NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 30 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurance policy's precious metals exclusion bars coverage for a church insured's claimed losses stemming from the theft of seven rooftop air conditioner condensers (Celebration Church Inc. v. United National Insurance Company, No. 16-30048, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16061).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 29 found that a borrower failed to adequately plead his claims related to his application for a loan modification, granting a bank's motion to dismiss his claims for negligence, intentional infliction of emotional stress and violation of California law (Douglas K. Ivey v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 16-cv-00610, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115863).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 26 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that an insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying trademark dispute, concluding that the underlying claims 'looked, walked, and quacked only like typical trademark infringement claims-not unpled disparagement or trade dress claims' (S. Bertram, Inc. v. Citizens Insurance Company of America, No. 15-2552, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15886).
SAN FRANCISCO - A district court erred in entering judgment in favor of a disability plan and a disability insurer because it failed to consider how medications taken by the disability claimant would affect his ability to function in a workplace under the 'any occupation' test, the majority of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said Aug. 26 (Daniel G. Demer v. IBM Corporation LTD Plan, et al., No. 13-17196, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15788).
CLEVELAND - Mobile homeowners' misrepresentation claims do not arise out of events that sought damages for an 'occurrence' under a commercial general liability insurance policy and umbrella policy, an Ohio federal judge ruled Aug. 26, finding that the insurer had no duty to defend and indemnify claims filed in a class action lawsuit (Lakeside Terrace Homes Sales Ltd., et al. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., No. 15-1794, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114828).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Aug. 26 excluded partial testimony in an insurance coverage dispute on the remaining issue as to whether an insured's property was located within a 100-year floodplain at the time of its loss (Federal-Mogul Corp. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, No. 12-12005, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114573).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Aug. 26 denied a motion to temporarily enjoin three state court cases filed against the maker of a line of hair products that allegedly cause hair loss, finding that the state courts do not threaten settlement of a federal class action that makes similar hair loss claims (Amy Friedman, et al. v. Guthy-Renker LLC, et al., No. 14-6009, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114934).
NEW ORLEANS - An asbestos case removed on other grounds may remain in federal court where dismissal leaves only parties with complete diversity, but on remand a federal court must determine if that situation applies to the case before it, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Aug. 25 (Joannie L. Jefferson, et al. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, No. 15-30211, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 15867).
TAMPA, Fla. - After finding that a borrower's request for information (RFI) did not constitute a qualified written request (QWR) under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), a Florida federal judge on Aug. 29 granted a bank's motion to dismiss the complaint with leave to amend (Xavier A. Bracco v. PNC Mortgage, No. 8:16-cv-1640, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115269).
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - After finding that borrowers failed to meet the payment obligations of their mortgage, a Puerto Rico federal magistrate judge on Aug. 25 granted summary judgment in favor of an asset company on its claims related to foreclosure of the property (Roosevelt Cayman Asset Company v. Jorge Luis Oquendo-Robles, et al., No. 15-1268, D. Puerto Rico; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115118).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A defendant has failed to show "where, how and why" a plaintiff's planned fiberglass utility body (FUB) would infringe any protectable trade dress belonging to the defendant, thereby entitling the plaintiff to a declaration of noninfringement, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 29 (Industrial Models Inc. v. SNF Inc., et al., No. 15-689, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115644).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A copyright infringement plaintiff on Aug. 25 won partial summary judgment when an Illinois federal judge found that the "undisputed facts" demonstrate that three defendants copied the "particularized expression" of an idea for a clothespin featuring a silhouetted bird design (Design Ideas Ltd. v. Meijer Inc., et al., No. 15-3093, C.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113704).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 25 found that an underlying professional malpractice lawsuit against an attorney insured constitutes a single "claim" under a professional liability insurance policy, declaring that the insurer's contractual liability defense and indemnity is limited to $500,000 (Westport Insurance Corp. v. Peter G. Mylonas, et al., No. 14-5760, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114867).
NEW YORK - An alleged party to a captive reinsurance agreement told a federal court in New York on Aug. 29 that the court does not hold jurisdiction over it and cross-moved for the dismissal of a case brought to force the party to pay a judgment from another suit (AmTrust North America, Inc. and Technology Insurance Company, Inc., as judgment creditors of Pacific Re, Inc. on behalf of its protected cell Pac Re 5-AT v. Safebuilt Insurance Services Inc., No. 16-cv-06033, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A $20 million attorney fee fund from a settlement between an insurer and asbestos claimants should be divided equally among four law firms that negotiated the settlement based on the language and meaning of the agreement, a New York federal bankruptcy judge held Aug. 26 (In re: Johns-Manville Corporation, et al. [Eric Bogdan and the Bogdan Law Firm v. Bevan & Associates, LPA, Inc., et al., No. 15-01023] No. 82-11656, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.; 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 3145).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 29 agreed to hold argument in abeyance pending settlement of union members' claims that their employer improperly withheld pay raises due to their union membership (KAG West, LLC v. National Labor Relations Board, Nos. 15-1189 and 15-1269, D.C. Cir.).
JUNEAU, Alaska - The Alaska Supreme Court on Aug. 26 ruled that a refinery owner's claim for indemnification against the refinery's previous owner, which was related to a lawsuit alleging groundwater contamination brought by a local resident, was not barred by the statute of limitations (Flint Hills Resources Alaska LLC v. Williams Alaska Petroleum Inc., et al., No. S-15654, Alaska Sup.).
FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Following a two-month trial, a Florida state court jury on Aug. 24 found that a tire maker and a seat belt maker were not responsible for permanent injuries sustained during a car crash (Stevette Dukes, et al. v. Michelin North America Inc., et al., No. 12-CA-2094, Fla Cir., 19th Jud. Cir. St. Lucie Co.).
RENO, Nev. - A defendant company can pursue claims for cost recovery and contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) against a plaintiff and third-party defendant, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Aug. 26, holding that the third-party defendant was an operator of the site at issue and that the costs it seeks to recover are different from those sought by the plaintiff company (Diamond X Ranch LLC v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 13-cv-00570, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114799).
WORCESTER, Mass. - Although a federal judge in Massachusetts expressed concerns with how an estimate of overpayment of long-term disability payments was reached and how "narrow a view" an instruction on remand was regarding allocation of permanent scarring benefits in a related personal injury settlement, the judge on Aug. 25 ruled that an insurer was entitled to recovery of $53,292.80 in benefit overpayment from its insured in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (Rachel C. Sugalski v. The Paul Revere Life Insurance Co., No. 14-40015, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113016).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Aug. 26 granted a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a shareholder derivative lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiffs lacked standing to bring their claims and failed to properly plead demand futility pursuant to the Delaware Supreme Court's ruling in Rales v. Blasband (In re Rocket Fuel Inc. Derivative Litigation, No. 15-4625, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115023).