WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the Veterans Claims U.S. Court of Appeals on March 16 vacated a ruling that had denied a veteran benefits for his claim of injury for alleged exposure to Agent Orange and remanded the case for further proceedings (John M. Rutherford v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 14-0138, Vet. Clms.; 2015 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 303).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 16 reversed a lower federal court's ruling against insurers in a fraudulent injury claims dispute, remanding the proceedings for a trial by jury (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Community Health Center, et al., No. 14-30506, 5th Cir.).
CHICAGO - In a lawsuit over coverage for property damage claims, a written agreement between a contractor and a subcontractor did not require the subcontractor to name the contractor as an additional insured on a commercial general liability insurance policy, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed March 16 (West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. v. Athens Construction Company Inc., No. 1-14-0006, Ill. App., 1st Dist., Div. 1; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 172).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma ruled on March 13 that an insurance agent was not improperly joined in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because a possibility exists that insureds can establish a claim for negligence in the procurement of insurance against the agent (Larry Mattocks, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., et al., No. 15-2-M, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31024).
PADUCAH, Ky. - LWD PRP Group, an association of 58 companies that are potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for contamination at the LWD Incinerator Superfund site in Calvert City, Ky., cannot seek cost recovery under Section 107(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act or contribution under CERCLA Section 113(f), a federal judge in Kentucky ruled March 13 in dismissing claims against 68 defendant companies (LWD PRP Group v. ACF Industries LLC, et al., No. 12-CV-00127-GNS-HBB, W.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31369).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A participant in a nongovernmental health need not exhaust tribal remedies prior to bringing a claim for recovery of health benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal judge in Kansas ruled March 13 (Amy Coppe v. The Sac & Fox Casino Healthcare Plan, et al., No. 14-2598, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30992).
ALAMEDA, Calif. - An Alameda County, Calif., Superior Court judge on March 16 heard opening arguments in a class suit brought by members accusing Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. of violating California Health and Safety Code Section 1367.63 by denying all requests for surgery to remove excess skin following bariatric surgery without first having a physician review each request (Wendy Gallimore, et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., et al., No. RG12616206, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings by a Delaware federal judge that various claims of four patents are valid and infringed by Apple Inc. were only partly correct, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 17 (MobileMedia Ideas LLC v. Apple Inc., Nos. 14-1060, -1091, Fed. Cir.).
DENVER - The Colorado Supreme Court on March 16 reversed a lower court ruling in a water right nonuse case, saying nonuse is defined by water used at a decreed diversion point, not whether the water is used via another diversion point (Dick Wolfe, et al. v. Jim Hutton Educational Foundation, No. 14SA38, Colo. Sup.; 2015 Colo. LEXIS 199).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Generic drug manufacturer Sandoz Inc. will pay a civil monetary penalty of $12.64 million to settle allegations that it misrepresented its drug pricing data to the federal government, the U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in a March 16 press release.
NEW YORK - After finding that a defendant was dismissed for lack of capacity to be sued, a New York federal judge on March 16 dismissed a petition filed by numerous claimants to confirm an arbitration award (CBF Industria de Gusa S/A, et al. v. Steel Base Trade AG, et al., No. 14-3034, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31988).
CHICAGO - An insurer's negligence claim against its insured is precluded under Illinois law by the economic loss doctrine, an Illinois federal judge ruled March 16, granting the insurer's motion to dismiss (CNA Financial Corp. d/b/a Continental Casualty Co. v. York Risk Services Group Inc., No. 14-01706, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31676).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on March 16 found that plaintiffs' failure to allege that their cleaning service and its trademark enjoyed nationwide fame defeated their federal trademark infringement claims against the operator of LivingSocial.com, granting in part a motion to dismiss (Troy Feagin, et al. v. LivingSocial Inc., et al., No. 3:14-cv-00418, S.D. Calif.).
MIAMI - A not-for-profit organization on March 16 won summary judgment from a federal judge in Florida on allegations that it violated the Lanham Act (Edward Tobinick MD v. M.D. Steven Novella, et al., No. 14-80781, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31884).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on March 12 issued a writ of certiorari and quashed a trial court's order compelling the deposition of the state's insurance commissioner in a suit against the accounting firm of three insolvent insurers (Florida Office of Insurance Regulation v. Florida Department of Financial Services, as Receiver for Southern Family Insurance Company, et al., No. 1D14-4417, Fla. App., 1st Dist.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal bankruptcy judge on March 16 expanded the services of the special insurance counsel for asbestos personal injury creditors in the Chapter 11 case of Rapid-American Corp. to include insurance coverage litigation expected to be filed against the debtor's remaining excess insurers (In re: Rapid-American Corporation, No. 13-10687, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on March 13 certified a class of debtors suing a law firm that was hired by a collection agency for failing to properly identify itself and the reason for its phone call in messages left for the people it was hired to sue (Kellie Rhodes, et al. v. Olson Associates, P.C., d/b/a Olson Shaner, No. 14-919, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31145).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A federal judge in Alabama on March 16 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation to deny a man's motion to vacate his 144-month sentence for defrauding two insurance companies because his trial counsel acted effectively by not raising the advice-of-counsel defense at trial (John W. Goff v. United States of America, No. 12cv53, M.D. Ala.).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A woman's request to dismiss a superseding indictment accusing her of 50 counts of health care fraud for allegedly billing health care plans for personal training sessions as physical therapy services was denied by a federal judge in Connecticut on March 16 after he found that there is no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct (United States of America v. Danielle Faux, No. 14-cr-28, D. Conn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31527).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 16 affirmed a lower court's decision and held that a doctor who sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania seeking information about the content of hydraulic fracturing fluids lacked standing to bring the action because he failed to demonstrate standing (Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez M.D. v. Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, et al., No. 14-3467, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4126).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state appeals panel on March 16 affirmed an $11.65 million Topamax birth defect verdict, rejecting arguments by Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. that the plaintiffs' failure-to-warn claims are preempted by federal law (Brayden Gurley, et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 239 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2015 Pa. Super. LEXIS 112).
WILMINGTON, Del. - With a second confirmation hearing for The Flintkote Co.'s plan of reorganization set for August, the Delaware federal bankruptcy judge overseeing the case on March 13 gave the debtor more time to file a plan, solicit votes on it and remove bankruptcy prepetition causes of action (In re: The Flintkote Co., et al., No. 04-11300, D. Del. Bkcy.).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on March 13 found that a lower court erred in holding that insureds were entitled to appraisal of their claim for sinkhole damage, reversing, remanding and certifying two questions to the Florida Supreme Court (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association Inc., v. Daniel Hunnewell, et al., No. 2D14-397, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 3614).
PITTSBURGH - After finding that a resource company failed to submit evidence as to why a Chinese arbitral award should not be confirmed, a Pennsylvania federal judge on March 13 granted summary judgment enforcing the award in favor of a mineral company in a dispute over a shipment of alumina (Calbex Mineral Limited v. ACC Resources Co. L.P., No. 13-276, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31105).
BOSTON - Homeowners are necessary to a subrogated insurer's negligence lawsuit against the installer of insulation that caused a fire and property damage to their home, a Massachusetts federal judge ruled March 13, adopting a magistrate judge's report and recommendation (The Phoenix Insurance Co. a/s/o Annette Defarias and Paul Defarias v. William Delangis d/b/a American Door, Window & Insulation, No. 14-10698, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31419).