DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Dec. 10 denied a motion for reconsideration or to alter or amend a July 1 order vacating class certification in a lawsuit filed by car rental agency customers who claim that they were charged for added-on extras to which they didn't agree (Dr. Allen Friedman, et al. v. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., d/b/a Dollar Rent A Car, et al., No. 12-2432, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166359).
PHILADELPHIA - Patent holders were ordered Dec. 14 by a Pennsylvania federal judge to produce several unredacted or previously withheld documents in a dispute over alleged "sham litigation" (Federal Trade Commission v. AbbVie Inc., et al., No. 14-5151, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166723).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge properly affirmed a decision by an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plan administrator to deny a widow benefits in connection with her late husband's fatal fall, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 11 (Judy Hagen v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 15-40597, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21460).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Dec. 14 issued a decision discontinuing an arbitration commenced by more than 70 Italian individuals and entities in relation to their alleged investments in Argentina for failure to pay $400,000 in ICSID fees and costs (Giovanni Alemanni and others v. Argentine Republic, No. ARB/07/8, ICSID).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on Dec. 10 granted the liquidator of an insolvent insurer's motion to approve a $129,069.40 claim recommendation regarding an underlying construction defect of the claimants' condominium (In the Matter of the Liquidation of Statewide Insurance Company, No. 04-CH-00150, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 10 reversed and remanded an insurance bad faith lawsuit to a state trial court, ruling that the trial court erred in ruling that an insurer did not act in bad faith in denying an insured's claim for property damages under his homeowners insurance policy (David Hughes v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 15AP-94, Ohio App., 10th Dist.; 2015 Ohio App. LEXIS 4951).
SHERMAN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Dec. 10 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment, accepting a federal magistrate judge's report and recommendation that stated that an insured failed to plead any of his claims except for breach of contract in an insurance bad faith lawsuit (Carlos Paz v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-693, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165144).
PITTSBURGH - Two environmental groups that are suing PPG Industries Inc. for allegedly contaminating groundwater with toxic waste on Dec. 11 filed a brief contending that the Pennsylvania federal judge presiding over the case should reconsider his order issued last month, which allows PPG to file a third-party complaint against the operator of the landfill that held the disposed waste (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.).
LANSING, Mich. - A Michigan appeals court on Dec. 10 reversed a decision in favor of a bar owner, finding that there was not sufficient evidence to show that it did not have actual knowledge of the condition of stairs in its establishment, which allegedly caused a patron to slip and fall (Krystal Lowrey v. LMPS & LMPJ Inc., et al., No. 323049, Mich. App.; 2015 Mich. App. LEXIS 2329).
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An asbestosis workers' compensation claim may proceed because it differs sufficiently from a previously dismissed breathing dysfunction claim, a panel of Tennessee's top court held Dec. 10 (Jimmy Segroves v. Union Carbide, et al., No. E2015-00572-SC-R3-WC, Tenn. Sup., Spcl. Wrkrs. Comp. App.; 2015 Tenn. LEXIS 945).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey dismissed an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit on Dec. 10, ruling that an insured has failed to properly plead subject matter jurisdiction in making its claims against a title insurance provider and others (Plantation Bay LLC v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co., et al., No. 15-2042, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165753).
DENVER - A Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) special agent may testify on practices and code language commonly used by drug traffickers premised upon on her prior law enforcement experience and her perception of the meanings of particular words and phrases used in communications in a language she does not speak, a Colorado federal judge ruled Dec. 10 (United States of America v. Martin Javier Alamos-Delgado, et al., No. 10-00327, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165711).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Dec. 10 ordered an insured seeking coverage for environmental contamination claims to pay its insurer's costs and fees associated with the insured's late disclosure of an expert witness because the insured's late disclosure was not justified (E.M. Sergeant Pulp & Chemical Co. Inc., et al. v. The Travelers Indemnity Co. Inc., et al., No. 12-1741, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165981).
NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge on Dec. 10 denied preliminary approval of a $795,000 settlement to end class claims filed on behalf of MG Holdings L.P. and Madison Square Garden (collectively, MSG) unpaid interns who seek wages (Christopher Fraticelli, et al. v. MSG Holdings, L.P., et al., No. 13-6518, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166004).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 10 affirmed a district court's decision in favor of a bank, finding that former property owners failed to show that it violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) when it failed to respond to their letters (Martin Martini, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-1423, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21504).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Dec. 12 centralized 14 federal lawsuits alleging that a patient surgical warming system caused patients to develop post-surgical infections (In Re: Bair Hugger Forced Air Warming Devices Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2666 JPMDL).
NEW YORK - Allegations of an insured's faulty workmanship are not covered under a commercial general liability insurance policy, a New York federal judge ruled Dec. 10, finding that even if the allegations were covered, the damage occurred outside of the policy period (Maxum Indemnity Co. v. A One Testing Laboratories, Inc. a/k/a A-1 Testing Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 14-4023, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165756).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 10 affirmed a jury's conviction of a man for distributing cocaine because there was no error in the admission of expert testimony on drug jargon (United States of America v. Ismael Aldana Moralez, No. 14-3702, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21341).
CINCINNATI - A federal appeals court panel on Dec. 11 affirmed summary judgment in an Ortho Evra birth control patch stroke case, finding that the product's label adequately warned of the risk and that the plaintiff's other claims are preempted by federal law (Stephanie Yates v. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 15-3104, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21428).
MONTPELIER, Vt. - Damages caused by the spraying of a pesticide used to rid a home of bed bugs are clearly excluded from coverage, the Vermont Supreme Court said Dec. 11 in determining that the policy's pollution exclusion applies as a bar to coverage (Neil and Patricia Whiney v. Vermont Mutual Insurance Co., No. 2015-073, Vt. Sup.).
WHEELING, W.Va. - A breach of contract counterclaim brought in response to an action seeking a declaration that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts a request for indemnification was dismissed Dec. 10 by a West Virginia federal judge (Ohio Valley Health Services & Education Corporation, et al. v. Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley Inc., et al., No. 15-65, N.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165705).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 9 decertified a class of J.C. Penney Corp. (JCP) workers in a suit in which they allege that they were denied pay for unused vacation time upon termination, finding that the class definition was "unworkable" (Raymond Tschudy, et al. v. J.C. Penney Corporation, No. 11-1011, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165897).
JACKSON, Miss. - An unsworn expert report is inadmissible in summary judgment proceedings and leaves a plaintiff with insufficient evidence in support of her case, the Mississippi Supreme Court held Dec. 10 (Illinois Central Railroad Co. v. Deborah Jackson, surviving spouse and personal representative of Charles D. Jackson Jr., No. 2014-IA-814-SCT, Miss. Sup.).
SINGAPORE - Manila Water Co. Inc. on Dec. 10 announced that it has filed a notice of arbitration against the Republic of the Philippines with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).
CONCORD, N.H. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a New Hampshire court on Dec. 11 to grant approval of a reinsurance commutation agreement between the liquidation estate and one of the insolvent insurer's reinsurers (In the Matter of the Liquidation of The Home Insurance Company, No. 03-E-0106, N.H. Sup., Merrimack Co.).