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).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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.).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).