GREENSBORO, N.C. - An insurer received mixed results in its challenge to claims that it failed to properly compensate the developer of a colorectal cancer screening test, with a federal judge in North Carolina dismissing some of the claims on March 27 but largely allowing Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims to proceed (Exact Sciences Corp. and Exact Sciences Laboratories LLC v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, No. 16-125, M.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44679).
BOSTON - A reinsurer asked a federal court in Massachusetts on March 24 to compel its reinsured to supply documents relating to the allocation of asbestos-related losses (Lamorak Insurance Company v. Everest Reinsurance Co., No. 15-cv-13425, D. Mass.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A de novo standard of review must be applied in a claimant's suit seeking long-term disability benefits because the plan's discretionary authority provision is void under California state law, a California federal judge said March 27 (Peter Englert v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 15-4814, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44833).
SAN DIEGO - A class lawsuit over nutritional supplement labeling belongs in state court because the combined amount in controversy is less than $5 million, even when a 25 percent attorney fee award is included, a California federal judge ruled March 24, rejecting arguments by both sides that the case should remain in federal court (Paige Petkevicius, et al. v. NBTY, Inc., et al., No. 14-2616, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43636).
SAN FRANCISCO - Wells Fargo & Co. and Wells Fargo Bank N.A. have agreed to pay $110 million to end claims by a class of individuals who allege that the banking company opened accounts, enrolled them in products and services and submitted applications for products and services without consent, according to a joint notice of settlement filed March 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Shahriar Jabbari, et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, et al., No. 15-2159, N.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 27 dismissed a consumer's amended complaint in which she asserted violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims related to partially hydrogenated vegetable oils in popcorn that she purchased, finding that the pleading contained the same defects as the original complaint (Jacquelyn McGee v. Diamond Foods Inc., No. 14cv2446, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44723).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer submitted her report to a Pennsylvania court on March 28, outlining $17.2 million in reinsurance collections and other details (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - In a March 25 motion, the plaintiffs in a putative class action over a 2015 data breach experienced by Experian Information Solutions Inc. asked a California federal court to compel production of post-breach investigative documents by a security vendor, disputing the defendant's claim that the documents are shielded by attorney-client privilege (In Re Experian Data Breach Litigation, No. 8:15-cv-01592, C.D. Calif.).
MINNEAPOLIS - In the wake of the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' rejection and remand of a proposed settlement between Target Corp. and a class of consumers whose personally identifiable information (PII) was compromised in 2013 data breaches, the consumers on March 27 filed a memorandum in Minnesota federal court supporting a newly filed motion for class certification and defending the adequacy of their class representation (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 14-2522, D. Minn.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on March 24 granted a patent owner's request to cancel 19 claims of a single-serve beverage brewing machine patent, on the heels of a January decision by the board that granted inter partes review (Keurig Green Mountain Inc. v. Touch Coffee & Beverages LLC, No. IPR2016-01394, PTAB).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Because a disability claimant failed to file an administrative appeal within 180 days of the termination of his long-term disability (LTD) benefits, the claimant's suit against the disability insurer is barred, an Alabama federal magistrate judge said March 24 (Joey Horton v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 15-933, N.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42830).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on March 24 denied a dairy's motion for judgment on the pleadings after finding that a plaintiff corporation sufficiently alleged that the dairy discharged hazardous substances that are covered by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Citizens Development Corporation v. County of San Diego, et al., No. 12cv0334, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43785).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on March 27 held that underlying class allegations against an insured do not allege bodily injury claims and, as a result, do not seek damages because of bodily injury, granting an insurer's motion for partial summary judgment in a coverage dispute over claims that the insured's athletic tape does not work as advertised (The Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. KT Health Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 16-11722, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44432).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on March 28 partially granted a motion filed by former property owners to amend their complaint against a loan servicer in relation to a foreclosure action, finding that amendment of their common-law fraud claim would be futile (Roger Law, et al. v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No.16-2675, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45758).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on March 25 granted a Canadian mining company's petition to confirm a $1.2 billion arbitral award issued by an international tribunal, rejecting the Republic of Venezuela's challenges to the award (Crystallex International Corp. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. 16-0661, D. D.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43697).
NEW YORK - A New York appellate panel on March 28 unanimously affirmed a lower court's decision to grant summary judgment in a medical malpractice suit because the hospital and doctor accused of negligence showed through expert testimony that a surgery was not the proximate cause of a man losing vision in his right eye (Charles Steinberg, et al. v. Lenox Hill Hospital, et al., No. 805358/13, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2334).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A woman who claims that a roofing subcontractor defectively installed the roof on her home that eventually needed to be replaced can pursue a cause of action for breach of contract but cannot assert claims for unjust enrichment and attorney fees, a federal judge in New York ruled March 24 (Debra Rothberg v. Phil's Main Roofing, LLC, No. 14-cv-10095, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44839).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Bifurcation and a stay of all noncontractual claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is not proper because bifurcation would not result in a "more expeditious resolution" of the action, a federal judge in New Mexico ruled March 27 in denying an insurer's motion to bifurcate (Theresa Martinez v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 16-1029, D. N.M., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44277).
BOSTON - Six days after his co-defendant's trial ended in a mixed verdict, Glenn A. Chin on March 28 was ordered to stand trial on Aug. 2 on charges of racketeering, mail fraud and selling adulterated drugs while employed as supervising pharmacist at the New England Compounding Center (NECC) (United States of America v. Glenn A. Chin, No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).
BOSTON - A Blue Cross Blue Shield company correctly denied coverage for a teenager's residential center treatment for his mental health problems because his father's group health insurance plan did not provide coverage for services rendered in an educational setting and the services at issue were not medically necessary under the plan, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found March 24 (Stephanie C. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts HMO Blue, Inc., No. 16-1997, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5231).