CHICAGO - The First District Illinois Appellate Court on May 29 determined that settlement releases between an insured and its insurers were ambiguous and did not specifically include underlying claims alleging injuries arising out of the exposure to various chemicals at the insured's facilities (Motorola Solutions Inc. v. Zurich Insurance Co. et al., Nos. 1-13-1529, 1-13-1530, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 415).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The majority of a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 29 denied petitions filed by makers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) challenging the limits contained in a 2012 rule implemented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over emissions resulting from the manufacturing of the substance, after finding that it lacked jurisdiction over issues that the agency is currently reconsidering and that the challengers' other arguments lacked merit (Mexichem Specialty Resins Inc. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Nos. 12-1265, 12-1266, 12-1267, D.C. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEIS 8903).
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland Court of Special Appeals on May 29 reversed and remanded a lead-poisoning injury case, ruling that when the trial court denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on his discovery requests and then dismissed his complaint, the Baltimore City Circuit Court "abused its discretion" and failed to "consider the correct legal standard" (Trashawn Johnson v. Roberta Franklin, No. 1216, Md. Spec. App., Sept. Term 2014; 2015 Md. App. LEXIS 71).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 27 granted final approval of a $500 million settlement in a securities class action lawsuit regarding Bear Stearns' sale of more than $17 billion in mortgage-backed securities, finding the settlement agreement to be fair, reasonable and adequate (In re Bear Stearns Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates Litigation, No. 08-8093, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 29 granted a request to decertify a class of claimants asserting a breach of contract claim against lenders in relation to alleged late fees, finding a lack of evidence that the lenders assumed specific contractual obligations or were in privity of contract with absent class members (Joseph Mazzei, et al. v. The Money Store, et al., No. 01cv5694, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69866).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 1 sought the solicitor general's view as to whether the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a federal judge properly dismissed without prejudice a pension plan participant's claim that the plan improperly reduced his benefits, where the suit was not brought in the federal court specified in the plan's forum-selection clause (Roger L. Smith v. AEGON Companies Pension Plan, No. 14-1168, U.S. Sup.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 28 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that commercial general liability coverage exists for an underlying trade dress infringement claim against a restaurant insured, further finding that the court properly determined the amount of attorney fees awarded to the insured (Maiden Specialty Insurance Co. v. Three Chefs and a Chicken, Inc., et al., No. 14-11574, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8804).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Finding no secondary meaning in a psychologist's name, a California appeals panel on May 27 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of her trademark claims against Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., also affirming the lower court's discovery rulings and denial of a motion to file an amended complaint (Carla Ison v. Google Inc., et al., No. H039439, Calif. App., 6th Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3667).
DENVER - After finding that a company was not given adequate notice of an arbitration commenced against it in China in relation to a dispute over the purchase and sale of solar technology products, a Colorado federal judge on May 29 dismissed a petition to enforce the $1,620,882 award (CEEG [Shanghai] Solar Science & Technology Co., Ltd., No. 14-cv-03118, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69829).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on May 29 granted without prejudice a motion to dismiss a copyright infringement and federal unfair competition lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction (Appjigger GmbH v. BLU Products Inc. et al., No. 14-9650, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69477).
MARSHALL, Texas - Allegations that a defendant infringed a patented method and system for providing incentive awards programs over a computer network were rejected on summary judgment on May 29 (Kroy IP Holdings LLC v. Safeway Inc., No. 12-800, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69363).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 1 released its order granting the Republic of Bangladesh's oil and gas company to respond to a resource company's request for provisional measures in relation to a $25,312,747 award issued in its favor (Niko Resources [Bangladesh] Ltd. v. People's Republic of Bangladesh, et al., Nos. ARB/10/11 and ARB/10/18, ICSID).
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL), the maker of home improvement products Drylock sealant and ZAR wood finish, emerged from Chapter 11 protection on May 28 with the issuance by a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge of a final decree, closing a case filed four years ago to protect the family-owned business from asbestos personal injury claims (In re: United Gilsonite Laboratories, 11-2032, M.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
MONTPELIER, Vt. - A panel of the Vermont Supreme Court on May 29 upheld a ruling dismissing with prejudice Engelberth Construction Inc.'s third-party complaint against subcontractors in a construction defects suit, holding that a trial court judge did not err in finding that the defendant company had no basis to pursue the claims and that Engelberth failed to timely object to the judgment dismissing the claims (The Stratton Corporation, et al. v. Engelberth Construction Inc., et al., No. 14-239, Vt. Sup.; 2015 Vt. LEXIS 55).
HELENA, Mont. - An insurer who does not receive timely notice according to the terms of an insurance policy must demonstrate prejudice from the lack of notice to avoid defense and indemnification of the insured, the Montana Supreme Court ruled May 29, answering yes to a certified question (Atlantic Casualty Insurance Co. v. John P. Greytak, et al., No. 2015 MT 149, Mont. Sup.; 2015 Mont. LEXIS 296).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on May 29 that a reinsured's reasoning behind its motion for reconsideration is without merit because the recent decision the reinsured cites breaks no new ground (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-01178, N.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 1 said it will not disturb a federal circuit court ruling that vacated dismissal of a False Claims Act lawsuit against OxyContin manufacturer Purdue Pharma L.P. (Purdue Pharma L.P., et al. v. United States, ex rel. Steven May, et al., No. 13-1162, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - To prove religious discrimination by an employer, a prospective employee needs to show only that his or her need for an accommodation was a motivating factor in the employer's decision, not that the employer had "actual knowledge" of the applicant's need for an accommodation, a divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 1 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc., No. 14-86, U.S. Sup.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on May 26 dismissed an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to state any of her claims for relief against her homeowners insurance provider (Jo-Ann D. Ripka v. Safeco Insurance, also known as Peerless Insurance Co., No. 14-1442, N.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67595).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 26 declined to hear an appeal in a securities class action lawsuit accusing NVIDIA Corp. and its CEO of concealing problems certain of its products in violation of federal securities laws (Roberto Cohen v. NVIDIA Corp., et al., No. 14-975, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors Corp. (Old GM) bankruptcy proceedings said May 27 that he will stay dozens of ignition-switch suits against General Motors LLC (New GM) in the wake of his earlier ruling that the bulk of the suits are barred by a sale order and injunction entered in the bankruptcy case (In re Motors Liquidation Co., et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court May 27 denied review of an appeals court ruling upholding a jury verdict for Ford Motor Co. in a suit alleging that design defects in the roof and restraint system in a 2001 Ford Excursion SUV contributed to the injuries suffered by a young girl in a rollover accident (Joseph and April Parr, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., et al., No. 46 EAL 2015, Pa. Sup.).