ST. PAUL, Minn. - A group disability policy's three-year limitations provision is not unconstitutional or invalid under Minnesota law because Minnesota's statutes pertaining to the statute of limitations for filing suits do not apply to group policies, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Aug. 2 (Lora Walker v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 15-2570, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13988).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Missouri federal judge on Aug. 1 granted insureds' motion to certify a class in a lawsuit alleging that their homeowners insurer unlawfully applied a policy's $1,000 deductible to an actual cash value (ACV) payment in a hailstorm coverage dispute (Eric Lafollette v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-04147, W.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99980).
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - A tribunal for the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) on Aug. 3 issued a statement giving various updates in two arbitrations commenced against the Russian Federation, noting that a hearing on jurisdiction has been held and that Russia did not participate in the hearing (PJSC Ukrnafta v. the Russian Federation, No. 2015-34, PCA; [i] Stabil LLC, [ii] Rubenor LLC, [iii] Rustel LLC, [iv] Novel-Estate LLC, [v] PII Kirovograd-Nafta LLC, [vi] Crimea-Petrol LLC, [vii] Pirsan LLC, [viii] Trade-Trust LLC, [ix] Elefteria LLC, [x] VKF Satek LLC, [xi] Stemv Group LLC v. The Russian Federation, No. 2015-35, PCA).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lao Holdings N.V. on Aug. 3 announced that it has filed an amended request for arbitration with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), seeking damages from the government of Laos in relation to alleged breaches of a 2014 settlement agreement that resolved a dispute over an investment in the Laos gaming industry.
SPOKANE, Wash. - A tobacco company says in an Aug. 2 response to a motion for summary judgment in Washington federal court that it should not be ordered to pay $6.3 million in statutory assessments and late fees under the Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 (FERTA) because it has not been given the opportunity to see how the government arrived at the amount of the assessment (United States of America v. King Mountain Tobacco Co. Inc., No. 1:14-cv-03162-RMP, E.D. Wash.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Efforts by various banking institutions to obtain covered business method (CBM) review of a patent that claims improvements in fraud detection and notification during remote and electronic transactions were successful Aug. 1, when the Patent Trial and Appeal Board approved the request (Southside Bancshares Inc., et al. v. St. Isidore Research LLC, No. CBM2016-00027, PTAB).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 2 found that extraordinary circumstances excuse insureds' untimely filing of affidavits of merit in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (Brian McMullin, et al. v. Harleysville Insurance Co., Inc., et al., No. 14-7537, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101491).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Aug. 3 that the owner of multiple Dunkin' Donuts franchises in Westchester County, N.Y., will pay $150,000 to former employees to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Hillcrest Marshall Inc., d/b/a Dunkin' Donuts, No. 7:15-cv-07293, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) on Aug. 1 asked a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel to rehear its recent decision rejecting the authority's bid to force former Chapter 11 debtor G-I Holdings Inc. to remove asbestos-containing building materials from apartment buildings, saying the Third Circuit should "reaffirm its commitment to carefully balance bankruptcy's goal of a clean start with environmental law's goal of protecting public health" (In re: G-I Holdings Inc., f/k/a GAF Corporation, et al. [New York City Housing Authority v. G-I Holdings, Inc.], No. 15-2164, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13108).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A trial judge did not err in allowing the admission of an investigator's testimony concerning a man's demeanor when questioned about a murder, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 2 (State of North Carolina v. Travis Lamont Daughtridge, No. COA15-1160, N.C. App.; 2016 N.C. App. LEXIS 805).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A class of consumers suing a health care benefits provider over a data breach must clarify and replead several fraud-based and contract-based claims if they wish to proceed with them, an Oregon federal judge ruled Aug. 1, granting in part and denying in part a motion to partially dismiss the suit (In Re: Premera Blue Cross Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-2633, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100198).
