SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - In a medical malpractice lawsuit, a Puerto Rico federal judge on Oct. 19 refused to exclude a treating physician's testimony because it is relevant to establish the causal nexus between a man's prior treatment and his alleged injury (Martin Torres-Rivera v. Centro Medico Del Turabo Inc., et al., No. 13-1747, D. Puerto Rico; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145129).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Oct. 24 stood by its August 2016 ruling that upheld an examiner's rejection of 20 claims of an invention covering a hand-held device display management system (Ex parte Michael Muller, Appeal No. 2015-004131, PTAB).
CONCORD, N.H. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a New Hampshire court on Oct. 21 to approve his recommendation that the liquidation estate settle certain asbestos bodily injury related claims for $34 million (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - An insurer on Oct. 20 moved for reconsideration or, in the alternative, for certification of interlocutory appeal, arguing that an Alabama federal judge erroneously applied a total pollution exclusion as if it were a qualified pollution exclusion and in doing so, incorrectly determined that the total pollution exclusion cannot be asserted as a bar to coverage for two underlying lawsuits alleging injuries from sewage exposure (Evanston Insurance Co. v. J&J Cable Construction LLC, et al., No. 15-506, M.D. Ala.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The U.S. Department of the Navy on Oct. 19 filed a complaint in intervention in a California federal court, seeking a declaration that an insurer owes coverage for environmental contamination discovered at one of the Navy's California shipyards (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - Many of the statements on a mattress review website about which a mattress manufacturer complains constitute opinions that are not actionable under the Lanham Act, a New York federal judge ruled Oct. 20, granting in part the site operator's motion to dismiss (Casper Sleep Inc. v. Derek Hales, et al., No. 1:16-cv-03223, S.D. N.Y.).
PHILADELPHIA - Efforts by Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Watson Laboratories Inc., Allergan PLLC and Impax Laboratories Inc. to sever allegations that they violated the Federal Trade Commission and Clayton Acts by delaying market entry of two proposed generic drugs were successful on Oct. 20, when a Pennsylvania federal judge agreed that the challenged agreements, underlying circumstances and drugs "have nothing to do with each other" (Federal Trade Commission v. Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 16-1440, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145329).
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple Inc. won partial dismissal on Oct. 21 of allegations that it induced others to infringe a patented process that facilitates video conferencing when a California federal judge agreed that one patent was not indirectly infringed; the judge denied dismissal as it relates to four other patents asserted in the action, however (Straight Path IP Group Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 16-3582, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146262).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A condominium association's breach of warranty and negligence claims against a contractor, its subcontractor and their surety are subject to mandatory arbitration under the language of the contract between the association and the contractor, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed Oct. 21 (The Hanover Insurance Co., et al. v. Kiva Lodge Condominium Owners' Association Inc., No. 1141331, Ala. Sup.; 2016 Ala. LEXIS 123).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court has refused to revisit a judgment in favor of an insured in a coverage dispute over damage caused by Hurricane Ike, according to its orders pronounced list issued Oct. 21 (National Lloyds Insurance Co. v. Latosha A. Lewis, No. 15-0261, Texas Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Oct. 21 denied a motion to rehear its finding that homeowners in the upper White Oak Bayou watershed area of Texas have demonstrated that a fact question exists as to whether government entities were substantially certain that their actions in approving new upstream development without properly mitigating it would cause the homes to flood, according to its orders pronounced list (Harris County Flood Control District and Harris County, Texas v. Edward A. and Norma Kerr, et al., No. 13-0303, Texas Sup.).
TRENTON, N.J. - The entire-controversy doctrine precludes a subrogated insurer from asserting claims on behalf of its insured against an engineering firm for damage to a condominium because the claims were fully resolved in a prior lawsuit filed by the insured, a New Jersey appeals panel ruled Oct. 20 (Franklin Mutual Insurance Co. as subrogee of Sevastyan Ploshchansky v. Castle Restoration and Construction Inc. and Falcon Engineering Company LLC, No. A-5272-14T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
CHICAGO - Failing to apply for a job with a replacement subcontractor does not doom retaliation claims filed against that employer by two emergency medical technicians (EMTs) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA), the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 19 (Shannon Volling, et al. v. Kurtz Paramedic Services, Inc., No. 15-3572, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18816).
