NEW YORK - A New York justice on Oct. 29 granted for the third time a building manager's motion to dismiss a breach of contract claim brought by the building's owner in a coverage dispute over Superstorm Sandy property damage (Orient Overseas Associates v. XL Insurance America, Inc., et al., No. 652292/2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal jury in Illinois hearing an asbestosis case involving exposures in the U.S. Navy found for lone remaining defendant John Crane Inc. on Oct. 29 (Andrew V. Kochera v. General Electric Co., et al., No. 14-29, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125726).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Judgment on the pleadings in an insurance bad faith lawsuit is proper because the plaintiff failed to show that she has a valid claim under California law, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 29 (Celia Stauty Luis v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 14-4436, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147747).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The same day that a New York federal judge directed the U.S. government to explain its continued need to have a criminal defendant's smartphone unlocked by Apple Inc. in light of his recent guilty plea, the U.S. Department of Justice on Oct. 30 filed a letter stating that the "matter remains ongoing until sentencing and judgment is entered in the" underlying case and, thus, its quest for potential evidence on the phone is not moot (In re Order Requiring Apple Inc. to Assist in the Execution of a Search Warrant Issued by This Court, No. 1:15-mc-01902, E.D. N.Y.).
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on Nov. 2 denied summary judgment to insurers on their declaratory judgment claim seeking a declaration of no duty to defend or indemnify a proposed class action lawsuit against a window company for alleged defects in windows (Mary Haley, et al. v. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc., Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. and United States Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-99, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148023).
AUSTIN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 2 denied the City of Austin's motion to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA), after finding that stormwater runoff that is causing a pile of excavated material to enter the Colorado River can constitute an ongoing violation of the act (Auspro Enterprises LP, et al. v. City of Austin, No. 15-CV-00497-RP, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147862).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A commercial general liability insurer owes $2 million in coverage for an underlying construction defects case, a South Carolina federal judge ruled Nov. 2, finding that a jury must decide a dispute between a builder and its insurer over who should pay a $55 million judgment for defective condo repairs (East Bridge Lofts Property Owners Association Inc., et al. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-2567, D. S.C.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge properly found that the creator of an unauthorized fair use that exhibits sufficient originality may still claim independent copyright protection for those original contributions, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 30 (Jaime Keeling v. Eve Hars, et al., No. 13-694, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 2 declined review of a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling upholding the conviction of a man on wire fraud and securities fraud charges (George Georgiou v. United States of America, No. 14-1535, U.S. Sup.).
CINCINNATI - An Ohio federal jury on Nov. 2 returned a defense verdict in a Depakote birth defect trial (Pamela Rheinfrank, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 13-144, S.D. Ohio, Western Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An ad hoc Committee for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Nov. 2 partially upheld an application filed by the Republic of Ecuador to annul a $1,769,625,000 award that was issued in favor of two companies in a bilateral investment treaty dispute over an oil exploration and exploitation contract, reducing the amount of damages awarded to the company (Occidental Petroleum Corp., et al. v. The Republic of Ecuador, No. ARB/06/11, ICSID).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts appeals panel on Nov. 2 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurance policy's faulty workmanship exclusion bars coverage for an insured's losses arising from the failed production of 40 million bottles of a milk-based specialty drink (H.P. Hood LLC v. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co., No. 14-P-1605, Mass. App.; 2015 Mass. App. LEXIS 175).
SAN DIEGO - A for-profit post-secondary education company and certain of its officers and directors have agreed to pay more than $15 million to settle claims that they misrepresented the accreditation status of one of the company's colleges in violation of federal securities laws, according to court documents filed in a California federal court on Oct. 30 (In re Bridgepoint Education Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 12-1737, S.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Shareholders and Bank of America Corp. (BoA) have agreed to a $335 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit alleging that BoA and certain executive officers and directors issued misrepresentations in connection with the sale of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) in violation of federal securities laws, according to documents filed Oct. 30 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 11-733, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 2 heard oral arguments in a dispute over what constitutes sufficient injury to support a claim under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), pertaining to a class complaint over a data aggregator's purportedly inaccurate online publication of a plaintiff's personal information (Spokeo, Inc. v. Thomas Robins, et al., No. 13-1339, U.S. Sup.).
CHICAGO - Two attorneys, who represented an adult entertainment firm in a 2011 lawsuit over purported online copyright infringement, argued in an Oct. 29 appellant brief to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a lower court's assessment of discovery sanctions and contempt against them were improper and out of proportion with the harm supposedly caused by their purported misconduct (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Oct. 30 found that E.I. du Pont De Nemours and Co.'s supplemental reports for two of its nonspecially retained experts were insufficient under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(2)(C) and allowed a water supply company to conduct limited depositions of the experts (Little Hocking Water Association Inc. v. E.I. du Pont De Nemours and Company, No. 09-cv-1081, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147527).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal judge in California on Oct. 28 granted preliminary approval of a $23 million securities class action settlement between shareholders and online video game maker Zynga Inc. and certain of its executive officers and directors (In re Zynga Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 12-4007, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145728).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 28 dismissed all claims against a third-party claims administrator in a case alleging that a pair of insurers were fraudulently induced to become parties to a reinsurance program (AmTrust North America, Inc., et al. v. Safebuilt Insurance Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-9494, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147628).
PHOENIX - An excess insurer owes $3.4 million to the owner of an apartment complex for damages arising out of construction defects, an Arizona federal judge ruled Oct. 30, ordering that the amount of the judgment is subject to prejudgment interest (Lexington Insurance Co. v. Scott Homes Multifamily Inc. and Silverbell 290 Limited Partnership, No. 12-02119, D. Ariz.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147509).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that deemed a patent invalid as obvious will stand, thanks to a denial by the U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 2 of a petition for certiorari by the patent assignee (Luv N'Care Ltd. v. Munchkin Inc., No. 15-242, U.S. Sup.).
ATLANTA - Allegations that two defendants failed to notify a plaintiff identified only as "D.M." that he was HIV-positive "arise out of the breach of a professional duty" and "must be considered classic medical malpractice claims," the Division IV Georgia Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (Piedmont Hospital v. D.M., No. A15A1572; James Colquitt v. D.M., No. A15A1573, Ga. App., 4th Div.).
SAN DIEGO - Additional insureds failed to assert counterclaims for declaratory relief, breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against its commercial general liability insurer, a California federal judge ruled Oct. 28, dismissing the counterclaims (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. McMillin Homes Construction, Inc., et al., No. 15-1548, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147082).
TAMPA, Fla. - A plaintiff met its burden of demonstrating that a defendant's continued use of "Meth Lab Cleanup" could be in contempt of an earlier summary judgment ruling, a Florida federal judge ruled Oct. 28 (Meth Lab Cleanup LLC v. Spaulding Decon LLC et al., No. 14-3129, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146156).