LOS ANGELES - A defendant's "befuddlement" over the conclusion that it destroyed evidence ignores the differing stories the defendant told throughout the litigation, a widow told a federal judge in California July 18 (Victoria Lund, et al. v. Crane Co., et al., No. 13-2776, C.D. Calif.).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on July 19 declined to rehear an asbestos case in which it found that a nine-year gap in accepting a settlement offer did not doom the claim, turning away Union Carbide Corp.'s warning that the ruling "risks creating a dangerous precedent" (Union Carbide Corp. v. Perry Jones, Rosemary Allegria, et al., No. 01-14-00574-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
BALTIMORE - State law issues predominate in an asbestos action where the only federal issues arise from third-party complaints, a federal judge in Maryland held July 18 in severing the original action and remanding it (Wayne Oliver v. Campbell McCormick Inc., No. 16-1057, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92756)
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer asked a Texas court on July 15 to approve a settlement between a homeowner and the receivership estate of an insolvent insurer of the homeowner's fire damage claim (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on July 18 terminated as moot a reinsurer's motion to amend its pleadings to withdraw its Bellefonte-based defenses and claims (Munich Reinsurance America Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A German-based software development firm filed suit against the U.S. government July 15 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, seeking almost $600 million in damages for the U.S. Navy's copyright infringement, which the firm says occurred when the Navy far exceeded a limited license it had previously been granted to use the firm's virtual reality software (Bitmanagement Software GmbH v. The United States of America, No. 1:16-cv-00840, Fed. Clms.).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Allegations of trademark infringement by adidas America Inc. and adidas AG will proceed in Oregon federal court, an Oregon federal judge ruled July 19 (adidas America Inc., et al. v. Athletic Propulsion Labs LLC, No. 16-415, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92770).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 20 released a declarative decision, stating that tribunals appointed in an investment dispute filed by a resource company against the People's Republic of Bangladesh and others have exclusive jurisdiction over the cases and that the respondents must take steps to make the Bangladesh courts aware of ICSID's jurisdiction over the case (Niko Resources [Bangladesh] Ltd. v. People's Republic of Bangladesh, et al., Nos. ARB/10/11 and ARB/10/18, ICSID).
BOSTON - A trial court did not err in excluding expert testimony that a defendant's personality was inconsistent with the profile of a sex abuser, a Massachusetts appeals panel ruled July 15 (Commonwealth v. Ryan Coates, No. 14-P-1547, Mass. App.; 2016 Mass. App. LEXIS 86).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on July 15 agreed to adopt a disability claimant's proposed additional findings; however, the judge said the judgment in favor of a disability insurer will stand because the claimant still did not prove that he was continuously disabled under the policy at issue (Stephen Dorf v. Standard Insurance Co., as successor to Minnesota Life Insurance Co., No. 13-6479, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92538).
TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations of an insured's negligent work that caused a collapse do not constitute covered "property damage" under commercial general liability insurance policies, a New Jersey appeals panel affirmed July 15 (New Jersey-American Water Co., Inc. v. Watchung Square Associates, LLC and Fidelity Corp. v. Vollers Excavating & Construction, Inc. and Frank Ferraro v. Salvatore Davino, et al. and Travelers Insurance Co., et al., Nos. A3436-13T1 & A-3445-13T1, N.J. Super. App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1639).
TAMPA, Fla. - Window and sliding-glass-door manufacturers may proceed on their "bad-faith failure to settle" and "negligent failure to settle" claims against their insurer for failing to indemnify them for underlying settlements arising out of alleged defective windows, a Florida federal judge ruled July 18 (MI Windows & Doors, LLC, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-3139, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92973).
DETROIT - A group of plaintiffs who sued various Michigan authorities, as well as an engineering planning firm that acted as a consultant to the City of Flint, Mich., when it switched its water source to the Flint River, filed a brief in Michigan federal court July 15, contending that their lead-contaminated drinking water lawsuit should not be dismissed because it is not barred by the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (Frances Gilcreast, et al. v. Lockwood, Andrews & Newman, No. 16-11173, E.D. Mich.).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Employees of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on July 18 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that the lead-contaminated water lawsuit brought against them by residents of Flint, Mich., should be dismissed because they are entitled to "absolute immunity" on all claims (Tamara Nappier v. Richard Snyder, et al., No. 16-636, W.D. Mich.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 vacated a decision by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) rejecting a customs officer's claim that his retirement pay was miscalculated and failed to include the full amount of overtime pay he received in the relevant three years (Daniel A. Grover v. Office of Personnel Management, No. 2015-3160, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12978).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 19 affirmed dismissal of a Chinese company's petition to confirm an arbitral award issued in its favor, finding that the other party did not receive sufficient notice of the arbitration in China, rendering the arbitration invalid under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (CEEG [Shanghai] Solar Science & Technology Co., Ltd., No. 15-1256, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13192).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida jury on July 19 awarded the husband of a woman who died from lung cancer $1.5 million in damages against Philip Morris USA Inc. after finding that the woman was addicted to cigarettes and that her addiction was a legal cause of her death (Joseph Varner v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 2008-CV-026345, 17th Jud. Cir. Broward Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Massachusetts judge did not err in enhancing a plaintiff's damage award for willful patent infringement but should have granted the plaintiff a permanent injunction, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 19 in a dispute over marine generators ("gen-sets") (WBIP LLC v. Kohler Co., Nos. 15-1038, -1044, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13136).
PARIS - After determining that the Renco Group Inc. failed to establish that the Republic of Peru consented to arbitration under a treaty, a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 19 released its award dismissing all of the group's claims against Peru for lack of jurisdiction (The Renco Group, Inc. v. Republic of Peru, No. [UNCT/13/1], ICSID).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 19 held that it does not have appellate jurisdiction over a federal district court's nonfinal order denying confirmation of a $208,445.57 appraisal award in a hailstorm damage coverage dispute (KCOM Inc. v. Employers Mutual Casualty Co., No. 15-1218, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13171).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on July 18 granted preliminary approval of a $23.5 million settlement between shareholders and a semiconductor company and others in a securities class action lawsuit, appointing shareholders as class counsel and approving the proposed settlement class (Keith Thomas, et al. v. MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp., et al., No. 14-1160, N.D. Calif.).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 19 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that a professional liability insurer was entitled to rescind its policy in a dispute over coverage for two underlying medical negligence claims against a physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology (Capson Physicians Insurance Co. v. MMIC Insurance Inc., Nos. 15-2459 and 15-2575, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13144).