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).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Evidence in an asbestos case falls short of demonstrating sufficient exposure from brakes on a manufacturer's cranes, a Pennsylvania appeals court held March 16 (Norman J. Sterling and Laura M. Sterling v. P&H Mining Equipment Inc., a/k/a Joy Global Surface Mining Inc., No. 1006 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In light of the recent revelation that former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton used her personal email account to conduct official government business, Gawker Media LLC on March 13 sued the U.S. Department of State under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, seeking an order compelling disclosure of requested communications between a Clinton staffer and certain media outlets (Gawker Media LLC, et al. v. Department of State, No. 1:15-cv-00363, D. D.C.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on March 12 declined to certify a class of workers under the New York Labor Law (NYLL) suing their former employer for various wage violations, finding that the plaintiffs failed to prove predominance and commonality (Christopher D. Griffith, et al. v. Fordham Financial Management, Inc., et al., No. 12-1117, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30869).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a March 13 amicus curiae brief, filed upon invitation of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. solicitor general recommended that the high court deny an online data aggregation service's petition for certiorari in a dispute over the injury-in-fact requirement to establish standing to bring a suit under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) per Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Spokeo, Inc. v. Thomas Robins, et al., No. 13-1339, U.S. Sup.).
PITTSBURGH - An insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a number of its policyholders against underlying claims arising from the discharge of raw sewage onto the land of other property owners because the policyholders did not dispute the carrier's argument that coverage is barred pursuant to the policies' exclusions for pollution liability and biological deterioration, a Pennsylvania federal judge said March 13 (Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al. v. Randy Shearer, et al., No. 14-735, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31126).
BOSTON - Fidelity did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by retaining float income earned from plan disbursements because redemption float income was not a plan asset and because Fidelity was not a fiduciary with respect to float, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled March 11 (In re Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation, No. 13-10222, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29825).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A majority of the Ohio Supreme Court on March 12 found that a commercial general liability insurance policy exclusion bars coverage for a carpenter's employer intentional torts claims against his employers arising from his 14-foot fall from a ladder-jack scaffold (Hoyle; The Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. DTJ Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 2013-1405, Ohio Sup.; 2015 Ohio LEXIS 595).