KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on April 21 found that a tire retailer insured has failed to establish that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether an insurer breached a duty to acknowledge the insured's right to its own counsel of choice, granting the insurer's motion for partial summary judgment in a dispute over coverage for a trademark infringement lawsuit (AKH Company Inc. v. Universal Underwriters Insurance Co., No. 13-2003, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52056).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on April 23 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured properly pleaded a number of her claims (Sheela K. O'Donnell v. Financial American Life Insurance Co., No. 14-1071, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53519).
BEAUMONT, Texas - A judge improperly found that hotly contested evidence in an asbestos case could not support a jury's finding for a premises owner, a Texas appeals court held April 23 (In re: E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., No. 09-14-00465-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 4072).
SEATTLE - A Washington State jury on April 21 awarded a woman $3.6 million and held an insulation company liable for her exposure to asbestos while laundering her husband's work clothing (Estate of Barbara Brandes v. Brand Insulation Inc., No. 14-2-21662-9 SEA, Wash. Super., King Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A panel in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on April 23 partially affirmed and partially vacated and remanded a ruling that denied a military veteran's claim for benefits based on injuries he alleged were caused by exposure to Agent Orange (Robert H. Gray v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 13-3339, U.S. App., Fed. Clms.; 2015 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 500).
NEW ORLEANS - There is sufficient factual overlap to make joinder proper because an insured's claim against a roofing company and its owner implicates preaccident repairs that were a factor in an insurer's adjustment of a Hurricane Isaac claim, a Louisiana federal judge ruled April 21, granting the insured's motion to remand for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (David R. Fine v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. 15-80, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52205).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A copyright infringement defendant is entitled to $80,295 in attorney fees and costs as a prevailing party, a Tennessee federal judge ruled April 23 (Taryn Murphy, et al. v. Sergey Lazarov, No. 10-530, M.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53428).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee Court of Appeals panel on April 23 overturned a trial court's ruling awarding $4,103 to a home builder after finding that a couple should not be required to pay the defendant for work it performed to repair defective work (Richard Harkleroad, et al. v. Frontier Building and Development Inc., No. E2013-00664-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.; 2015 Tenn. App. LEXIS 237).
NEWARK, N.J. - Two New York residents filed a class complaint on April 21 against New Jersey Devils LLC in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, alleging that the hockey team improperly prohibits them and other season ticket holders from selling individual or blocks of game tickets (Rey Olsen, et al. v. New Jersey Devils, LLC, No. 15-2807, D. N.J.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 granted a joint stipulation to remand a coverage dispute involving damages from a well blowout to Texas federal court to allow the parties to finalize a settlement agreement (Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 15-10012, 5th Cir.).
BOISE, Idaho - A state trial judge erred in entering summary judgment for the owner of a dog who bit a visitor to her home after being involved in two previous incidents, an Idaho appeals court ruled April 21 (Stephen Boswell, et al. v. Amber Dawn Steele, et al., No. 41684, Idaho App.).
RICHMOND, Va. - The imposition of all expenses on a plaintiff in an ex parte trademark proceeding, regardless of whether that plaintiff prevails, "does not constitute fee-shifting that implicates the American Rule," a divided Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 23 (Milo Shammas v. Margaret A. Focarino, Commissioner of Patents, and David Kappos, Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 14-1191, 4th Cir.).
MURRAY HILL, N.J. - C.R. Bard Inc. said April 23 that it took a charge against earnings of $10.3 million for litigation-related defense costs in connection with a federal court order to prepare 500 pelvic mesh cases for trial.
PHILADELPHIA - The family of former professional football player Junior Seau on April 22 asked the federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation against the National Football League to schedule a status conference to discuss their request to transfer their wrongful death action to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California (In re: National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2323, No. 12-md-2323, E.D. Pa.; Seau, et al. v. National Football League, et al., No. 13-cv-01531, E.D. Pa.).
SEATTLE - A Washington jury on April 21 awarded a woman $3.6 million and held an insulation company liable for her exposure to asbestos while laundering her husband's work clothing (Estate of Barbara Brandes v. Brand Insulation Inc., No. 14-2-21662-9 SEA, Wash. Super., King Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced April 21 that Citizens Medical Center, a county-owned hospital in Texas, agreed to pay $21.7 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) by overcompensating cardiologists for their services and paid bonuses to emergency room employees who improperly took into account the value of their cardiology referrals.
PHILADELPHIA - The federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation against the National Football League on April 22 gave final approval to a settlement of the litigation that makes upward of $765 million available to former players who suffer from brain injuries (In re: National Football League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2323, No. 2:12-md-02323 [AB]; E.D. Pa.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A month after a settlement agreement between Target Corp. and a consumer class in a lawsuit over a 2013 data breach was preliminarily approved by a federal judge, the retailer on April 22 filed notice of the proposed settlement with an estimated 60 million customers in Minnesota federal court and with the attorneys general of the class members' states, in compliance with the judge's order (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 0:14-md-02522, D. Minn.).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 22 determined that a district court correctly applied an abuse of discretion standard of review in a disability benefits suit and correctly determined that the claimant is owed benefits under the policy (R. Jeffrey Evans v. Sun Life & Health Insurance Co., No. 13-55601; 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6688).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on April 22 granted a motion filed by lenders to dismiss borrowers' claims for breach of contract and other claims, but found that their claims for violation of Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) can proceed (Martin White Jr. et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., AS, et al., No. 2:14-cv-12506, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52642).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Six months after a jury found three technology patents owned by InterDigital Communications Inc. to be infringed by a Chinese-based company, another Delaware federal jury on April 22 found that a fourth InterDigital patent was not infringed (InterDigital Communications Inc., et al. v. ZTE Corp., et al., No. 1:13-cv-00009, D. Del.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A defendant's selection of "The Donut Chef" as the trade name of its donut shop is not infringing of a plaintiff's "Donut Joe's" trademark, an Alabama federal judge ruled April 22 (Donut Joe's Inc. v. Interveston Food Services LLC, No. 13-1578, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52665).