FRESNO, Calif. - A California man alleges in an April 17 complaint filed in a California trial court that a used-vehicle seller and its affiliates, including an illegal shell reinsurance company, are involved in three fraudulent schemes in the sale of used vehicles and violated California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (Alejandra Ochoa-Gonzalez v. Paul Blanco's Good Car Company Fresno Inc., et al., No. 18CECG01311, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Even though an employee was tricked into transferring funds to a criminal because of fraudulent, spoofed emails, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 17 found that the direct cause of a seafood company's loss was the authorized employee's action, thus precluding coverage for the loss under the computer fraud provision of a commercial crime insurance policy (Aqua Star [USA] Corp. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 16-35614, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9660).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A motion by an asbestos liability insurer of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. to enforce the protective injunction in the debtor's reorganization plan to halt claimants in Montana from pursuing asbestos claims against the insurer should be stayed or dismissed because it is procedurally unsound and untimely, considering that the same issue is about to be decided by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a claimant told a Delaware federal bankruptcy court on April 17 (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 20 granted a motion filed by banks to dismiss causes of action asserted against them in relation to a mortgage for failure to state a claim, but granted a borrower leave to amend certain claims for violation of California housing law and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Kevin Crumley v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., No. 5:17-cv-07144, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27124).
TRENTON, N.J. - A materials scientist told a New Jersey jury on Feb. 20 that it was his opinion that a man's mesothelioma arose from exposure to asbestos in talc products he used nearly daily for his entire life, but under cross-examination admitted that the government had not found any evidence of asbestos contamination in the product (Stephen Lanzo, et al. v. Cyprus Amex Minerals Co., et al., No. L00738516, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on Feb. 20 dismissed an insured's bad faith claim against a health insurer after determining that the insured failed to allege facts supporting his claim that the health insurer's denial of coverage for proton beam radiotherapy was unreasonable (Anthony Woska, et al. v. Health Care Service Corp., et al., No. 17-89, W.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26711).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 20 denied an insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings in its lawsuit seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against underlying unfair competition claims (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. Becton, Dickinson, and Company, No. 17-691, D. N.J, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27847).
AUSTIN, Texas - An insured's suit seeking coverage for property damages caused by a hail storm must be remanded to Texas state court because complete diversity of citizenship does not exist as the insured states a plausible claim for relief against the insurance adjuster, a Texas federal judge said on Feb. 20 (Melvin Nelson v. State Farm Lloyds et al., No. 17-962, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26547).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 20 denied a motion to dismiss a franchise dispute involving two restaurants because the plaintiffs' amended complaint "adequately alleges" a threat of imminent use of a trademark that would constitute infringement (Jgx Inc. v. Jon Handlery, et al., No. 17-cv-00287-BLF, N.D. Calif.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27079).
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Feb. 20 denied a plaintiff's class certification motion in a lawsuit accusing an Ohio city of providing functioning sewer lines in a racially discriminatory manner, ruling that the motion was premature (Venicee Howell v. The City of Youngstown, Ohio, et al., No. 17-2320, N.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26864).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that there was no undue delay by an investor who alleges that the manager of a nightclub development company violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and committed securities fraud by inducing him into investing money for the development of a club, a California federal judge on Feb. 21 granted him leave to amend his complaint to name another manager as a defendant (Matthias Mueller v. San Diego Entertainment Partners LLC, et al., No. 16cv2997, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28013).
NEW YORK - A voluntary dismissal by a copyright infringement plaintiff two months after filing suit did not render a defendant in the action a prevailing party, a New York federal judge ruled Feb. 22 (Matthew McDermott v. Monday Monday LLC, No. 17-9230, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28664).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Various ConocoPhillips entities and the national oil company of Venezuela on Feb. 20 filed a joint letter in Delaware federal court, submitting arguments over whether a recent appellate court ruling should result in the dismissal of the oil company's claims that the Venezuelan entities violated the Delaware Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (DUFTA) by fraudulently transferring assets in an attempt to avoid paying potential arbitral awards or whether amended complaints should be considered (ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., et al. v. Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., et al., Nos. 16-904 and 17-00028, D. Del.).
PHILADELPHIA - Applying logic New Jersey's top court first espoused in an asbestos case finding a duty to prevent household exposures, a federal judge in Pennsylvania said Feb. 21 that the duty also extends past spouses to a girlfriend who frequently visited an employee's residence (Brenda Ann Schwartz v. Accuratus Corp., No. 12-6189, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27405).
SAN DIEGO - Dismissal of an insured's insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is necessary because her claims were not brought within the applicable statute of limitations and she has failed to show that the limitations period was tolled by the discovery rule, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 20 in granting an insurer's motion to dismiss (Laurel Davis v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 17-0738, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27045).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - Progressive deterioration caused by a chemical reaction and resulting in cracking concrete is not covered under a homeowners insurance policy's "collapses" provision, a Connecticut federal judge ruled Feb. 20 (Bart Zamichiei, et al. v. CSAA Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 16-739, D. Conn., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26956).
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - A group of residents filed a lawsuit in North Carolina federal court on Feb. 21 against E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., alleging that the company is liable for discharging toxic substances into the community near DuPont's Fayetteville Works facility "with blatant disregard for the effects on the people living nearby" (James S. Dew, et al. v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, et al., No. 18-30, E.D. N.C.).
SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 21 cited Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540 (2016), and joined the Second and Seventh circuits in ruling that a plaintiff alleging violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) without alleging a concrete injury lacks standing to sue (Steven Bassett v. ABM Parking Services, Inc., et al., No. 16-35933, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4097).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 21 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant summary judgment to a restaurant where a woman claimed that she contracted an infection from the clams because she did not prove that the restaurant created the defect in the clams (Maureen Horan, et al. v. Dilbert Inc., et al., No. 17-2243, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4410).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 20 denied an insurer's petition for writ of certiorari seeking review of the California Insurance commissioner's decision to deny its application to increase its homeowners insurance rates (Mercury Casualty Co., et al. v. Dave Jones, California Insurance Commissioner, et al., No 17-537, U.S. Sup., 2018 U.S. LEXIS 1242).
NEW YORK - Harvey Weinstein and the other defendants in a New York federal lawsuit alleging that Weinstein flashed, fondled, assaulted and raped multiple women filed separate motions on Feb. 20 seeking dismissal of the class complaint alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, battery assault and emotional distress (Louisette Geiss, et al. v. The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, et al., No. 17-9554, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Efforts by Google Inc. to cancel myriad claims of two data-monitoring patents continue to be unsuccessful, with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 22 rejecting the software giant's appeal of a finding by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the claims are patentable (Google LLC v. At Home Bondholders' Liquidating Trust, Nos. 16-2727, -2729, Fed. Cir.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 22 affirmed the preemption dismissal of a bone-growth product liability lawsuit filed by 53 plaintiffs, finding that they forfeited key arguments they raised on appeal (Michelle Agee, et al. v. Alphatec Spine, Inc., et al., No. 17-3296, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4194).