SALT LAKE CITY - Homeowners failed to establish evidence that they suffered any property damage as a result of a contractor or subcontractor's work on their home that is covered under two commercial general liability insurance policies, a Utah federal judge ruled June 15, finding that the insurers have no duty to indemnify for underlying judgments (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Timbersmith, Inc., et al. & George Fleming and Janis Fleming v. The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., No. 12-00786, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78748).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 14 partially reinstated a former Environmental Protection Agency manager's racial bias claims, finding that she produced sufficient evidence to proceed with her claim that she was suspended during her employment due to her race (Susan M. Morris v. Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-5074, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10714).
OKLAHOMA CITY - In a medical malpractice action, a trial judge erred in excluding testimony regarding the use of vasopressin in septic shock, which resulted in a woman's death, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled June 14, reversing summary judgment to a doctor and a medical provider and remanding for further proceedings (William P. Nelson, and Jon Nelson, individually and as co-personal representatives and/or co-executors of the estate of Ethel A. Nelson, and as co-trustees of the Ethel A. Nelson Revocable Trust and as heirs and next of kin of Ethel A. Nelson v. Enid Medical Associates, Inc., and David Shepherd, No. 110665, Okla. Sup.; 2016 Okla. LEXIS 69).
LOS ANGELES - In a two-phase special verdict filed June 13 and 14, a California state jury awarded an employee $352,083 on his claims that his former employer discriminated against him and harassed him based on his sexual orientation (Brandon Grey v. American Management Services, LLC, No. BC412760, Calif. Super., Los Angles Co.).
LOS ANGELES - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 15 rejected a petition arguing that the "exceptional importance" of a case establishing the causation standard in maritime asbestos cases necessitated en banc rehearing (Carol McIndoe, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., Nos. 13-56762, 13-56764, 9th Cir.).
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Plaintiffs in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act breach of contract lawsuit on June 15 filed a joint motion for preliminary approval of a $30.9 million class settlement in Massachusetts federal court (Dennis Gordon, et al. v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-30184, D. Mass.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 15 affirmed dismissal 48 Fixodent denture cream lawsuits after a federal judge excluded the plaintiffs' expert causation expert witnesses (Beverly Jones, et al. v. SmithKline Beecham, et al., No 15-12340, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. 10833).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 16 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that dismissed an insured's breach of contract, fraud and misrepresentation claims against its federal flood insurer over its alleged personal property damage caused by Hurricane Irene (Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. v. Federal Emergency Management Agency, et al., No. 15-2923, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10894).
PITTSBURGH - Because the materials sought via discovery from certain reporters by a defamation suit plaintiff do not pertain to confidential sources, a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on June 15 held that its disclosure would not violate the journalist's privilege under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Dominick D. DiPaolo v. Times Publishing Co., et al., No. 1713 WDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 323).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Supreme Court on June 16 denied interlocutory review of an order that former plaintiff attorney Stanley M. Chesley contribute to a $42 million judgment to fen-phen plaintiffs, saying the lower court's order in the matter was not an injunction subject to interlocutory appeal (Stanley M. Chesley v. Mildred Abbott, et al., No. 2015-SC-000599, Ky. Sup.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Under California law, a plaintiff may not pursue asbestos claims involving replacement gaskets and packing, but the man submitted sufficient evidence of exposure to at least some original or spare parts to pursue those claims, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held in partially reversing summary judgment June 16 (John H. Boyd III v. Warren Pumps LLC, No. 13-56975, John H. Boyd III v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., sued individually and as successor-in-interest to Buffalo Pumps Inc., No. 14-57018, 9th Cir.).
SAN DIEGO - In what is being called a record recovery for shareholders, HSBC Finance Corp. has agreed to pay more than $1.5 billion to settle claims that its predecessor-in-interest, Household International Inc., and certain of its executive officers and directors issued a series of misrepresentations concealing Household's involvement in a predatory lending scheme in violation of federal securities laws, according to a press release issued by shareholder counsel June 16 (Lawrence E. Jaffe Pension Plan v. Household International, Inc., et al., No. 02-5893, N.D. Ill.).
NEW YORK - Without providing further detail, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 15 agreed to hear an appeal of a ruling in a securities class action lawsuit filed in New York federal court that partially dismissed claims against a Brazilian oil company, its outside auditor and others (In re Petrobas Securities Litigation, No. 14-9662, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76844).
MINNEAPOLIS - The federal judge overseeing the National Hockey League (NHL) concussion multidistrict litigation on June 14 signed a stipulated order between former players and nonparty league teams over the production of medical documents (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 15 rejected Crane Co.' argument that settlements left it with zero liability for an asbestos verdict, saying precedent permits offsets only for settling parties found liable at trial and that the offsets cannot reduce a verdict below the amount awarded by a jury (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 10-03202, E.D. Pa.).
SEATTLE - A woman's complete lack of contacts with a state warrants transfer of her take-home asbestos action, and because removal and, thus, venue were proper, the court has jurisdiction to grant her motion, a federal judge in Washington held June 14 (Sarah Griffin v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 16-584, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77478).
CHICAGO - In a June 15 reply brief supporting its bid to dismiss a class action over a 2015 website hack, a digital smart toys maker tells an Illinois federal court that the plaintiffs have failed to plead any harm in the wake of the theft of their personally identifiable information (PII) (In re VTech Data Breach Litigation, No. 1:15-cv-10889, N.D. Ill.).
PHOENIX - A former collegiate district employee who claims that he was terminated in part due to reporting data security lapses that led to a network breach may bring his contractual wrongful termination claim against his former employer, an Arizona federal magistrate judge ruled June 14, while directing the plaintiff to file a more definite statement of that claim (Miguel Corzo v. Maricopa County Community College District, et al., No. 2:15-cv-02552, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77243).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In a June 15 petition, Facebook Inc. and Instagram LLC (Facebook, collectively) seek covered business method (CBM) review of a patent that claims a method of delivering digital content to a wireless device and the ability to track user selections in order to facilitate the payment of royalties (Facebook Inc., et al. v. Skyy LLC, No. CBM2016-00091, PTAB).
MIAMI - A Florida appellate panel on June 15 overturned a judgment awarded to a couple following a nonjury trial, finding that their failure to inform their insurance company that their home did not have a central monitoring system for smoke, temperature and burglary was a material misrepresentation (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London v. Raul Jimenez, et al., No. 3D15-54, Fla. App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 9231).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on June 15 dismissed an insured's third-party claims in an environmental contamination coverage dispute against a claims management company because the insured failed to allege any plausible claims against the company (Valley Forge Insurance Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal Inc., et al., No. 14-006, N.D. Ind.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 15 denied hotel franchisors' motion to dismiss a second amended complaint alleging that they subjected African-American employees to racially discriminatory and harassing treatment (Gwendolyn Miller, et al. v. Stickbay Inc., et al., No. 8:15-cv-2040, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77925).