MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota federal judge on Sept. 22 held that a directors and officers liability insurance policy's "insured vs. insured" exception bars coverage for an underlying share dispute brought against a closely held corporation and two members of its board of directors by a former board member and her two daughters (Jerry's Enterprises Inc. v. U.S. Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-1951, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126241).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The makeup of the National Labor Relations Board had no effect on the regional director's right to conduct union elections and certify the results during the same time, two split District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panels ruled Sept. 18 in two separate opinions (UC Health v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 14-1049, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16628; SSC Mystic Operating company, LLC, doing business as Pendleton Health & Rehabilitation Center v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 14-1045, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16629).
NEW YORK - The trustees of the asbestos trust established in the landmark Chapter 11 case of Johns-Manville Corp. abused their discretion and breached their fiduciary duties of impartiality and loyalty when they decided to disallow the submission of claims from a California attorney based on allegations that he has filed unreliable claim-related evidence with other asbestos personal injury settlement trusts, the attorney said Sept. 21 in his answer to the Johns-Manville trust's declaratory judgment adversary complaint (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656 [Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Michael J. Mandelbrot and The Mandelbrot Law Firm, No. 15-01296], S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Five defendants secured a defense verdict on Sept. 21 in an Alameda County asbestos trial alleging exposure to friction parts, including a brake-grinding machines manufacturer (Steve C. Swasey and Virginia R. Swasey v. Asbestos Companies, No. RG15758585, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 21 upheld a federal judge in Illinois' ruling finding that a 1920 agreement between a plaintiff company and the defendant's predecessor barred the plaintiff's claim for contribution under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Section 113(f) (Peoples Gas Light & Coke Company v. Beazer East Inc., No. 14-3634, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16745).
MIAMI - A jury in Florida on Sept. 22 delivered a defense verdict in a lawsuit brought by a woman who contended that the manufacturers of cigarettes were liable for her husband's death from lung cancer, which she said was caused by his addiction to smoking. The plaintiff had sought between $34,737,000 and $50,676,600 in damages (Teresa Suarez, as the representative of the Estate of Pio Suarez, v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, et al., No. 2009-79584-CA-01, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Dade Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Concluding that a trial court "erred by conflating restitution calculation with the liability inquiry" for claims brought under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and false advertising law (FAL), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 21 reversed a ruling that denied a putative class's motion for certification in its claims that Google Inc. misled them under its AdWords advertising program (Pulaski & Middleman LLC, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 12-16752, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16723).
ALBANY, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge held Sept. 21 that a competitor's counterclaim against an insured stemming from an underlying patent infringement lawsuit raises sufficient claims of a "personal and advertising injury" and, therefore, the insurer has a duty to defend its insured in the underlying dispute (Foliar Nutrients Inc., et al. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Co., No. 14-75, M.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125528).
PITTSBURGH - An expert's omission of proffered price-influencing variables in testimony in an antitrust class action does not render his regression analysis "irrelevant," a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 18, denying a motion to exclude that testimony (Resco Prods., Inc. v. Bosai Minerals GRP., et al., No. 06-235, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124930).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Seven owners of Volkswagen Group of America Inc. vehicles filed a class complaint in California federal court on Sept. 20 accusing the car maker of intentionally installing software on more than 482,000 diesel vehicles that circumvents U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards for certain air pollutants (Michael McCabe, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., No. 15-1930, C.D. Calif.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 18 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss a bad faith claim in a lawsuit over alleged toxic mold exposure stemming from Hurricane Isaac, finding that the plaintiffs have not raised a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether they have a valid insurance claim (Steve B. Douglas, et al. v. Renola Equity Fund II LLC, et al., No., 13-6192, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124986).
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - A Tennessee jury on Sept. 17 returned a defense verdict in a case alleging exposure to asbestos during contract work at a Honeywell International Inc. predecessor's brake-manufacturing facility, sources told Mealey Publications (Nancy Harriss, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. 14C771, Tenn. Cir., Hamilton Co.).
NEW SOUTH WALES, Australia - Damages awarded for the inability to provide services do not arise from the same injury and are not offset by damages for a widow's loss of services, an Australian court held Sept. 17 (Dionisatos (for the estate of the late George Dionysatos) v. Acrow Formwork & Scaffolding Pty Ltd., No  NSWCA 281, New South Wales App.).
BATON ROUGE, La. - After finding that public interest factors weighed in favor of dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds, a Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 18 dismissed a widow's claims related to a settlement that was approved by an arbitrator in the Philippines (Aina Z. Layson v. Baffin Investments Ltd., et al., No. 14-518, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24962).
CINCINNATI - Two policyholders of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. argued to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 18 appellant brief that they have standing to bring a class action against the insurer under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) after their personally identifiable information (PII) was stolen in a 2012 data breach, seeking reversal of a trial court order that found that they had suffered no injury in fact (Mohammad S. Galaria, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-3386 and 15-3387, 6th Cir.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - After finding that a borrower failed to present any new allegations and that he failed to show that a lender made material misrepresentations about a mortgage, a New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 18 refused to grant his motion for preliminary injunction preventing foreclosure (Antonio McCoy v. Mortgage Service Center, No. 14-3643, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124915).
PORTLAND, Ore. - Because an expert report contains conclusions of law and does not address the specific coverage issues in an environmental contamination coverage dispute, an Oregon federal magistrate judge on Sept. 21 granted various insurers' motion to strike the expert report and precluded the expert from testifying at trial (Century Indemnity Co. v. The Marine Group LLC, et al., No. 08-1375, D. Ore.).
NEW YORK - A dispute over whether "FlashXHype" is likely to confuse consumers will proceed with new allegations of trademark infringement, in light of a recently received trademark registration for "XHype," thanks to a Sept. 21 ruling by a New York federal magistrate judge (Cat3 LLC et al. v. Black Lineage Inc. et al., No. 14-5511, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125879).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The admission of expert reports in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of certain gun laws enacted by the District of Columbia was not an abuse of discretion, the District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 18 (Dick Anthony Heller, et al. v. District of Columbia, et al., No. 14-7071, D.C. App.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16632).
ORLANDO, Fla. - An insured seeking uninsured motorist (UM) benefits failed to show that his expert's testimony on causation is based on sufficient facts and data or that it is the product of a reliable methodology, a Florida federal judge ruled Sept. 18 (William Scott Carmody v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 14-830, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125056).