Just a day after ITT Educational Services Inc. told its students and employees on Sept. 6 that all of its campuses were being permanently shuttered, three class complaints had been filed by employees in two federal courts accusing the for-profit chain of failing to provide them with proper notice (Dennis Artis, et al v. ITT Educational Services, Inc., No. 16-790, D. Del., Allen Federman v. ITT Educational Services, Inc., No. 16-780, D. Del., Christin M. Long, et al. v. ITT Educational Services, Inc., No. 16-2399, S.D. Ind.).
MIAMI - A Florida appeals panel held Sept. 7 that a commercial insurance policy's "entrustment" exclusion applies to a third-party's actions as an insured's tenant and precludes coverage for the insured's theft and vandalism loss, rejecting the insured's argument that the exclusion is ambiguous (Grover Commercial Enterprises, Inc., etc. v. Aspen Insurance UK, Ltd., et al., No. 3D14-1987, Fla. App., 3rd Cir.).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal judge in Florida on Sept. 8 dismissed a class action suit against Pulte Home Corp. accusing the company of building homes with defective stucco siding, ruling that the negligence claim is barred by the economic loss doctrine and that the state does not recognize a cause of action for a builder's alleged intentional installation of defective stucco (Shaun Parker Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121348).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A trial judge did not err in allowing a special agent and forensic chemist to testify on his visual inspection of drugs, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held Sept. 6, finding no error in the expert's use of "administrative procedure for sampling" (APS) (State of North Carolina v. Henry Datwane Hunt, No. COA 16-143, N.C. App.; 2016 N.C. App. LEXIS 922).
NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Louisiana on Sept. 7 ruled that three workers who were onboard an oyster harvesting boat that got caught on anchors left behind following response actions to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig can pursue claims for negligence under maritime law, finding that their claims are not preempted by the Clean Water Act (CWA) and not covered by the economic and property damages settlement (Brian Winkler, et al. v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., No. 16-2715, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120541).
NEW ORLEANS - In a negligence lawsuit an employee filed against his employer over injuries on a boat, a Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 7 limited a marine safety expert's testimony to that stated in his opinion and not matters that fall out of his field (In the matter of M&M Wirelines & Offshore Services LLC, No. 15-4999, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120542).
LAS VEGAS - An insurer did not act in bad faith in failing to pay an insured the policy limits under the underinsured motorist (UIM) provision of an automobile insurance policy because the insured had received payments from workers' compensation for his injuries that were deducted from the insurance payment, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Sept. 7 in granting the insurer's motion for reconsideration (Jose R. Luna v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-1104, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120598).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Common benefit fees in the Ethicon power morcellator multidistrict litigation were all limited to 6 percent on Sept. 8 after the MDL judge said the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee (PSC) felt the fee of more than 6 percent is no longer appropriate (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2652, No. 15-md-2652, D. Kan.).
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - An engineer and accident reconstructionist failed to present evidence to support his opinion that a driver would have avoided a collision or had "only a minor collision" if he had been driving at a slower speed, a Tennessee federal judge ruled Sept. 7, excluding in part the expert's testimony (Christopher Stephen Johnson and Melissa Johnson v. Trans-Carriers Inc. and Gordon A. Newsome, No. 15-2533, W.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120374).
ASHLAND, Ky. - An insurer is entitled to judgment as a matter of law in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because insureds failed to show that the insurer breached the terms of a homeowners insurance policy by failing to pay on claims within 30 days of receiving the proof of loss, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled Sept. 7 (Billie W. Hamm v. American Bankers Insurance Co. of Florida, No. 14-39, E.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120567).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Findings in favor of a declaratory judgment plaintiff that patented monoclonal antibodies are not infringed by chimeric and humanized antibodies found in the "Cimzia" anti-inflammatory drug will stand in light of a Sept. 8 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (UCB Inc. v. Yeda Research and Development Co., No. 15-1957, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16474).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 6 affirmed dismissal of a property owner's claim for violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), finding that she failed to comply with a district court's orders and did not appear at trial (Deonne New-Howard, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 15-3879, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16367).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An appellate panel in Florida on Sept. 7 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant a new trial to two tobacco companies in an Engle progeny suit because the plaintiff's lawyer made prejudicial statements to the jury in closing arguments (David Cohen v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 4D13-2681, Fla. App. 4th Dist.).
COLUMBUS, Ga. - Frustrated with cases that have "no good basis," the Georgia federal judge overseeing the Mentor ObTape pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation on Sept. 7 placed plaintiff attorneys on notice that they may face sanctions in the future (In Re: Mentor Corp. ObTape Transobturator Sling Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2004, No. 08-md-2004, M.D. Ga., Columbus Div.).
SAN FRANCISCO - Shareholders have failed to show how an anonymous blogger report is adequate to serve as a corrective disclosure to support loss causation, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 2 in dismissing the shareholders' amended complaint (Francis J. Bonanno v. Cellular Biomedicine Group Inc., et al., No. 15-1795, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119194).
MINNEAPOLIS - Heart device maker St. Jude Medical Inc. on Sept. 7 sued a hedge fund and a cybersecurity research firm for defamation for issuing a report that St. Jude's devices can be hacked and that patients should disable remote monitoring devices (St. Jude Medical, Inc. v. Muddy Waters Consulting LLC, et al., No. 16-03002, D. Minn.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Delaware federal judge erred in treating antitrust standing as an issue of subject matter jurisdiction in dismissing a putative class action against alleged supracompetitive pricing of medicated eye drops, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 7 (Hartig Drug Company Inc. v. Senju Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd., et al., No. 15-3289, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16404).
MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on Sept. 2 granted defendants' motion to stay discovery pending resolution of their motions to dismiss an amended class action complaint alleging that they participated in a fraudulent scheme that overcharged borrowers for lender-placed insurance (LPI) (Jeffrey Parker, et al. v. AHMSI Insurance Agency Inc. d/b/a Belt Line Insurance Agency, et al., No. 15-23840, S.D. Fla.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 7 reversed and remanded a district court's ruling that a disability claimant is not entitled to long-term disability benefits beyond the plan's one-year limitation for mental disorders because the plan administrator's decision was arbitrary and capricious (Patti Okuno v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., No. 15-4043, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16423).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A federal magistrate judge in Florida on Sept. 6 quashed in part subpoenas served by plaintiffs who claim that homes built by Pulte Home Corp. were built with a defective stucco system on the defendant company's experts, ruling that information concerning destructive testing the experts conducted on certain homes was not subject to the exceptional circumstances exception to the work product doctrine (Shaun Parker Gazzara, et al. v. Pulte Home Corporation, No. 16-cv-657-Orl-31TBS, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119867).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Sept. 6 permitted expert testimony on causation of injuries in a workplace accident, as well as economic-loss testimony on the worker's future earning capacity while excluding any testimony on the worker's recent arrest (Steven Granger v. Bisso Marine and Bollinger Shipyards, No. 15-477, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119868).
MILWAUKEE - A federal judge in Wisconsin on Sept. 2 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' inclusion of a letter in their amended complaint that properly spelled out the terms of their bad faith claim does not "inherently" contradict the bad faith allegations made by the insureds in their amended complaint (Elizabeth Baires, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 16-402, E.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119155).