ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A Florida jury on Feb. 14 awarded a total of $5.4 million to a family after finding that two tobacco companies were responsible for a woman's addiction to cigarettes, which led to her lung cancer and death (John Brown v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 15-002451-CI, Fla. 6th Jud. Cir. Pasco Co.).
LOS ANGELES - Because insureds seeking coverage for damages to their home caused by a sewage backup did not file their lawsuit against their insurers until well after the policy's one-year limitation period expired, a California federal judge on Feb. 13 granted the insurers' motion for summary judgment and dismissed the insureds' complaint in its entirety (Jacqueline Keller. et al. v. Federal Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-3946, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20820).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 15 reversed a lower court's ruling compelling appraisal against an insurer in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, finding that the insureds failed to comply with their post-loss duties under their insurance policy (State Farm Florida Insurance Co. v. Jose R. Fernandez and Sandra Fernandez, No. 3D16-1441, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 2004).
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Some of the defendants sued by residents of Flint, Mich., in connection with that city's lead-contaminated drinking water crisis on Feb. 15 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that the court should consider decisions issued in other cases pertaining to the Flint water crisis (Tamara Nappier v. Richard Snyder, et al., No. 16-636, W.D. Mich.).
PHOENIX - The Arizona Supreme Court on Feb. 14 agreed to hear a woman's case claiming that state law imposes liability for take-home asbestos exposures, according to the court's docket (Mary Quiroz, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 16-0248, Ariz. Sup.; 2016 AZ S. Ct. Briefs LEXIS 221).
BAY CITY, Mich. - A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 14 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit of purchasers of 2015 Chevrolet Cruze diesel vehicles that contained a defeat device designed to cheat emissions tests, finding that the plaintiffs had standing and that the case should not be stayed pending an investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Jason Counts, et al. v. General Motors, LLC, No. 16-cv-12541, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20277).
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 14 ordered a third-party claims-processing company to cease communications with members of a settlement class in connection with a $375 million deal between residents and Dow Chemical Co. related to injuries suffered from exposure to nuclear waste (Merilyn Cook, et al. v. Rockwell International Corp., et al., No. 90-181, D. Colo.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Opposing a motion for partial dismissal by computer manufacturer Lenovo (United States) Inc. in a Feb. 10 brief, the plaintiffs in a class action over purported laptop spyware told a California federal court that they had standing to bring a New York law deceptive acts claim based on a choice-of-law provision in their sales agreements (In Re: Lenovo Adware Litigation, No. 3:15-md-02624, N.D. Calif.).
SALT LAKE CITY - A federal judge in Utah on Feb. 13 denied an insolvent insurer's objection to a magistrate judge's order compelling discovery of certain categories of information sought by a group of the insolvent insurer's former directors and officers (Western Insurance Company v. Dick L. Rottman, et al., No. 13-cv-00436, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20709).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Judgment was entered in favor of insurers on Feb. 15, one day after a Florida federal judge found that there is no further coverage owed to insureds for lawsuits alleging that they have intentionally engaged in wrongful antitrust and monopolizing conduct in an effort to dominate the health care service industry (Health First Inc., et al. v. Capitol Specialty Insurance Corporation, et al., No. 15-718, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20320).
NEW YORK - A New York appellate court on Feb. 10 reversed a trial court ruling and concluded that a realty management company was entitled to summary judgment on a lead-poisoning claim on grounds that the plaintiff failed to show that his cognitive deficits were caused by exposure to lead-based paint (Adrian T., by his mother and natural guardian Filiberta T. v. Millshan Realty Co. LLC, No. 2751, 22004/06, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1047).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 10 denied a plaintiff's motion to remand a disability suit to state court because the disability plan at issue is not a "church plan" and is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Melvyn L. Durham v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America et al., No. 16-8202, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19402).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Feb. 14 denied a request to reopen discovery, in an effort by plaintiffs to support a renewed motion for class certification, in a multidistrict litigation challenging the marketing of pomegranate juice, finding that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate diligence (In re: Pom Wonderful LLC Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 10-2199, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20854).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 13 granted a motion filed by the CEO of an electronic company and a Chinese corporation to dismiss claims for copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation, finding that the court lacked jurisdiction over them because their conduct did not constitute purposeful availment (Ford Motor Co., et al. v. Autel Us Inc., et al., No. 14-13760, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19595).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Following a December ruling that Poland's national public television broadcasting company committed copyright infringement, a District of Columbia federal judge on Feb. 14 ordered the defendant to pay $3.06 million in damages (Spanski Enterprises Inc. v. Telewizja Polska S.A., No. 12-957, D. D.C, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20465).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - After finding that claims asserted by borrowers whose property was sold at a trustee's sale even though they allegedly received assurances from lenders that the loan was current were sufficiently pleaded, a California federal judge on Feb. 14 denied a lender's motion to dismiss the case (Charles Hawkins, et al. v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. 2:16-cv-00827, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20912).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 14 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit brought by insureds seeking a declaration that they are entitled to coverage and compensatory damages stemming from the insurer's purported mishandling of their Superstorm Sandy flood claim (Herbert Ruth and Danna Ruth v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 15-2616, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20534).
HOUSTON - A Texas appellate panel on Feb. 14 found that a trial court erred by denying summary judgment to a hospital accused of failing prevent a patient, who was later killed by a train, from escaping because under Texas law, the hospital was immune from the suit and not subject to a waiver of immunity (OakBend Medical Center v. Domingo Martinez Jr., No. 14-16-00199-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1215).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on Feb. 13 denied a valve company's motion for summary judgment, holding that it must be left to a jury to decide whether the company specified the use of asbestos in its valves and whether that asbestos was a substantial cause of a former naval officer's mesothelioma (James Wilson Chesher, et al. v. 3M Company, No. 15-cv-2123, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20706).
MADISON, Wis. - Based on admitted opinions from police practices experts and forensic pathology experts, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled Feb. 13 that what happened between a police officer and a deceased man is "sharply and genuinely disputed" and thus, whether the officer's use of force was objectively unreasonable is an issue that must be resolved at trial (The Estate of Tony Robinson Jr., ex rel. personal representative Andrea Irwin v. The City of Madison, Wis., and Matthew Kenny, No. 15-502, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20733).
DENVER - A two-year statute of limitations precludes an insured's breach of contract claim against its insurer for denied coverage for property damage to commercial properties, a Colorado federal judge ruled Feb. 13 (The Pinewood Townhome Association Inc. v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 15-01604, D. Colo.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19999).