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Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Considers Expert's Opinion, Then Rules For Shipper In Trucker's Suit

CHICAGO - After allowing a trucking industry expert's opinions on the custom and practice in the shipping industry regarding securing loads in trailers, an Illinois federal judge on May 5 awarded a shipping company summary judgment on a truck driver's claims that the company was responsible for injuries he suffered when an unsecured load of pallets fell on him (Jerzy Kucharski, et al. v. Orbis Corporation, No. 14-cv-05574, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68611).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Considers Expert's Opinion, Then Rules For Shipper In Trucker's Suit

CHICAGO - After allowing a trucking industry expert's opinions on the custom and practice in the shipping industry regarding securing loads in trailers, an Illinois federal judge on May 5 awarded a shipping company summary judgment on a truck driver's claims that the company was responsible for injuries he suffered when an unsecured load of pallets fell on him (Jerzy Kucharski, et al. v. Orbis Corporation, No. 14-cv-05574, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68611).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Certification Denied In Dillard's Employee's Data Breach Suit Against Insurer

CHICAGO - An employee of the Dillard's department store chain saw her motion to certify a class action over a 2013 data breach denied May 3, when an Illinois federal judge found that individual issues dominated breach of contract claims against the retailer's insurer, which the plaintiff faulted for permitting employees' personally identifiable information (PII) to be exposed to identity thieves (Anne Dolmage v. Combined Insurance Company of America, No. 1:14-cv-03809, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67555).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Disabled Class Suing Kohl's Over Accessibility Is Denied Certification

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 2 refused to certify a class of disabled persons suing a retailer with stores in numerous states for failing to make the stores fully accessible to individuals who required mobility devices, finding that the plaintiffs have not demonstrated that the class meets all the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 (Equal Rights Center, et al. v. Kohl's Corporation, et al., No. 14-8259, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66390).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Complaint Fails To Allege Disparagement Claim; No Coverage, Illinois Panel Affirms

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on May 1 held that an underlying complaint did not contain allegations sufficient to constitute a claim of disparagement against an insured, affirming a lower court's ruling that the insurer has no duty to defend because coverage was not triggered (Green4all Energy Solutions, Inc. v. State Farm Insurance Co., No. 1-16-2499, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 874).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Dismisses Lanham Act Dispute Over Promotion

CHICAGO - Allegations by the world record holder for consecutive kicks of a footbag - commonly known as a "hacky sack" - that Wendy's International Inc. violated the Lanham Act by using his identity in a 2013 promotion were rejected April 28 by an Illinois federal judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) (Johannes Martin v. Wendy's International Inc., No. 15-6998, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64435).

Mealey's Insurance - Complaint Fails To Allege Disparagement Claim; No Coverage, Illinois Panel Affirms

CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on May 1 held that an underlying complaint did not contain allegations sufficient to constitute a claim of disparagement against an insured, affirming a lower court's ruling that the insurer has no duty to defend because coverage was not triggered (Green4all Energy Solutions, Inc. v. State Farm Insurance Co., No. 1-16-2499, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 874).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Police Officers Want Relief From Newspaper's Discovery Requests In DPPA Suit

CHICAGO - A group of Chicago police officers who sued a newspaper for violating the Drivers Privacy and Protection Act (DPPA) by publishing their personal information moved for a protective order in Illinois federal court on April 28, contending that the newspaper continues to seek improper and irrelevant information in discovery requests despite a previous order precluding it from doing so (Scott Dahlstrom, et al. v. Sun-Times Media LLC, No. 1:12-cv-00658, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Disability Insurer Is Entitled To Seek Reimbursement For Overpayment Of Benefits

CHICAGO - A disability insurer has a right to seek reimbursement for the overpayment of long-term disability benefits because both the terms of the disability plan and an agreement the claimant executed with the insurer afford the insurer the right to seek reimbursement, an Illinois federal judge said April 26 in denying the claimant's motion to dismiss the insurer's counterclaim (Natalie Schiavone v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 16-9848, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63035).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Excludes Testimony On Mirena As Scientifically Unreliable Under Daubert

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on April 25 granted a pharmaceutical company's motion to exclude the expert testimony of a physician in relation to an infection allegedly caused by an intrauterine device, finding that the testimony was not admissible because it was not scientifically reliable (Ivette Mercado v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 14-6699, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62550).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Excludes Testimony On Mirena As Scientifically Unreliable Under Daubert

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on April 25 granted a pharmaceutical company's motion to exclude the expert testimony of a physician in relation to an infection allegedly caused by an intrauterine device, finding that the testimony was not admissible because it was not scientifically reliable (Ivette Mercado v. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals Inc., No. 14-6699, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62550).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Illinois Federal Judge Certifies Debtor Class In FDCPA Suit

