BILLINGS, Mont. - A Montana federal judge on Sept. 20 granted a disability claimant's motion for summary judgment after determining that Montana's mental health parity law requires the plan to provide the claimant with the same benefits for her mental illness as it would if her disability were physical (Theresa Sand-Smith v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 17-0004, D. Mont., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153217).
PITTSBURGH - In a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case, mortgagors and a reinsurer are not entitled to judgment on a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) claim under Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals law, homeowners say in a brief filed Sept. 19 in a Pennsylvania federal court (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86380).
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal court jury on Sept. 21 found that Zimmer Biomet Inc. did not wrongfully discharge a sales representative and found that the sales representative instead breached his duty not to disclose information about Zimmer and its customers and owes his former employer $125,000 (Dominick Pistone v. Zimmer Biomet, Inc., No. 16-3526, E.D. Pa., Allentown Div.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 20 asked the Texas Supreme Court to rule whether a pelvic mesh plaintiff has to know of the defendant's alleged wrongdoing before her claim accrues under the Texas discovery rule (Ann Marie Bergin v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, et al., No. 16-14364, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18199).
SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Sept. 19 refused to dismiss a plaintiff's breach of fiduciary claims arising out of a health care plan's denial of coverage for autism treatments because the fiduciary claims are not disguised benefits claims and the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to support the breach of fiduciary claims (Amy Whitley, et al. v. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Health Plan, et al., No. 17-47, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152417).
TRENTON, N.J. - A plaintiff's failure to respond to a motion to dismiss her class suit accusing the Princeton University trustees of mishandling the university's retirement plan did not entirely doom her suit as a New Jersey federal judge, on Sept. 19, ruled that the plaintiff partially stated claims for relief as to breach of the duty of prudence and granted leave to amend the other dismissed claims (Elysee Nicolas, et al. v. The Trustees of Princeton University, No. 17-3695, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151775).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 19 declined to exclude design defect opinions of an expert for a man who was paralyzed in a rollover crash of a pickup truck, saying the defendant manufacturers' objections relate to the weight that should be given to the expert's testimony and not whether the opinions are admissible (Daniel Pertile, et al. v. General Motors, LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-0518, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152342).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 21 granted preliminary approval of a $4.8 million settlement to be paid by an employer to its janitors around the county for time they spent working before their scheduled shifts (Brice Ikby Binissia, et al. v. ABM Industries, Inc., et al., No. 13-1230, Veronica Brown, et al. v. ABM Industries, Inc., et al., No. 15-6729, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153686).
WOBURN, Mass. - A Massachusetts jury on Sept. 20 found a company liable under negligence and breach of warranty claims for its installation of asbestos-containing insulation and awarded a couple $7.55 million for a man's resulting mesothelioma (Gerald and Marjorie Sylvestre v. New England Insulation Co., et al., No.15-7031, Mass. Super., Middlesex Co.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court should use an asbestos case to adopt the superior standard for reviewing evidence espoused in Daubert regardless of the constitutionality of the Legislature's attempt to do so and reject the opinion that any exposure to asbestos contributes to disease, an advocacy group told the court on Sept. 20 (Richard DeLisle v. Crane Co., et al., No. SC16-2182, Fla. Sup.).
TRENTON, N.J. - The fact that an insured assigned rights after incurring medical expenses does not change the enforceability of an anti-assignment provision in an Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 case, a federal judge in New Jersey held Sept. 21 (Kayal Orthopaedic Center P.C., et al. v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, No. 16-9059, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153763).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a Sept. 20 request for inter partes review, two petitioners took aim at a patented method of integrated circuit manufacturing including the formation of selectively sized spacers (Renesas Electronics Corporation and Renesas Electronics America Inc. v. Lone Star Silicon Innovations, No. IPR2017-02124, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - On Sept. 20, Sony Corp. asserted before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that three claims of a patented electronic chassis and housing with an integrated forced air cooling system would have been obvious to a person of skill in the art in light of two prior art references (In re: Sony Corp., No. IPR2017-01961, PTAB).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - The U.S. government in a Sept. 20 brief tells a California federal court that Google Inc. should be sanctioned for its refusal to comply with a Stored Communications Act (SCA) warrant seeking production of foreign-stored emails, but the government opposes the tech firm's motion for a contempt order, seeking a hearing to determine a sanction appropriate for Google's willful actions (In re: Search of Content That is Stored at Premises Controlled by Google, No. 3:16-mc-80263, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Sept. 19 reply brief supporting his petition for certiorari, a man who was convicted for unauthorized access of his former employer's network under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) tells the U.S. Supreme Court that a ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirming his conviction, if allowed to stand, would make it a federal crime to share network login credentials (David Nosal v. United States, No. 16-1344, U.S. Sup.).
DALLAS - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Feb. 20 filed a complaint against Shepherd Healthcare in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleging that the Texas medical practice violated federal law when it fired an employee due to her requests to be excused from a daily morning Bible study and fired three other workers for their opposition of the mandatory Bible studies (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Tim Shepherd MD, PA, No. 17-2569, N.D. Texas).
ISLIP, N.Y. - After finding that a borrower was not a consumer under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a New York federal judge on Sept. 19 dismissed her complaint against a loan servicer in relation to a notice and default letter (Janine Carbone v. Caliber Home Loans Inc., No. 15-5190, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151810).
TACOMA, Wash. - A Washington federal judge on Sept. 19 granted a motion for summary judgment filed by an insurer in an insurance coverage suit brought by homeowners claiming faulty construction, finding that a tract housing exclusion applies (Maureen Hay, et al. v. American Safety Indemnity Company, No. 17-5077, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152115).
CAMDEN, N.J. - Granting in part a motion for a protective order by the New Jersey attorney general, a New Jersey federal magistrate judge on Sept. 19 concluded that many of the documents sought by an Indian tribe that is suing over state tribal recognition policies are protected by the attorney-client and deliberative process privileges (Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation v, Christopher S. Porrino, No. 1:15-cv-05645, Court, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151410).
RENO, Nev. - A Nevada federal judge on Sept. 20 granted summary judgment in favor of a loan servicer, finding that a homeowners association foreclosure sale was based on an unconstitutional statute and did not extinguish the servicer's deed on the property (Green Tree Servicing LLC, et al. v. Rainbow Bend Homeowners Association, et al., No. 3:15-cv-00297, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152686).
DENVER - A federal magistrate judge in Colorado on Sept. 20 denied a property owner and property management's motion for summary judgment after finding that there is a genuine question of fact over whether the defendants knew or should have known about black ice and that the trier of fact must determine if the defendants are considered statutory employers under the Colorado Worker's Compensation Act (CWCA), C.R.S. 2-5-118 (Michael E. Allerton v. Government Properties Income Trust LLC, et al., No. 16-cv-01771, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152990).