PORTLAND, Ore. - Allegations by Oracle America Inc. that the State of Oregon infringed its copyrighted software were rejected Jan. 13 by an Oregon federal judge, on the basis of sovereign immunity (Oracle America Inc. v. The Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Corporation, et al., No. 14-1279, D. Ore.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3484.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 14 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against underlying claims, including tortious interference with contractual relations and business advantages, civil conspiracy, conversion, aiding and abetting a fiduciary breach and misappropriation of trade secrets (Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. v. Gum Tree Property Management, LLC, et al., No. 14- 60302, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 595).
DALLAS - The Texas Supreme Court heard oral argument Jan. 14 over whether the state's law permits a $2.64 million award to a contractor allegedly exposed to asbestos by a premises owner's contemporaneous acts (Magdalena Adrienna Abutahoun, et al. v. The Dow Chemical Co., No. 13-0175, Texas Sup.).
CHICAGO - A New York man sued by United Airlines Inc. and a travel website for his website advertising "hidden-city ticketing" information for airline flights moved to dismiss on Jan. 13, asserting that no jurisdiction exists over him in Illinois federal court (United Airlines Inc., et al. v. Aktarer Zaman, No. 1:14-cv-09214, N.D. Ill.).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Jan. 14 reversed and remanded two summary judgment rulings in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute over sinkhole damage (Robert Curtis v. Tower Hill Prime Insurance Co., No. 2D13-689, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 398).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California woman filed suit in California state court on Jan. 13, alleging that she developed spinal meningitis after consuming a prepackaged caramel apple infected with Listeria monocytogenes (Darlene Vouri, et al. v. Bidart Brothers Apple Packing, et al., No. N/A, Calif. Super., Sacramento Co.).
CHICAGO - An insured named in numerous underlying suits alleging injuries arising out of exposure to asbestos, benzene and other harmful materials is entitled to a defense in the cases in which it is alleged to have been directly liable even if the underlying allegations are groundless, the Second Division of the First District Illinois Appellate Court said Jan. 13 (Illinois Tool Works Inc. et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Co., et al., No. 1-13-2350, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 18).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Jan. 14 dismissed without prejudice a plaintiff's claim that the manufacturers of the heart drug amiodarone marketed the drug for off-label use or without adequate warning (Michael W. Allain, et al. v. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 14-280, N.D. Ala., Southern Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4073).
CLARKSBURG, W.Va. - An insured's untimely notice of a claim over soil settlement issues prejudiced its commercial general liability insurers, a West Virginia federal judge ruled Jan. 14, granting summary judgment to the insurers (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. National Surety Corp., et al., No. 14-45, N.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4363).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - After finding that a bank and loan servicer did not waive their right to file a foreclosure action, an Ohio federal judge on Jan. 14 dismissed a claim for quiet title asserted by homeowners in relation to their property (Brian W. Bauman, et al. v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. 2:14-cv-553, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4353).
DALLAS - Finding that fact issues exist on a recruiting firm's Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) claim against a former employee who allegedly gave confidential information to his new employer, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 13 denied the ex-employee's motion for summary judgment (Merritt Hawkins & Associates LLC v. Larry Scott Gresham, et al., No. 3:13-cv-00312, N.D. Texas).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal magistrate judge in the multidistrict litigation for lawsuits arising from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and ensuing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 told counsel in an order entered Jan. 12 in Louisiana federal court to stop sending him unsolicited emails (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, April 20, 2010, MDL No. 2179, E.D. La.).
BALTIMORE - A commercial general liability insurer has a partial duty to reimburse repair costs for cracking damage to two buildings, a Maryland federal judge ruled Jan. 13, also dismissing counterclaims for breach of contract, negligence and bad faith (American Home Assurance Co. v. KBE Building Corp., No. 13-1941, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4076).
RAPID CITY, S.D. - The maker of low-power lasers marketed to treat more than 200 medical conditions, including cardiac arrest, cannot escape federal regulatory jurisdiction by creating associations of buyers who claim to opt out of regulation, a South Dakota federal judge ruled Jan. 14 (United States of America v. 2035 Inc., et al., No. 14-5075, D. S.D., Western Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4382).
TRENTON, N.J. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several companies on Jan. 13 entered a consent decree in New Jersey federal court in which the companies agreed to spend nearly $92 million to remediate trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) contamination at the Pohatcong Valley Groundwater Contamination Superfund site in Warren County, N.J. (United States of America v. Pechiney Plastic Packaging Inc., et al., No. 09-5692; United States of America v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, et al., No. 13-5798, D. N.J.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 14 reinstated a complaint filed by a former Suffolk County, N.Y., police lieutenant who alleges that he was retaliated against for speaking to members of the press, speech that he claims was protected (Raymond Smith v. County of Suffolk, et al., No. 13-1230, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 600).
INDIANAPOLIS - A $5 million aggregate damages cap contained in the Indiana Tort Claims Act (ITCA) does not violate the Indiana Constitution's open courts and equal privileges guarantees, the state Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 14 (J.P. v. Mid-America Sound, et al., No. 49D02-1111-CT-44823, Ind. App.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 14 vacated a Texas federal judge's ruling that a dry-cleaning equipment supplier was 75 percent liable for cleanup costs under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) for supplying perchloroethylene (PERC) to a cleaning business, holding that it was not an arranger under the standards set forth by the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. United States (556 U.S. 599 ) (Vine Street LLC v. Borg Warner, No. 07-40440, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 581).
DENVER - A Kansas municipal worker who was terminated as part of a reduction in force (RIF) failed to prove that she was selected to lose her job due to her age or gender or in retaliation for complaints she made during her employment, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 13 (Lisa Brainard v. City of Topeka, No. 14-3055, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 498).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Jan. 13 refused to set aside an order in which it bifurcated a forgery issue from the rest of a treaty dispute between an English mining company and the Republic of Indonesia (Churchill Mining PLC v. Republic of Indonesia, No. ARB/12/14 and ARB/12/40, ICSID).
CANTON, Ohio - After finding that a tenant failed to timely disclose her medical experts to testify in relation to her alleged mold damages and injuries, an Ohio appeals court on Jan. 12 affirmed a trial court's judgment awarding her landlords unpaid rent (Craig Petroff, et al. v. Gina LeBeau, No. 2014CA00065, Ohio App., 5th App. Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 71).
SEATTLE - Pfizer Inc.'s relationship with Quigley Co. Inc. did not make it liable for the latter company's asbestos-containing products, a federal judge in Washington held Jan. 12 (Shareleen Sprague, personal representative of the estate of James Olson v. Pfizer Inc., No. 14-5084, W.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3236).