ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A Native Alaskan village and its council say in a June 18 federal court lawsuit that a construction company owes the village $450,000 for shoddy work done and then left unrepaired on the village's hydroelectric plant (Native Village of Chignik Lagoon v. Orion Marine Contractors, Inc., et al., No. 3:18-cv-00140, D. Alaska).
AUSTIN, Texas - A buffet franchisee that was accused by the franchisor of stealing confidential information was not the "prevailing party" following voluntary dismissal of the claims and, even if it were, is not entitled to attorney fees and costs, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled June 15 (Stockade Companies, LLC v. Kelly Restaurant Group LLC, No. 1:17-CV-143-RP, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100535).
WASHINGTON D.C. - Because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not provide for a private cause of action, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 15 granted a diagnostic laboratory's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that the lab violated the act by not furnishing patients with ample privacy while obtaining their personal health information (PHI) (Hope Lee-Thomas v. Laboratory Corporation of America, No. 1:18-cv-00591, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100428).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge did not err in granting Jack in the Box Inc. (JIB) summary judgment on its allegations that a franchisee committed breach of contract and trademark infringement, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 18 in a per curiam opinion (Jack in the Box Inc. v. Deepak Mehta, et al., No. 17-15336, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16362).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia overseeing lawsuits stemming from flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators Inc. that contained excessive levels of formaldehyde and suits contending that the company's flooring prematurely scratched, chipped, warped and stained on June 15 preliminarily approved a $36 million settlement to resolve the litigations (In re: Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Laminate Flooring Products Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2627, No. 15-md-2627, In re: Lumber Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Laminate Flooring Durability Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 2743, No. 16-md-2743, E.D. Va.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A former Jones Day partner filed a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) representative action complaint on June 19 in a California state court on behalf of herself and other female attorneys employed by the firm in California, alleging that it operates as a "fraternity" where female attorneys are "marginalized" and paid less than male counterparts (Wendy Moore, et al. v. Jones Day, et al., No. CGC18567391, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A group of restaurant workers on June 18 sued the restaurant and its owner in a California state court, asserting claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and labor code (Pedro Mejia Garcia v. Nass Enterprise Inc., No. 567366, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on June 19 in which it concluded that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) could improve oversight of hydraulic fracturing lease suspensions with better data and monitoring procedures.
SALT LAKE CITY - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts a hospital group's claims alleging underpayment of medical bills, but the claims would fail in any case because they involve insurer-insured rights and cannot be assigned to third parties, an insurer tells a federal judge in Utah in a June 15 memo (IHC Health Services Inc., et al. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Inc., No. 18-277, D. Utah).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on June 15 affirmed a lower court's ruling that rejected an action challenging the validity of a will that was executed in September 2012, finding that there was a disputed factual issue as to the decedent's competency (Stephen Colley v. The Estate of Sara Dees, et al., No. 1170042, Ala. Sup., 2018 Ala. LEXIS 58).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A Kentucky appeals court on June 15 held that a trial court did not err when it vacated an $18 million jury verdict and granted a long-term care facility's motion for a new trial, finding that an estate's claims based on Kentucky's long-term Resident's Rights Acts could not be submitted to the jury because the resident died before the claims were filed (Patty Jennings, ex rel. Estate of Eliza Jennings v. Berea Area Development, LLC, No. 2016-CA-001823-MR, Ky. App., 2018 Ky. App. LEXIS 185).
WILMINGTON, Del. - An insured on June 15 sued its excess insurer in Delaware Superior Court, seeking coverage for a class action challenging the constitutionality of its subsidiary's private probationary services (Providence Service Corporation v. Illinois Union Insurance Company, No. 18C-06-114, Del. Super.).
DENVER - Insureds on June 19 objected to a magistrate's recommendation to deny their renewed motion for leave to amend their complaint in a dispute over coverage for more than $1.8 million in undelivered fine wine, contending the magistrate constructed an excuse for the insurer and then relied upon it to support his recommended dismissal (Malik M. Hasan, M.D., et al. v. AIG Property Casualty Co., No. 16-02963, D. Colo.).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on June 15 granted an auto insurer leave to appeal a ruling finding the insurer liable for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits for an unnamed additional insured under terms of a voided insurance contract (Tyrone S. Henry Sr., et al. v. Santosh S. Bhowmik, et al., No. N/A, N.J. Sup., 2018 N.J. LEXIS 795).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) does not provide for a private cause of action, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 15 granted a diagnostic laboratory's motion to dismiss a complaint alleging that the lab violated the act by not furnishing patients with ample privacy while obtaining their personal health information (PHI) (Hope Lee-Thomas v. Laboratory Corporation of America, No. 1:18-cv-00591, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100428).
COVINGTON, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on June 19 adopted a magistrate judge's June 15 recommendation to order a man who pleaded guilty to three counts of aiding and abetting insurance fraud to serve 14 months in prison for violating the conditions of his supervised release (United States of America v. Roben Casey Bykovny, No. 15-36-DLB-CJS-7, E.D. Ky.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 18 denied a petition for rehearing en banc filed by former employees of Norton Healthcare Inc. challenging lump-sum pension payments after an appellate panel on May 10 vacated a district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the retirees (Elizabeth A. Clemons, et al. v. Norton Healthcare Inc Retirement Plan, Nos. 16-5063, -5124, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16428).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 18 rejected an appeal by a former veterans home worker who challenged a verdict in her former employer's favor and the jury instructions in her disability bias suit filed after she was terminated while placed on light-duty tasks following a back injury (Tamisha Pegues v. Mississippi State Veterans Home, No. 17-60766, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16373).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 18 dismissed an appeal by insureds seeking coverage for mold damages after determining that jurisdiction does not exist because the district court did not issue a final and appealable judgment against the insureds (A. Denise Aldridge, et al. v. Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co., No. 18-11310, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16406).
LONDON - An English appeals panel on June 19 denied an appeal filed by the Republic of Kazakhstan and its national bank, holding that the Bank of New York Mellon SA/NV can freeze $22.6 billion held in Kazakhstan's national fund in relation to an attempt by investors to obtain payment of a $497,685,101 arbitral award (National Bank of Kazakhstan, et al. v. The Bank of New York Mellon SA/NV, No.  EWCA 1390, England and Wales High, Comm.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judicial panel will hear arguments July 26 on whether to centralize 55 hernia mesh cases filed against C.R. Bard Inc., Davol Inc. and Becton Dickinson (In Re: Davol, Inc./C.R. Bard, Inc., Polypropylene Hernia Mesh Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2846, JPMDL).