DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on June 28 substantially denied an insurer's motion to dismiss in a third-party insurance dispute with a for-profit hospital, ruling that the hospital has properly pleaded all but two of its claims, which it conceded required dismissal (Texas General Hospital LP, et al. v. United Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. 15-2096, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84082).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 29 reinstated a Plavix whistle-blower lawsuit after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that false certification of compliance with federal regulations can be a basis for liability in such suits (United States of America, ex rel. Elisa Dickson v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., et al., No. 13-1039, D. N.J.).
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - On June 29, the morning a California jury was set to begin deliberations over how much a school district should pay a former student who sustained a severe brain injury during a pep rally, his attorneys announced that the school district had settled the suit for $10.5 million (Mitchell Carter v. Kern High School District, No. S1500-CV-275395, Calif. Super., Kern Co.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 affirmed a trial court's decision that a bank had standing to foreclose on a property and found that it did not err in granting summary judgment for the bank (OneWest Bank N.A. v. Robert W. Melina, et al., No. 15-3063, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11862).
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A man's attempt to intervene in a lawsuit brought by the Missouri Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund Board of Directors against ConocoPhillips Co. and Phillips 66 Co. (collectively, Phillips) was properly denied by a state court judge, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled June 28, holding that the man's motion did not articulate a specific, legally protectable interest in the lawsuit (State of Missouri, ex rel. Attorney General Chris Koster, et al. v. ConocoPhillips Company, et al., No. SC95444, Mo. Sup.; 2016 Mo. LEXIS 209).
CHICAGO - A judge did not err in allowing historical cell site analysis testimony because that testimony was corroborated by other witnesses and evidence, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 28, upholding a jury's conviction of arson (United States of America v. Juan Adame, No. 15-1196, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11829).
DETROIT - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and state officials on June 27 filed a brief in Michigan federal court arguing that a lawsuit brought against them pertaining to the lead-contaminated drinking water in the City of Flint should be dismissed because the plaintiffs fail to state claim under federal law, and the plaintiffs have failed to a substantive due process claim under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 15-14002, E.D. Mich.).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey federal judge overseeing the Plavix multidistrict litigation on June 29 denied a motion by defendants Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC to enforce MDL discovery agreements on the State of Hawaii in its state court case (In Re: Plavix Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation [No. II], MDL Docket No. 2418, No. 13-2418, D. N.J.).
BALTIMORE - Pallet Cos., doing business as IFCO Systems NA Inc., will pay $202,200 and provide equitable relief to settle one of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's first lawsuits alleging gender discrimination based on sexual orientation, the EEOC announced June 28 (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Pallet Companies d/b/a IFCO Systems NA, Inc., No. 16-595, D. Md.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 reversed a lower federal court's grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurer on its duty to indemnify its engineering firm insured and the firm's employee against five underlying lawsuits arising from a fatal accident at a nuclear-powered energy plant (Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., et al v. DP Engineering L.L.C., et al., No. 15-10443, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11951).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a June 24 reply brief supporting its motion to dismiss negligence and fraud claims against it related to a firm's botched asbestos abatement job, Groupon Inc. tells a California federal court that the homeowner plaintiffs' asserted injuries are actually unrelated to a Groupon voucher that they purchased and for which they subsequently received a full refund (William Mosley, et al. v. Groupon Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-01205, N.D. Calif.).
MIAMI - The special master in the Takata air bag multidistrict litigation on June 24 said that the judge overseeing the MDL should overrule American Honda Co. Inc.'s objections to searching its databases, consumer complaints, claims and lawsuits relating to the "aggressive deployment and non-deployment" of Takata air bags in its vehicles (In re: Takata Airbag Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-02599-CIV-Moreno, MDL No. 5-2599, S.D. Fla.).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 28 affirmed that an insurance policy's "authorized representative" exclusion bars coverage for an insured's claim seeking reimbursement of $100,000 in losses arising from computer fraud (Southern California Counseling Center v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 14-56169, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11825).
NEW YORK - The New York Court of Appeals refused to decide if a trial judge erred in consolidating two asbestos cases for trial, saying in a June 28 opinion that the defendant did not adequately preserve the issue for appeal (In the Matter of New York City Asbestos Litigation; Ruby E. Konstantin, individually and as executrix of the estate of Dave John Konstantin v. 630 Third Ave. Associates, et al., No. 85, N.Y. App.).
NEW YORK - For the second time this month, a New York jury hit boiler maker Burnham LLC with a verdict in an asbestos case, this time awarding a $22 million verdict on June 24 and finding it 25 percent liable for a man's mesothelioma, sources told Mealey Publications (Frank Gondar v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190079-2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
WASHINGTON D.C. - IKEA, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, on June 28 announced in a press release a recall of up to 29 million MALM chests and dressers; the dressers have tipped over and fallen, resulting in the deaths of six children.
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 28 refused to dismiss a borrower's claim against a bank for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in relation to her request for a loan modification and reserved judgment on various state law claims pending the outcome of her request for an injunction (Edyta Rojecki v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 15-8160, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83434).
DETROIT - After finding that a former property owner failed to respond to a notice of debt in a timely manner, a Michigan federal judge on June 28 granted a motion filed by a bank and loan servicer to dismiss his claim for violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (Cornelious Moore v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-14294, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83400).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on June 29 said it will soon issue its award in an arbitration commenced by the Republic of the Philippines pursuant to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) against the People's Republic of China (The Republic of the Philippines v. The People's Republic of China, No. 2013-19, PCA).
NEW YORK - General Motors LLC on June 24 told the judge overseeing the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation that it should be allowed to introduce evidence that shows that the plaintiff in the next bellwether trial has history of cognitive defects (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254; Stephanie Cockram v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-CV-8716, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - The assignee of certain reinsurance recoverables asked a federal court in Illinois on June 28 to amend and correct its judgment and allow for the filing of an amended complaint adding certain missing elements of its claims against a Brazilian reinsurer (Pine Top Receivables of Illinois, LLC v. Banco De Seguros Del Estado, No. 12-cv-06357, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70462).
NEW YORK - An attorney for Chevron Corp. on June 28 sent a letter to a panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals contending that the attorney for the Ecuadorian residents, who initially won an $18.5 billion judgment against it before the plaintiffs' attorney was determined to have committed fraud, has waived any argument about the "purported extraterritorial application of" the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Chevron Corporation v. Steven R. Donziger, et al., No. 14-826, 2nd Cir.).
DENVER - A federal district court did not err in finding that an insured brought her claim for uninsured motorist benefits within the statute of limitations because she brought the claim within the three-year statute of limitations, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 24 (Gladys Jones v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., Nos. 15-1007 and 15-1007, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11661).