LAKELAND, Fla. - A partial final judgment determining an insurer's duty to defend an insured against construction defect claims under certain policy periods but not the insurer's duty to indemnify is not a final appealable order, a Florida appeals panel held July 24 (Florida Farm Bureau General Insurance Co. v. Peacock's Excavating Service Inc., et al., No. 2D14-977, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 11205).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on July 21 denied a motion by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Wal-Mart Transportation LLC (collectively, Wal-Mart) to certify an interlocutory appeal, finding Wal-Mart's questions of law to be "over-broad, argumentative and untethered" (Charles Ridgeway, et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., et al., No. 08-5221, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94981).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 21 denied a motion by CVS Pharmacy Inc. and CVS Caremark Corp. (collectively, CVS) to dismiss a wage-and-hour class complaint filed by pharmacy technicians and ruled that his order was no longer subject to renewal based on the defendants' "relentless litigation tactics" (Keith Robert Dean, Jr., et al. v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc., et al., No. 14-2136, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95248).
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on July 23 granted a German company's petition to confirm a $1,320,641.38 arbitration award and the costs associated with enforcing the decision, noting that the defendants did not oppose confirmation and that the dispute was governed by the parties' underlying agreement (Garmin Wurzburg GMBH v. Automotive Imagineering & Manufacturing LLC, et al., No. 3:14-cv-02006, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95959).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on July 21 denied a motion to remand filed by insureds in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' insurance agent was improperly joined in the action (Renee Davis, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 15-0596, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95086).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 23 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurer has no duty to defend its farm insured against an underlying injury claim brought by an independent contractor because the employers liability coverage extends only to injuries of employees (Danny Swafford v. Forestry Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-6475, 6th Cir.).
DALLAS - No coverage exists for an underlying environmental contamination claim arising out of leaking underground storage tanks because the insured failed to provide notice of the claim within 30 days as required by the policy, the Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals said July 21 (Nicholas Petroleum Inc. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 05-13-01106-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 7489).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - The federal judge in South Carolina overseeing litigation over allegedly defective windows made by MI Windows & Doors Inc. (MIWD) on July 23 awarded $7.9 million in fees and costs to attorneys representing homeowners who purchased the windows, after finding that the rates charged by counsel were reasonable (In re: MI Windows & Doors Inc. Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2333, No. 12-md-1, D. S.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95889).
PHILADELPHIA - A Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 22 vacated the certification of several state classes in a lawsuit accusing Volvo Cars of North America LLC and Volvo Car Corp. of selling cars with faulty sunroofs and remanded for further analysis and definition by the trial court (Joanne Neale, et al. v. Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, et al., No. 14-1540, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12629).
CHICAGO - Two opposing damages experts - one for basketball great Michael Jordan and the other for two supermarket chains that Jordan says violated his right of publicity under Illinois state law - can testify on the fair market value of the chains' misappropriation of Jordan's identity in a magazine advertisement, a federal judge in Illinois held July 23 (Michael Jordan, et al. v. Dominick's Finer Foods, et al., No. 10-407, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95921).
PHILADELPHIA - A majority of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 23 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a federal flood insurer could not be held liable for an insurance agent's alleged misrepresentations in a dispute over flood coverage for a Subway franchise (Mahakali Krupa LLC, et al. v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 14-3764, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12687).
MIAMI - A Florida state court jury awarded $14.5 million July 23 to a woman who alleged that her oral cavity cancer was caused by her 30 years of smoking cigarettes manufactured by Philip Morris USA Inc. (Carmenza Merino v. Philip Morris USA Inc., No. 08-1287-CA-25, Fla. 11th Jud. Cir., Miami-Dade Co).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 22 granted a motion for a new trial in a Children's Tylenol bacterial infection wrongful death case after finding a "reasonable possibility" that extraneous information reviewed by one juror influenced the 2014 defense verdict (Peter Robertson, et al. v. McNeil-PPC Inc., et al., No. 11-9050, C.D. Calif.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - In an opinion of first impression released July 21, the majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reinstated a jury verdict entered in favor of an insured and said the insurers are required to reimburse the insurer for an $80 million settlement of a putative class action alleging exposure to fugitive radioactive material released from nuclear fuel refineries near Pittsburgh (The Babcock & Wilcox Co., et al. v. American Nuclear Insurers, et al., No. 2 WAP 2014, Pa. Sup.; 2015 Pa. LEXIS 1551).
