LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Insurance - Gas Exploration Company Agrees To Drop Claim Against Umbrella Liability Insurer

    VICTORIA, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 16 granted an umbrella liability insurer's motion for summary judgment after a gas exploration company seeking coverage as an additional insured for an oil well blowout agreed that no coverage is due under the umbrella liability policy (Miramar Petroleum Inc. v. The First Liberty Insurance Corp., et al., No. 15-28, S.D. Texas).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Vizio Hit With Class Actions Over Tracking Software On Smart TVs

    SAN FRANCISCO - A Los Angeles woman on Nov. 13 filed a putative class action against Vizio Inc. in California federal court, alleging violation of the federal Video Protection Privacy Act (VPPA) through the inclusion of tracking software in Vizio's "high-definition and internet connected televisions (smart TVs) (Palma Reed v. Cognitive Media Networks Inc., et al., No. 3:15-cv-05217, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Sanctions Denied In Best Buy Manager's Suit Seeking Overtime

    SAN DIEGO - A California federal magistrate judge on Nov. 13 denied a motion filed by the employer in a wage-and-hour suit seeking contempt sanctions and disqualification after the lead plaintiff collected information about the potential class and then decided not to move for class certification (Jack Hernandez, et al. v. Best Buy Stores, L.P., et al., No. 13-2587, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154103).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert May Testify On Drafting Provisions In Contract Suit, Judge Says

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. - An expert is qualified to testify on the drafting provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) in a breach of contract lawsuit regarding products allegedly made with too much lead content, a Kentucky federal judge ruled Nov. 13 (Hillerich & Bradsby Co. v. Charles Products, Inc., No. 13-00978, W.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154122).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Pension Plan Was Properly Terminated By Amendment, 6th Circuit Panel Determines

    CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 12 determined that a pension benefits plan was properly terminated and a beneficiary waived his rights under the plan by knowingly signing an amendment modifying the terms of his pension benefits (Albert H. Schempp v. GC Acquisition LLC et al., No. 14-4076, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19818).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - 2nd Circuit Finds Trust's Breach Of Contract Claims Are Time-Barred

    NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 16 affirmed a district court's decision to dismiss claims for breach of contract filed by a trust in relation to breaches of representations and warranties, finding that the case was barred by a six-year statute of limitations (Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, solely as trustee of the GSR Mortgage Loan Trust 2007-OA1 v. Quicken Loans Inc., No. 14-3373, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19874).

    Mealey's Bankruptcy - Law Firm Counterattacks, Says Garlock Lied About Dangers Of Its Products

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Dallas-based asbestos plaintiffs' law firm accused by Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC of scheming to fraudulently induce Garlock into settling tort system cases denied the allegations and leveled its own fraud and racketeering charges against Garlock, saying in a Nov. 16 answer and counterclaim filed in North Carolina federal court that the debtor schemed with an affiliate to withhold evidence of the dangers of Garlock's products to reduce verdict and settlement amounts (Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC, et al. v. Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett, APLC, et al., No. 14-116, W.D. N.C.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Summary Judgment Denied In 1st Tylenol Bellwether Case By Pennsylvania MDL Judge

    PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Tylenol liver injury multidistrict litigation on Nov. 13 denied summary judgment in the first bellwether case on the issues of federal preemption, unconstitutional punitive damages, failure-to-warn, design defect and statute of limitations on a state wrongful death statute (In Re: Tylenol (Acetaminophen) Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 13-2436, No. 13-md-2436, Rana Terry, et al. v. McNeil-PPC, Inc., et al., No. 12-7263, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153970; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153969; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153973; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153972; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153971).

    Mealey's Bankruptcy - Judge Orders Nonprofit Mutual Health Insurance Company Into Rehabilitation

    MASON, Mich. - A Michigan judge on Nov. 13 ordered a nonprofit mutual health insurance company with insufficient reserves into rehabilitation (Patrick McPharlin, Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services v. Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan, No. 15-948-CR, Mich. Cir., Ingham Co.).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Amended Default Judgment Would Adversely Affect Insurer's Rights, Panel Rules

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Nov. 13 found that an insurer has nonparty standing to move to vacate the amended default judgment against its title insurance company insured, and the lower court lacked subject matter jurisdiction when it amended the judgment, vacating the amended default final judgment in a dispute over misappropriated real estate deposits (Gotham Insurance Co. v. Andrew Matthew, et al., No. 5D13-3008, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 17004).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 5th Circuit Affirms Employer's Liability For Employee's Asbestosis

    NEW ORLEANS - An employer failed in its efforts to refute a man's claim that it was the source of his last injurious exposure under the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 12 (Ramsay Scarlett & Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, United States Department of Labor, Ferdinand J. Fabre Jr., No. 15-60112, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19733).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Affirms Employer's Liability For Employee's Asbestosis

    NEW ORLEANS - An employer failed in its efforts to refute a man's claim that it was the source of his last injurious exposure under the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 12 (Ramsay Scarlett & Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, United States Department of Labor, Ferdinand J. Fabre Jr., No. 15-60112, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19733).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 9th Circuit Panel Finds Product Identification Sufficient In Asbestos Case