ABINGDON, Va. - A federal judge in Virginia on Aug. 2 affirmed the convictions of the owners of a laboratory who were found guilty of health care fraud and conspiracy to commit health care fraud for conducting unnecessary drug screenings and billing insurers, holding that the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling in Universal Health Services Inc. v. United States (135 S. Ct. 1989 ) did not apply to the present case (United States of America v. Beth Palin, et al., No. 14cr00023, W.D. Va.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100743).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation stemming from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010 on Aug. 2 ruled that only two plaintiffs can pursue claims for injuries they allegedly suffered while attempting to clean up and contain the spill as it was occurring, ruling that the remaining nine plaintiffs failed to sufficiently assert claims for relief (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, on April 20, 2010, MDL 2179, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101175).
BAY CITY, Mich. - An Indian tribe's claim that its health care plan administrator violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act fails because the tribe cannot establish that the administrator had a fiduciary duty under ERISA to ensure payment of Medicare-like rates (MLRs) for certain health services, a Michigan federal judge ruled Aug. 3 in dismissing the claim (Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, No. 16-cv-10317, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101610).
NEW YORK - In its second ruling in a longstanding trademark dispute, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 vacated and remanded a Puerto Rico federal judge's findings of noninfringement, directing the district court to instead reconsider an earlier-entered injunction (Oriental Financial Services Corp., et al. v. Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Oriental, No. 15-1009, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14162).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 affirmed a district court's decision to grant summary judgment for a bank in relation to a scheduled foreclosure, finding that the bank had standing to foreclose (Roderick Robertson, et al. v. U.S. Bank, N.A., as Trustee for Residential Assets Securities Corporation, Home Equity Mortgage Asset-Backed Pass Through Certificates, Series 2006-EMX3, et al., Nos. 15-6286/16-5116, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14112).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Aug. 1 dismissed an insurer's appeal and insureds' cross-appeal for lack of jurisdiction in a coverage dispute over a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against the insureds (Country Mutual Insurance Co. v. Best Pallet Company, LLC, et al., No. 1-14-1269, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 1st Div.; 2016 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1575).
LAS VEGAS - A registered nurse may not testify that a woman injured in a slip and fall at a Wal-Mart store will need a life-care plan valued at more than $3 million because the nurse did not consult with the woman's treating physicians, a Nevada federal judge ruled July 29, excluding the testimony (Robbin L. Lologo and Vincent J. Lologo v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC, No. 13-1493, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100559).
OAKLAND, Calif. - The developer of Pokemon Go, a popular "augmented reality" game that is played on smartphones, is liable for nuisance for placing virtual parts of the game known as "Pokestops" and "Pokemon gyms" on or adjacent to private property, a New Jersey man alleges in a class complaint filed July 29 in a California federal court (Jeffrey Marder, et al. v. Niantic, Inc., et al., No. 16-4300, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - The parents of deceased actor Anton Yelchin, known for his role as Pavel Chekov in the movie reboots of Star Trek, on Aug. 2 filed a wrongful death and product defect suit in California state court, claiming that the actor's 2015 Jeep Cherokee was outfitted with a faulty gear shifter that allegedly caused it to roll backward and run him over (Victor Yelchin, et al. v. FCA US LLC, et al., No. BC629096, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
HARTFORD, Conn. - World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. (WWE) on Aug. 1 moved a Connecticut federal court for summary judgment on the final claim against it brought by two former professional wrestlers in a consolidated concussion suit, saying there is no "genuine dispute as to any fact material to Plaintiffs' fraud by omission claim" (Russ McCullough, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., No. 15-1074, D. Conn.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 29 found that borrowers were judicially estopped from asserting claims for rescission under the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), quiet title and declaratory judgment, finding that two lenders were entitled to judgment on the pleadings (Leonard K. Tyson, et al. v. Bank of America N.A., et al., No. 15-cv-01548-BLF, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99774).
HARTFORD, Conn. - Citing a lack of evidence linking two digital marketing companies with the use of various domain names featuring a deliberate misspelling of a plaintiff's trademark, a Connecticut federal judge on July 29 dismissed allegations that the defendant that hired the companies violated the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) (Edible Arrangements LLC v. Provide Commerce Inc., No. 14-250, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99291).