CHICAGO - Claims by a Wisconsin foundation's former director, who sued a co-worker and supervisor for tortious interference after he was fired, are governed by Wisconsin tort law and under that law fail because the statements made by the defendants leading up to the termination were "substantially truthful" and the motives underlying those statements have no effect, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 20 (Stephen D. Wesbrook, Ph.D. v. Karl J. Ulrich, M.D., et al., No. 15-3870, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18872).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal court in Texas did not abuse its discretion in excluding the testimony of the plaintiff's expert witness in a medical negligence case, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Oct. 19, affirming summary judgment for the defendants (Jewel Honey-Love, Individually and as a Representative of the Estate of Larry Lavon Love v. United States of America, et al., No. 16-20080, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18829).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 20 found that an underlying lawsuit alleging Lanham Act and unfair competition claims against an insured potentially sought damages that were covered under an insurance policy, reversing a lower court's no coverage ruling (First One Lending Corp., et al. v. The Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-56492, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18935).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 19 affirmed a federal court's finding that a bank's management liability insurance policy's "unrepaid loan carve-out" does not bar coverage for damages sought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) in an underlying lawsuit alleging tortious conduct by the bank's directors and officers (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, No. 14-56830, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 18811).
NEW YORK - A bid by Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. to vacate a finding that it has not paid a sufficient amount for asbestos claims to reach the level of excess coverage provided under three insurance policies should be rejected because the debtor is improperly trying to reargue the issue with a revised legal strategy, insurers assert in separate Oct. 18 response briefs in New York federal bankruptcy court (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
HAMMOND, Ind. - Noting the possibility of inconsistent adjudications, an Indiana federal judge on Oct. 18 denied an insurer's request for a default judgment against insured contractors because homeowners' underlying negligence lawsuit against them has not been resolved by judgment and the homeowners are named in the coverage dispute (Property-Owners Insurance Co. v. Raymond T. Yagelski, et al., No. 14-267, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143914).
NEW YORK - The man set to be the first in the second set of bellwether trials against General Motors in the ignition switch multidistrict litigation dismissed his personal injury claims against the automaker with prejudice on Oct. 20 (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254, James Boyd v. General Motors LLC, No. 1:14-cv-08385, S.D. N.Y.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Citing Spokeo v. Robbins (136 S.Ct. 1540 ), a New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 20 dismissed a putative class action against J. Crew Inc. under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), finding that the complaint failed to allege any concrete injuries from the retailer's printing too many credit card digits on customers' receipts (Ahmed Kamal v. J. Crew Group Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-00190, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145392).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - In an excessive force lawsuit against a city and its police officers, a Mississippi federal judge excluded on Oct. 18 a police expert's testimony because the opinions consist of legal conclusions based on legal analysis (Sandra Willis, et al. v. City of Hattiesburg, Miss., et al., No. 2:14-CV-89-KS-MTP, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144060).
SALT LAKE CITY - Genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether an insured had actual knowledge of a superior deed of trust on property it acquired, a federal judge in Utah ruled in denying cross-motions for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit on Oct. 18 (Johnsen and Allphin Properties LLC v. First American Title Insurance Co., No. 12-740, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144429).
CAMDEN, N.J. - Two companies that sell transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices and associated accessories to medical professionals and allegedly submitted inflated bills to Aetna Health Inc. and Aetna Life Insurance Co. (collectively, Aetna) cannot face allegations of insurance fraud brought by the insurer, a federal judge in New Jersey rule Oct. 19, explaining that North Carolina law requires that the accused party be criminally convicted of insurance fraud before bringing the claim (Aetna Health Inc., et al. v. Carolina Analgesic Inc., et al., No. 13-7202, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144872).