ORLANDO, Fla. - The "owned property" exclusion precludes an insurer's duty to defend and indemnify an underlying settlement reached regarding construction defect claims in a condominium complex, a Florida federal judge ruled July 23 (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Cypress Fairway Condominium Association Inc., et al., No. 13-1565, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96196).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A homeowners insurer did not violate its policy when it depreciated all costs necessary to recreating the property following hail damage to an insured's roof, including the costs associated with labor, when calculating actual cash value, a Kansas federal judge ruled July 22 (Margaret Graves v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-2417, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95127).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on July 23 vacated and remanded a decision in which the Board of Veterans' Appeals denied benefits to a veteran who contended that his exposure to Agent Orange cause a neurological disorder, ruling that the board must consider his service connection with regard to his neurological ailment (Ronald H. Wharton v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 14-1525, U.S. App., Vet. Clms.; 2015 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1001).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - In a summary order issued July 23, a federal judge in New York denied an insurer's motion for reconsideration of an earlier order limiting the liability of the insurer's reinsurer, holding that the case relied upon by the insurer is not precedential (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-01178, N.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95826).
NEW YORK - A trial court properly denied a motion by Facebook Inc. to quash warrants served on certain Facebook users, a New York appellate panel ruled July 21, find that "there is no constitutional or statutory right to challenge an alleged defective warrant before it is executed" (Facebook Inc. v. New York County District Attorney's Office, No. 30207/13 and 30178/14, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6067).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania did not err when sentencing a woman to 96 months in prison for her role in an insurance fraud scheme that resulted in Medicare and other supplemental insurers paying approximately $1.8 million in false claims, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 23, finding that the judge properly found that the defendant's scheme involved 10 or more victims (United States of America v. Anna Mudrova, No. 14-3580, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12733).
FRANKFORT, Ky. - A group of companies that operate glass manufacturing plants and have been sued by other companies that contend that the glass manufacturers have contaminated groundwater filed a brief on July 21 in Kentucky federal court, arguing that discovery in the case should proceed strictly on the issue of class certification, with merits discovery postponed until class status is determined (Modern Holdings LLC, et al. v. Corning Incorporated, et al., No. 13-405, E.D. Ky.).
NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors Corp. (Old GM) bankruptcy proceedings on July 22 rejected a challenge to his ruling enforcing a sale order and injunction barring hundreds suits against General Motors LLC (New GM) alleging personal injury and economic loss as a result of ignition-switch defects in vehicles manufactured by Old GM (In re: Chapter 11 Motors Liquidation Co., et al., f/k/a General Motors Corp., et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two petitioners won mandamus on July 22 from a New Jersey federal judge's modified protective order that would allow courts in Korea and Japan access to proprietary information gleaned from an American patent infringement lawsuit, in what the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals deemed a case of first impression (In re: POSCO, No. 15-112, Fed. Cir.).
DALLAS - A promotional firm's failure to seal a summary judgment motion, which contained confidential information, is an example of its "pattern of blatantly violating confidentiality agreements," Yahoo Inc. said in a July 22 motion for sanctions in a contract and trade secrets lawsuit related to an online basketball tournament contest (SCA Promotions Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 3:14-cv-00957, N.D. Texas).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 21 granted final approval of a $7.15 million settlement to be paid by Foot Locker Inc. to end a wage-and-hour multidistrict litigation (In Re: Foot Locker, Inc., Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Wage and Hour Litigation, No. 11-MDL-02235, E.D. Pa.).