    LOS ANGELES - Testimony that a man could identify products and their asbestos content by color and style sufficiently establishes exposure from those products and it is for a jury to weight conflicting evidence regarding whether he worked only with metal parts, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Nov. 13 (Charles Curtis v. ABB Inc., et al., Nos. 13-56976, 13-56977, 13-56-978, 9th Cir.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Says Party- Appointed Arbitrator Never Worked For Reinsured

    BOSTON - A reinsurer told a federal court in Massachusetts on Nov. 13 that its party-appointed arbitrator was never an employee of its reinsured and is qualified to arbitrate the parties' dispute (John Hancock Life Insurance Company [U.S.A.] v. Employers Reassurance Corporation, No. 15-cv-13626, D. Mass.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Orders Nonprofit Mutual Health Insurance Company Into Rehabilitation

    MASON, Mich. - A Michigan judge on Nov. 13 ordered a nonprofit mutual health insurance company with insufficient reserves into rehabilitation (Patrick McPharlin, Director of the Department of Insurance and Financial Services v. Consumers Mutual Insurance of Michigan, No. 15-948-CR, Mich. Cir., Ingham Co.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate: Competitor Lawsuit Against Owner Of LensCrafters Triggered Coverage

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal magistrate on Nov. 12 refused to grant an insurer's motion to dismiss a lawsuit seeking coverage for an underlying unfair competition lawsuit against the owner of LensCrafters and a health care service provider (EYEXAM of California Inc., et al. v. Allied World Surplus Lines Insurance Company, et al., No. 15-03643, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153388).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Ohio Federal Judge Denies Emergency Relief In Sales Practices Class Suit

    CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Nov. 13 denied a motion for emergency relief filed by an eyeglass retailer accused of violating Ohio state law with its "Buy One Get One Free" ads (Elliott Graiser v. Visionworks of America, Inc., No. 15-2306, N.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153802).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Affirms Employer's Liability For Employee's Asbestosis

    NEW ORLEANS - An employer failed in its efforts to refute a man's claim that it was the source of his last injurious exposure under the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Nov. 12 (Ramsay Scarlett & Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, United States Department of Labor, Ferdinand J. Fabre Jr., No. 15-60112, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19733).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Supreme Court Won't Review Definiteness Holding In Patent Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A March ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a patent is not invalid as indefinite will stand, thanks to a denial of certiorari on Nov. 16 by the U.S. Supreme Court (Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd., et al. v. Eidos Display, LLC and Eidos III, LLC, et al., No. 15-288, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Confirms $139 Million Hong Kong Award Issued In Investment Dispute

    DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on Nov. 13 granted a petition to confirm a $139 million award issued in favor of several corporations and against a Chinese investor in a communications company, finding that proper notice of the arbitration in Hong Kong was given (Intel Capital [Cayman] Corporation, et al. v. Shan Yi, No. 15-mc-50406, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153495).

    Mealey's Insurance - Amended Default Judgment Would Adversely Affect Insurer's Rights, Panel Rules

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Nov. 13 found that an insurer has nonparty standing to move to vacate the amended default judgment against its title insurance company insured, and the lower court lacked subject matter jurisdiction when it amended the judgment, vacating the amended default final judgment in a dispute over misappropriated real estate deposits (Gotham Insurance Co. v. Andrew Matthew, et al., No. 5D13-3008, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 17004).

    Mealey's Insurance - Anti-Stacking Provisions In Insurance Policies Are Unambiguous, Judge Finds

    LAS VEGAS - Anti-stacking provisions in commercial general liability insurance policies are unambiguous, a Nevada federal judge ruled Nov. 12, denying summary judgment to an excess insurer in an equitable contribution lawsuit over settlement of a construction defect lawsuit against a mutual insured (United National Insurance Co. v. Assurance Company of America, et al., No. 10-1086, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153822).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Permits Forensic Specialist To Testify On Fingerprint Analysis

    DETROIT - A forensic laboratory specialist may testify on the fingerprints found on a firearm in a lawsuit charging a man for being a felon in possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S. Code Section 922(g)(1), a Michigan federal judge held Nov. 12 (United States of America v. Sonny Lamarr Phillips, No. 14-20611, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153019).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Underground Coal Companies Can Depose EPA Administrator

    WHEELING, W.Va. - A federal judge in West Virginia on Nov. 12 ruled that a number of underground coal companies alleging that Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is violating the Clean Air Act (CAA) by failing to evaluate how the agency's enforcement of the statute is affecting jobs in the industry can depose the administrator after finding that the plaintiff companies were able to show that she has not delegated the responsibility to anyone else within the agency (Murray Energy Corporation, et al. v. Gina McCarthy, Administrator, United States Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-cv-39, N.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152914).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Current Owner Of Site Owes No Duty To Past Owner, Judge Rules

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Nov. 13 ruled that a defendant company in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act lawsuit could not pursue negligence claims against a third party after finding that it failed to sufficiently allege damages and that the third-party defendant owed it a duty of care (Verse Two Properties LLC v. MedPlast Fremont Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-03765-EJD, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154071).