SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 refused to enter a default ruling in favor of a sports production company on its claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action in relation to the alleged unlawful broadcast of a boxing match, finding that it failed to plead sufficient facts to support a finding that a restaurant owner was liable (J&J Sports Productions Inc. v. Yolanda K. Crawford, No. 16-cv-01744, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142038).
LOS ANGELES - Because it is possible for a disability claimant to amend a complaint to plead claims with more particularity against a California doctor who conducted an independent medical exam for the disability insurer and the hospital who employed the doctor, a California federal judge on Oct. 11 said the suit must be remanded to state court as complete diversity of citizenship does not exist (Mayna Chau-Barlow v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co. et al., No. 16-1694, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140833).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 11 rejected a products liability insurer's argument that interlocutory review of a May 27 order on the issue of rescission is warranted under 28 U.S. Code Section 1292(b) because the order involves a controlling question of law for which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion (Illinois Union Insurance Co., et al. v. Intuitive Surgical Inc., No. 13-04863, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140762).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Oct. 13 dismissed claims alleging violations under the Texas Insurance Code against an excess insurer after determining that the plaintiff insurers do not have standing to assert the claims (Starnet Insurance Co., et al., v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 16-664, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141782).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 11 granted preliminary approval of a $6 million settlement to be paid by a company that provides asset protection solutions to hourly technicians who are members of a putative class and collective action in which they alleged that they were denied compensation for work-related activities, including mandatory trainings and traveling to and from customer worksites (Edgar Viceral, et al. v. Mistras Group, Inc., No. 15-2198, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140759).
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 11 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the U.S. government defends a July 2016 panel ruling in which a majority found that a man violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) by accessing his former employer's network, arguing that his bid for en banc review should be denied (United States of America v. David Nosal, No. 14-10037 and 14-10275, 9th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel erred in affirming a federal jury's verdict against a French company for issuing a series of misrepresentations regarding liquidity in violation of federal securities law, and rehearing is necessary because the ruling is in conflict with U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the company argues in an Oct. 11 motion for rehearing and rehearing en banc (In re Vivendi S.A. Securities Litigation, No. 15-180, 2nd Cir.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - In a coverage dispute over water damage to an insured's kitchen, an insurer was wrongfully denied an opportunity to argue that it could repair the damaged property and that hiring a general contractor was unnecessary, a Florida appeals panel ruled Oct. 13, reversing a trial judge's entry of summary judgment to the insured (Prepared Insurance Co. v. David Gal, No. 4D15-1909, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 15181).
PHILADELPHIA - In a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, a company's employee in its marketing department is unqualified due to a lack of technical knowledge to testify on issues such as "branding, trademark confusion, customer reactions, business ethics, or trademark law," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Oct. 12, excluding the testimony (Alpha Pro Tech Inc. v. VWR International LLC, No. 12-1615, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141030).
DETROIT - A group of defendants in a putative class action filed by residents of Flint, Mich., contending that various state officials are liable for injuries that have stemmed from exposure to lead-contaminated drinking water moved in Michigan federal court to have the case dismissed on grounds that they are covered by sovereign immunity and federal law pertaining to drinking water "provides a comprehensive remedial scheme which precludes all claims" (Lawrence Washington, Jr., et al. v. Governor Richard Dale Snyder, et al., No. 16- 11247, E.D. Mich.).
TACOMA, Wash. - An insurer has properly shown that an insured intentionally misrepresented certain material facts in his application for a landlord insurance policy in order to obtain coverage that the insurer otherwise would have not provided, a federal judge in Washington ruled Oct. 11 in granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Zach Minor v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-5630, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140802).
LIMA, Ohio - Reversing a lower court in part, an Ohio appeals court on Oct. 11 held that the court erred in finding that an audit request in an underlying copyright infringement dispute was not a "claim" under an insurance policy (Eighth Floor Promotions v. The Cincinnati Insurance Companies, No. 10-15-19, Ohio App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 4119).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 12 denied a motion filed by United Behavioral Health (UBH) to either reconsider his Sept. 19 certification of a class of insureds accusing UBH of wrongly denying coverage of mental health and substance abuse treatment to thousands or certify the order for interlocutory appeal (David Wit, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-2346, Gary Alexander, et al. v. United Behavioral Health, No. 14-5337, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141441).
PHILADELPHIA - Finding that service of an underlying legal malpractice lawsuit after expiration of a professional liability insurance policy and its automatic extended reporting period does not give rise to a claim, a Pennsylvania judge on Oct. 11 determined that the insurer's duty to defend or indemnify was not triggered (Michael B. Wolf, et al. v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., et al., No. 000066, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.; 2016 Phila. Ct. Com. Pl. LEXIS 359).
DES MOINES, Iowa - Claims of an insured subcontractor's defective workmanship that caused damages beyond its own work potentially constitute an "accident" that is an "occurrence" covered by a commercial general liability insurance policy, the Iowa Court of Appeals held Oct. 12, finding that the insurer has a duty to defend (Hudson Hardware Plumbing & Heating Inc. v. AMCO Insurance Co., No. 15-1677, Iowa App.; 2016 Iowa App. LEXIS 1097).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A settlement, estimated to be worth up to $100 million by plaintiffs' counsel, ending a class complaint alleging defects in Whirlpool Corp.-manufactured dishwashers that caused them to smoke, spark and catch on fire was granted final approval Oct. 11 by a California federal judge (Steve Chambers, et al. v. Whirlpool Corporation, et al., No. 11-1733, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140839).
MIAMI - A Florida appellate panel on Oct.13 affirmed a defense verdict in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the trial judge did not err by including a question about Philip Morris USA Inc.'s fault on the verdict form over the plaintiff's objections (Jose Vila v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 3D15-1853, Fla. App. 3rd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 15126).
LOS ANGELES - A German tobacco glass pipe maker on Oct. 11 filed suit in California federal court against a retail smoke shop, claiming that the shop has sold and continues to sell counterfeit products made by the pipe maker without its express permission (Sream Inc. v. MP Tobacco Inc., No. 5:16-cv-2143, C.D. Calif.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An Illinois federal judge, in a decision filed Oct. 11, certified a class of participants who filed a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against a mutual insurance company for allegedly using premiums it obtained through payments made by them for health care coverage to enrich itself, saying that the plaintiffs satisfied all of the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23 requirements for certification and that a class action is superior to all other methods of adjudicating the action (Susan Priddy, et al. v. Health Care Services Corp., No. 14-3360, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140414).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 11 granted summary judgment in favor of a school bus transportation company, refusing to expand a class period to assert claims for violation of California's Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) related to unpaid wages (Delores Humes, et al. v. First Student Inc., et al., No. 1:15-cv-01861, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140867).
SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Unified Port District (SDUPD) on Oct. 11 filed a lawsuit in California federal court against the U.S. government, seeking cost recovery and damages related to alleged contamination of the port and the groundwater around it with industrial waste (San Diego Unified Port District v. United States of America, No. 16-2540, S.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - An excess insurer argues in an Oct. 12 brief filed in the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Texas federal judge incorrectly determined that excess policies are triggered by mere exposure to asbestos and said that evidence of actual injury caused by asbestos is necessary to trigger the excess policies (Longhorn Gasket and Supply Co., et al. v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-41625, 5th Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A decision on rehearing from a September 2015 ruling that affirmed a patent examiner's rejection of various claims of a universal tire pressure monitoring patent yielded a new ground of rejection on Oct. 12 (Continental Automotive Systems US Inc. v. Schrader Electronics Inc., No. 2014-007436, PTAB).