PHILADELPHIA - A tire manufacturing company manager failed to show that he was wrongfully terminated following medical leave, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 17, upholding a trial court's ruling in favor of the employer (Ronald Ross v. Kevin Gilhuly, et al., No. 13-2437, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11231).
DENVER - A district court did not err in finding that a disability insurer properly denied short-term and long-term disability benefits because the evidence shows that the insurer diligently investigated the claimant's case and had a reasonable basis for its denial, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said June 18 (Gina M. Nelson v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No.13-5073, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11416).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Hawaii federal judge properly denied preliminary injunctive relief in a dispute over the "Ecodiesel" trademark, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 19 (Unitek Solvent Services Inc. v. Chrysler Group LLC, No. 13-17151, 9th Cir.).
MIAMI - Because a trial court awarded damages to an excess insurer without first finding causation from a primary insurer's purported bad faith claim settlement activities, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 19 reversed the judgment and damages award in favor of the excess insurer (Westchester Fire Insurance Co. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 13-12932, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11546).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on June 17 announced the completion of a two-week hearing on the merits in a territorial maritime dispute between the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia.
DOHA, Qatar - The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee on June 18 formally adopted a recommendation that Canada create a buffer zone around Gros Morne National Park to protect it against hydraulic fracturing, according to a statement issued by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina on June 19 dismissed a couple's lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force that alleged contamination of the groundwater near their home with trichloroethylene (TCE) and/or perchloroethylene (PCE) because the couple failed to show that the government violated any federal statute, regulation or policy that prescribed a specific and mandatory course of action related to the use, disposal or remediation of the chemicals in question (Tony Horton, et al. v. United States of America, No. 13-947, D. S.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83474).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A federal judge in Delaware on June 18 granted a motion by shareholders to certify a class and appoint lead and liaison counsel in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the class has met all statutory guidelines for approval (Robert Skeway, et al. v. China Natural Gas Inc., et al., No. 10-728, D. Del.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82779).
PHILADELPHIA - Although a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 17 found that a genuine dispute existed over whether a title insurer breached its contract by delaying a quiet title proceeding on its insureds' behalf, the panel held that delay due to corporate restructuring might constitute negligence or mistake but not bad faith (Bryan Granelli, et al. v. Chicago Title Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-1024, 3rd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11235).
BOSTON - A commercial general liability insurer's potential liability exposure in a junk fax dispute does not meet the jurisdictional threshold amount of $75,000, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 19, vacating and remanding for a federal court to dismiss the lawsuit for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (CE Design Ltd. v. American Economy Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-1080, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11577).
NEW YORK - A man who often spent 40 hours per week working at a school for more than three years did so as a volunteer, not as an employee, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 18, rejecting the man's wage claims (Jayquan Brown v. New York Department of Education, et al., No. 13-139, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11412).
DENVER - An earth movement exclusion bars coverage for an insured's water damage in her home, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 19, affirming dismissal of breach of contract and statutory and common law bad faith claims against an insurer (Shannon Wagner v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-1438, 10th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11526).
NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in granting injunctive relief and imposing treble civil penalties against former Goldman Sachs director Rajat K. Gupta for his role in an insider trading scheme because such actions were appropriate, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 17 (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Rajat K. Gupta, No. 13-3062, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - Royal Bank of Scotland Securities Inc. (RBSSI) on June 19 agreed to pay $99.5 million to settle claims that it violated state and federal securities laws by misrepresenting the investment quality of residential mortgage-backed securities it underwrote that were subsequently sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Federal Housing Finance Agency v. Ally Financial Inc., No. 11-7010, S.D. N.Y.).
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on June 19 granted the federal government's motion to enter a consent decree to resolve lawsuits brought by the government and State of Illinois over violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA), Clean Air Act (CAA) and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) against the owner of two facilities where polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins (United States of America v. PolyOne Corp., No. 13-cv-1550, State of Illinois v. PolyOne Corp., No. 13-cv-1551, C.D. Ill.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83317).
CLARKSBURG. W.Va. - The named plaintiff representing a class of landowners in West Virginia who contest the validity of oil and gas leases they entered into with a company seeking to use hydraulic fracturing on their land filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on June 19 supporting a motion to compel the company to comply with discovery requests (Floyd Barber v. Magnum Land Services LLC, No. 13-33, N.D. W.Va.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - One of the lead plaintiffs in a bad faith and fraud class action against an automobile insurer failed to establish a breach of contract for denial of benefits related to an accident, a Delaware federal judge ruled June 16, finding that this defeated her contractual bad faith and implied bad faith claims against the insurer (Kerry Johnson, et al. v. GEICO Casualty Co., et al., No. 1:06-cv-00408, D. Del.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81403).
LOS ANGELES - There are genuine issues of fact about whether an apparel company's marketing of a skull design violates California's unfair competition law (UCL) and infringes the copyright and trademark for another company's design, a federal judge held June 16 in denying summary judgment to both parties (Lambert Corp. v. LBJC Inc., et al., No. 13-00778, C.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83108).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina court on June 17 reversed an education board's decision to not renew the contract of an employee, who made complaints about mold and other issues, finding that she should be afforded the opportunity to present evidence that was not previously considered by the board (Tiffany N. Tobe-Williams v. New Hanover County Board of Education, a/k/a New Hanover County Schools, N.C. App.; 2014 N.C. App. LEXIS 612).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on June 16 denied a claimant's request for an interlocutory appeal on the basis that the claimant did not prove that any controlling issues of law are at issue that would justify an appeal before a final judgment is issued (Mariana Nelson et al. v. Standard Insurance Co. et al., No. 13-188, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81749).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California appeals panel found June 17 that a lower court erred in finding that an insurance policy's intra-insured claims exclusion defeats an insurer's duty to defend an underlying lawsuit stemming from the termination of a licensing agreement involving a hotel franchise (Bann-Shiang Liza Yu v. Sequoia Insurance Co., No. G046603 consolidated with G046698, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 3; 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4308).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on June 18 refused to reconsider its previous ruling that ordered a lower court to grant a homeowners insurer the right to attorney fees in a Hurricane Wilma dispute (Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Magdiel Perez, No. 4D12-1412, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Fla. App. LEXIS 9196; See May 2014, Page 17).