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).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
LONDON - The London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on Nov. 3 released its findings on the average cost and duration of its arbitrations.
MASON, Mich. - A Michigan judge on Oct. 29 ordered an insurer into rehabilitation, finding that the insurer's financial condition is hazardous to policyholders (Patrick McPharlin, Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services v. Affirmative Insurance Company of Michigan, No. 15-898-CR, Mich. Cir., Ingham Co.).
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - Because punitive damage awards are excluded from coverage, the insurers' refusal to pay punitive damages in connection with an underlying carbon monoxide poisoning claim was not unreasonable, the insurers argue in their Oct. 30 opposition to an insured's motion for summary judgment filed in Wyoming federal court (Interstate Fire & Casualty Co. and Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. v. Apartment Management Consultants LLC, et al., No. 13-00278, D. Wyo.).
WARREN, Ohio - An Ohio appeals panel on Nov. 2 dismissed an appeal filed by a subsequent owner of a parcel of land involved in a Clean Water Act (CWA) lawsuit brought by the State of Ohio on behalf of its Environmental Protection Agency, finding that an order awarding summary judgment to the owner's co-defendants on their cross-claims was not final even though the document stated that it was (State of Ohio, ex rel. Michael DeWine, Ohio Attorney General v. RAAW LLC, et al., No. 2015-T-0046, Ohio App., 11th Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 4422).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - After finding that a borrower sued a bank more than 60 days after her proof of claim related to the alleged mishandling of her mortgage was denied by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), a Texas federal judge on Oct. 30 found that the court lacked jurisdiction under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA) (Helen Bottis v. First National Bank, No. 2:14-CV-491, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147816).
EL DORADO, Ark. - An insured is entitled to contingent extra expense (CEE) coverage for damages suffered as a result of an oil pipeline rupture, an Arkansas federal judge ruled Nov. 2, finding that certain coverage grants are subject only to the policies' total $700 million limit (Lion Oil Co. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, et al., No. 13-1071, W.D. Ark.).
NEW YORK - Two downloads by a single user of a free copy of a copyrighted book are insufficient to sustain an action for copyright infringement against BarnesandNoble.com LLC, a New York federal judge ruled Nov. 2 (Cheryl Smith v. BarnesandNoble.com LLC, No. 12-4374, S.D. N.Y.).
VALDOSTA, Ga. - After finding that a borrower's claim for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was time-barred and that he did not meet the financial standards to proceed in forma pauperis, a Georgia federal judge on Nov. 2 denied the borrower leave to appeal to the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Ronald Frank Jackson v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 7:14-CV-82, M.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147954).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a reasonable consumer would not be deceived by the labeling on a toddler food product, a California federal judge on Nov. 2 dismissed a consumer's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and California Consumer Legal Remedies Act Section 1750 against the maker of the product (Kathryn Workman, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situation, v. Plum Inc., d/b/a Plum Organics, No. 15-02568, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148426).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Oct. 29 affirmed a lower court, holding that evidence on the reasonableness of a group of reinsureds' allocation of a settlement amount to asbestos-insurance claims is contrary to an earlier appeals court decision (United States Fidelity & Guaranty Company, et al. v. American Re-Insurance Company, et al., No. 604517/02, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7979).
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.).
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.).