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on April 21 certified a class of more than 68,000 Illinois residents who were mailed collection letters that allegedly failed to include disclosures as required by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (Renetrice R. Pierre, et al. v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., No. 16-2895, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61107).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Aleve Kidney Injury Experts Excluded; Bayer Gets Summary Judgment

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on April 21 granted Bayer Corp.'s motion for summary judgment in an Aleve case after excluding the plaintiff's two experts from testified that the over-the-counter pain reliever caused permanent kidney damage (Kenneth Hale, et al. v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 15-745, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61077).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Aleve Kidney Injury Experts Excluded; Bayer Gets Summary Judgment

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on April 21 granted Bayer Corp.'s motion for summary judgment in an Aleve case after excluding the plaintiff's two experts from testifying that the over-the-counter pain reliever caused permanent kidney damage (Kenneth Hale, et al. v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 15-745, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61077).

Mealey's Insurance - Business Pursuits Exclusion Bars Coverage For Defamation Lawsuit, Judge Rules

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge on April 19 found that a homeowners insurance policy's "business pursuits" and "civic or public activities performed for pay" exclusions bar coverage for underlying defamation and false light claims brought against its insured, declaring that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured (Patricia Beil v. AMCO Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-356, S.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59757).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Bose Sued For Collecting, Sharing User Data Via Wireless Headphone, Speaker App

CHICAGO - Bose Corp. was hit with a putative eavesdropping class complaint in Illinois federal court April 18, when a customer alleged that the stereo equipment manufacturer has been collecting and sharing, via a smartphone application, records of its customers' private music and audio selections (Kyle Zak v. Bose Corp., No. 1:17-cv-02928, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - $3M Verdict Awarded Against GSK For Failing To Warn Of Suicide In Generic Paxil Case

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal jury on April 20 awarded $3 million to a widow after finding that GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK) failed to update the label for the antidepressant Paxil to warn that the drug can cause suicide in patients older than 24 (Wendy B. Dolin, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham Corporation, et al., No. 12-6403, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Jury Rules Against Residents In Groundwater Contamination Lawsuit

CHICAGO - A jury in Illinois federal court on April 13 issued a verdict against a group of residents who had sued two companies for allegedly contaminating its groundwater with vinyl chloride. The verdict sheet did not elaborate on the jury's decision (Village of Sauk Village v. Roadway Express Inc., et al., No. 15-9183, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Fact Issues Exist On If Independent Counsel Is Required For Insured's Defense

CHICAGO - In an insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against its commercial general liability insurer, an Illinois federal judge ruled April 11 that the parties failed to provide evidence to clear up genuine issues of material fact regarding whether independent counsel should be appointed for an insured in an underlying construction defects case (DePasquale Steel Erectors Inc. v. Gemini Insurance Co., No. 16-10892, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54917).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Disability Claimant Permitted To Depose Independent Medical Consultant, Federal Judge Says

CHICAGO - A disability claimant is permitted to depose an independent medical consultant because a physician's potential biases could affect a decision regarding whether the claimant was actually disabled, an Illinois federal judge said April 10 (Becky Harding v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 16-6700, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54241).

Mealey's Insurance - Disability Claimant Permitted To Depose Independent Medical Consultant, Federal Judge Says

CHICAGO - A disability claimant is permitted to depose an independent medical consultant because a physician's potential biases could affect a decision regarding whether the claimant was actually disabled, an Illinois federal judge said April 10 (Becky Harding v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 16-6700, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54241).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Counsel To Receive At Least $15.26M In Fees For Suit Over 'Free Cruise' Calls

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on April 6 approved a class counsel fee amount of at least $15.26 million, over defendants' objections, in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) settlement worth up to $76 million (Gerardo Aranda, et al. v. Caribbean Cruise Line, Inc., et al., No. 12-4069, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54080).

Mealey's Insurance - Broker Failed To State A Negligent Misrepresentation Claim, Illinois Panel Rules

ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois appeals panel on April 3 held that an insurance broker failed to state a claim for negligent misrepresentation against an insurer, further finding that the broker's professional negligence claim required expert testimony to establish the standard of care applicable between an insurer and a broker (Loomcraft Textile & Supply Co. v. Schwartz Brothers Insurance Agency, Inc., et al., No. 16-0557, Ill. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 713).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Magistrate Judge Refuses To Exclude Real Estate Appraisal Testimony

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal magistrate judge on April 4 declined to bar testimony from real estate appraisers in a dispute over a lease's purchase option between a gasoline retailer and a landlord because excluding either appraisal would upset the current balance (Buchanan Energy [N] LLC v. Lake Bluff Holdings LLC, No. 15-3851, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51403).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Sides With Defendants In Drug Patent Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Illinois federal judge's bench trial final judgment of infringement was reversed April 6 in a longstanding legal dispute over a patented process for preparing anticoagulant drugs featuring bivalirudin as an active ingredient (The Medicines Co. v. Mylan Inc., et al., Nos. 2015-1113, -1151, -1181, Fed. Cir.).