, et al., No. 17-270, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144866).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Court: ACA Lifetime Benefit Cap Provision Doesn't Cover ERISA Retiree Plan

PASADENA, Calif. - The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s ban on lifetime benefit maximums does not apply to retiree plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, but the plan documents are sufficiently confusing to state a cause of action, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Sept. 8 (Gary King, et al. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, et al., No. 15-55880, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17387).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Finds Fault With Life-Care Planner's Methods In Injured Hunter's Suit

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 5 disallowed testimony by a life-care-planning expert for a man injured in a deer-hunting accident after finding that the expert's opinions are not reliable or based on proper methodology; the judge then excluded testimony by the injured man's expert forensic economist because her opinions were based on the life care expert's now-excluded report (Jordan Queen v. W.I.C., Inc. d/b/a Sniper Treestands, No. 14-cv-519, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143087).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Illinois Federal Judge Trims Warranty Claims From Kefir Labeling Class Suit

CHICAGO - A consumer suing the maker of kefir for allegedly making false claims on its labeling can't proceed with warranty claims as he failed to notify the defendant of his concerns prior to filing suit, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 6, granting a motion of dismissal only as to those two claims (Andrew Block, et al. v. Lifeway Foods, Inc., No. 17-1717, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143828).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge: Copyright Dispute Over Updated Manual Can Proceed

CHICAGO - In a Sept. 6 order, an Illinois federal judge deemed allegations by a not-for-profit corporation that a defendant infringed a copyrighted accreditation manual adequately pleaded to survive a motion to dismiss (The Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations v. Fortis Business Media LLC, No. 16-4724, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144217).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Finds Fault With Life-Care Planner's Methods In Injured Hunter's Suit

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 5 disallowed testimony by a life-care-planning expert for a man injured in a deer-hunting accident after finding that the expert's opinions are not reliable or based on proper methodology; the judge then excluded testimony by the injured man's expert forensic economist because her opinions were based on the life care expert's now-excluded report (Jordan Queen v. W.I.C., Inc. d/b/a Sniper Treestands, No. 14-cv-519, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143087).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Issues Remain On Pollution Exclusion, Primary Insurance Exhaustion

CHICAGO - An insured showed that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether all primary policies have been exhausted for an excess insurance policy to be triggered and as to whether a pollution exclusion applies, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 7, denying summary judgment to a reinsurer who indemnified the excess policy (Velsicol Chemical LLC v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-2534, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144698).

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

CHICAGO - In an unpublished opinion, an Illinois appellate panel on Sept. 5 affirmed a defense verdict in a premises liability suit after finding that a woman who injured herself on a pull-up bar in a friend's home was not prejudiced by allowing the jury to hear certain deposition testimony from her physician and that the trial court did not err by using a premises liability instruction rather than a general negligence instruction (Amy Zehnder v. Jay M. Dutton, No. 1-16-2668, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1788).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Certification Denied In Bumbo Seat Fraud, Unjust Enrichment Suit

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 28 denied a motion for class certification filed in an Illinois woman's lawsuit accusing the maker of a baby seat of making deceptive claims about its product, finding the class to be overbroad and inappropriate for class certification under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) and 23(b)(3) (Elizabeth Clark, et al. v. Bumbo International Trust, No. 15-2725, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137607).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Merged Funeral Homes Found To Be Single Employer, Ordered To Arbitrate

CHICAGO - Two funeral home companies that were owned by the same parties, merged and then ceased operations were a single employer and failed to show that the combined employees amounted to one individual, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 28, rejecting the employer's attempt to claim that it properly repudiated the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) under the National Labor Relation Board's "one-man unit rule" (Cremation Society of Illinois, Inc. v. International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 727, No. 16-2322, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 16449).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Objector's Counsel In Settled Suit Over 'Free Cruise' Calls Is Denied Attorney Fees

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 24 denied a motion for nearly $60,000 in attorney fees filed by an objector in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) class suit that was settled for up to $76 million, finding that the objector's counsel did not provide a material benefit to the class (Gerardo Aranda, et al. v. Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc., et al., No. 12-4069, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135755).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Illinois Federal Judge Tosses Class Suit Over Zillow Housing Values

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Aug. 23 dismissed a class suit filed by the owners of a Shaumburg, Ill., property who claimed that a real estate website underestimated the value of their property in violation of Illinois state laws, finding that the plaintiff's claims failed under Illinois statutory law (Vipul P. Patel, et al. v. Zillow, Inc., et al., No. 17-4008, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134785).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Jury Awards $148 Million To Woman Partially Paralyzed From Bus Shelter Collapse

CHICAGO - An Illinois state court jury on Aug. 24 awarded $148 million to a woman who was partially paralyzed after a bus shelter at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago collapsed on her because of the city's failure to maintain and repair the shelter (Tierney Darden v. Chicago, No. 2015 L 008311, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Multiplaintiff Essure Suit Again Remanded To State Court On Citizenship

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - Ignoring a recent U.S. Supreme Court jurisdiction ruling and its progeny, an Illinois federal judge on Aug. 22 said nondiverse citizenship governs and granted remand a second time of an Essure multiplaintiff lawsuit to Illinois state court (Christy Rios, et al. v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 17-758, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134222).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of Copyright Claims

CHICAGO - Although granting one defendant's motion to dismiss allegations of professional negligence as preempted by the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. 301(a), an Illinois federal judge on Aug. 21 denied another defendant's request for dismissal of contributory and vicarious infringement claims (UIRC-GSA Holdings Inc. v. William Blair & Company, et al., No. 15-9518, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133287).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Jurisdiction Plainly Lacking For Crane's RICO Claims, Law Firm Tells 7th Circuit

CHICAGO - A federal court in Illinois correctly dismissed fraud and racketeering claims leveled by frequent asbestos defendant John Crane Inc. (JCI) against two law firms and their principals for lack of jurisdiction because the asbestos cases giving rise to the claims did not occur in Illinois, one of the firms argues in an Aug. 16 brief to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (John Crane Inc. v. Shein Law Center Ltd., et al., Nos. 17-1809 and 17-1926, John Crane Inc. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, et al., No. 17-1814, 7th Cir.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 7th Circuit Panel Affirms Woman's Illinois State Law Claims Preempted By ERISA

CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 10 affirmed that a woman's Illinois state law wage claim is completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because she could have brought her claim under ERISA and because her claims did not implicate a legal duty independent of ERISA (Heather Studer v. Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital, No. 16-3728, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 14800).