NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal judge on Jan. 23 dismissed a Medicare False Claims Act case, saying the plaintiff failed to plead the claims with the specificity required (Kathleen McFeeters v. Northwest Hospital, et al., No. 13-467, M.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8523).
GREENBELT, Md. - After finding that Maryland is the appropriate forum for a property owner's claims against two lenders in relation to alleged escrow overcharges and improper credit reporting, a Maryland federal judge on Jan. 26 denied a request to dismiss the case and to transfer it to Texas (Louis M. Lupo v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 14-0475, D. Md.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8304).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 26 found that it is apparent that the net income described in calculating a coinsurance penalty in a commercial property insurance policy is not actual net income but projected net income and, therefore, a lower federal court erred in finding that the policy's coinsurance provision was ambiguous (Mt. Hawley Insurance Co. v. Advance Products & Systems, Inc., No. 14- 30068, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1173).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, on Jan. 26 reintroduced a bill that would amend the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to require asbestos trusts to submit quarterly reports containing detailed information on claims made to the trusts.
BOSTON - Although shareholders filed more federal securities class action lawsuits than in 2013, the number was still 10 percent lower than the average observed from 1997 to 2013, according to an annual report released Jan. 27 by Cornerstone Research.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - An Ethicon pelvic mesh trial got under way on Jan. 26 in a California state court (Coleen Perry, et al. v. Ethicon Inc., et al., No. S-1500-CV-279123, Calif. Super., Kern Co).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board properly affirmed an examiner's decision not to reject as obvious 15 claims of a paint-mixing patent, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 27 (Plas-Pak Industries Inc. v. Sulzer Mixpac AG, No. 14-1447, Fed. Cir.).
NEW YORK - A group of London market insurers filed suit on Jan. 22 in the New York County Supreme Court, seeking a declaration that no coverage is owed for two environmental contamination suits filed against the insured and separate, personal injury suits arising out of chemical exposure to a butter flavoring ingredient filed against the insured's successor (Accident & Casualty Insurance Company of Winterthur et al. v. Chemtura Corp. et al., No. 650204/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - A Wyoming state court judge on Jan. 23 approved a settlement between the parties involved in a trade secrets dispute related to the components of hydraulic fracturing fluid under which the state will adopt new rules regarding the confidentiality of the chemicals used in fracking fluid (Powder River Basin Resource Council, et al. v. Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission, et al., No. 14-94650, Wyo. Dist., 7th Jud. Dist., Natrona Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Finding a proposed damages expert's testimony on proposed royalty rates to be a "black box" that does not fully explain its conclusions, a California federal judge on Jan. 23 granted a motion to exclude by the defendants in a software patent lawsuit (Open Text S.A. v. Box Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-04910, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8783).
MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 26 severed and transferred patent infringement allegations against Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Samsung Electronics America Inc. and Samsung Telecommunications America LLC (Samsung, collectively) in what he deemed a "complicated" case (Vantage Point Technology Inc. v. Amazon.com Inc. et al., No. 13-909, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8335).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Jan. 26 granted an aircraft corporation's petition to confirm a $9,644,659 arbitration award issued under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), finding that no triable issue of fact exists (Cessna Finance Corp. v. Gulf Jet LLC, et al., No. 1:14-cv-2149, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8623).
INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana federal judge on Jan. 22 declined to certify a class of workers in the United States on H-1B visas who allege that they were forced to continue their labor in violation of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and underpaid in violation of the Indiana Statutory Wage Law (Rituraj Singh Panwar, et al. v. Access Therapies, Inc., et al., RN Staff Inc. v. Rituraj Singh Panwar, et al., No. 12-619, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7584).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 26 dismissed a breach of contract action brought against a hydraulic fracturing company by a group of landowners, ruling that the landowners could not show that the company engaged in fraudulent inducement (Darlene R. McWreath, et al. v. Range Resources Appalachia LLC, No. 13-560, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8563).
SAN ANTONIO - A federal judge in Texas on Jan. 26 denied a hydraulic fracturing company's motion to dismiss a breach of contract claim filed by a landowner who had leased his land and mineral rights to the company, determining that the landowner had sufficiently pleaded the damages element of his claim (Eddie V. Gray v. Chesapeake Exploration LLC, No. 14-1020, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8222).
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Supreme Court on Jan. 23 affirmed that two siblings breached their duty of loyalty to a family ranch trust by self-dealing when they transferred water rights but said that a trial court erred in removing the two as trustees (William C. Forbes, et al. v. Waldo E. Forbes, No. S14-0122, Waldo E. Forbes v. William C. Forbes, et al., No. S-14-0123, Wyo. Sup.; 2015 Wyo. LEXIS 14).
TRENTON, N.J. - The general six-year statute of limitations contained in New Jersey Statutes Annotated (N.J.S.A.) 2A:14-1 does not apply to private claims for contribution under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (Spill Act), the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Jan. 26 (Morristown Associates v. Grant Oil Company, et al., No. A-38-13 September Term 2013, 073248, N.J. Sup.; 2015 N.J. LEXIS 50).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House of Representatives lacks standing to challenge implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s employer mandate in court, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) told a federal judge in the District of Columbia on Jan. 26 (United States House of Representatives v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-1967, D. D.C.).
ALBANY, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge on Jan. 23 found that a plaintiff's claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and breach of contract in relation to her right to rescind can proceed and denied a bank's motion to dismiss the case (Selenia C. Dent v. Regions Bank, No. 1:14-CV-141, M.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7545).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Jan. 26 found that a former property owner failed to demonstrate subject matter jurisdiction under the False Claims Act (FCA) over his claims related to the foreclosure of his house and dismissed the case (Howard T. Tyson Sr. v. Wells Fargo Bank & Co., No. 14-1780, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8202).
MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota appeals panel on Jan. 26 affirmed an appraisal award regarding an insured's damages suffered from storms because the insured did not elect to waive an insurer's appraisal right and failed to present evidence to show that appraisers conducted the appraisal hearing in a way to result in prejudice of the insured's rights (Bjorklund Companies LLC v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. A14-1175, Minn. App.; 2015 Minn. App. Unpub. LEXIS 90).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 26 denied review of a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that Unum Life Insurance Company of America did not breach its fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to act solely in the interest of life insurance beneficiaries by failing to credit a sufficient rate of interest to their retained asset accounts (RAAs), through which they received their benefits (Denise Merrimon, et al. v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 14-606, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Living asbestos plaintiffs deserve to have their cases heard ahead of deceased ones despite an existing trial order, a New York justice held over objections on Jan. 22, while also denying a request to consolidate and reverse-bifurcate the cases (Neyra Begim v. CertainTeed Corp., et al., No. 190125/12, Yee v. CertainTeed Corp., et al., No. 190049/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 23 affirmed a federal judge's ruling that a pollution exclusion precluded coverage for groundwater contamination caused by trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals (Visteon Corporation, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, No. 14-2725, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1064).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - All of the injuries alleged in three underlying lawsuits arise out of a pre-workout energy supplement's failure to conform with an insured's statements and, therefore, coverage for the actions is barred by the policy's failure-to-conform exclusion, a New York federal judge ruled Jan. 23 (General Star Indemnity Co. v. Driven Sports Inc., No 14-3579, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7966).