MADISON, Wis. - A son's wrongful death claim arising from his mother's alleged asbestos-related death seeks to compensate him, not the decedent, and his timely action renders moot his late appointment as special administrator on his mother's survival action, a federal judge held June 2 (Brian Heckel, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 13-459, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71239).
SAN FRANCISCO - A majority of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 1 affirmed that no coverage is owed for the sinking of a dry dock and more than 113,000 gallons of stored oil into a harbor because the insured failed to comply with the hull and machinery policy's certification requirement and because no oil was released from the barrels into the harbor as required for coverage to exist under the ocean marine policy (Guam Industrial Services Inc. et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Co. et al., No. 13-17005, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9045).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court did not err in determining that insureds failed to plead their claims for breach of contract and insurance bad faith because the insureds' claim sought coverage for excluded damages, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 2 (Daryl Gregory, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-15161, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9164).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on June 1 held that there are material issues of fact to be determined by a trier of fact regarding whether an insurer is estopped from denying coverage for underlying copyright infringement claims brought against a designer of pre-drawn home plans (State National Insurance Company Inc. v. Highland Holdings Inc., et al., No. 8:14-cv-00524, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70616).
NEW ORLEANS - A district court correctly determined that a long-term disability administrator did not abuse its discretion or act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying a long-term disability claim, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal said May 29 (Angel Dix v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Long Term Disability Program, No. No. 14-31200, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 8930).
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on June 2 limited what a "visual and human factors" expert can testify about in a wrongful death action stemming from a fatal car accident because some of the expert's testimony exceeded the scope of her expertise and "other aspects of her testimony would confuse the jury" (Bruce Dolfman v. Zachary Edwards, et al., No. 13-2831, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70853).
RALEIGH, N.C. - Case reports constitute part of the universe of evidence in an asbestos case, a federal judge said in finding the reports admissible while excluding other evidence in May 29 and May 30 rulings (Graham Yates and Becky Yates v. Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc., No. 12-752, E.D. N.C.).
MADISON, Wis. - Plaintiffs' claims of childhood exposure to asbestos from door cores on their parents' clothing push the "plausibility boundary" but may proceed, a federal judge in Wisconsin held in granting reconsideration on June 2 (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-286, Richard Masephol v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-186, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71243).
LOS ANGELES - A California man filed a class action lawsuit in federal court on June 1, seeking economic losses for commercial fishermen and coastal businesses that suffered damages as the result of the May 15 rupture of a pipeline owned by Plains All American Pipeline L.P. that resulted in the discharge of more than 100,000 gallons of crude oil along the Santa Barbara, Calif., shoreline, asserting that the company should have installed an emergency shut-off valve for that portion of the pipeline (Stace Cheverez, et al. v. Plains All American Pipeline, No. 15,cv-4113-CBM-JEM, C.D. Calif.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal magistrate judge in New York on June 2 granted in part and denied in part a reinsurer's motion to compel discovery in an asbestos-related reinsurance billing dispute (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 14-cv-00700, N.D. N.Y.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 2 affirmed a lower court's ruling that a bank insured's losses arising from its employees' involvement in an e-mail-based investment scam are covered under a financial institution bond, further finding that the lower court did not err in calculating prejudgment interest (Avon State Bank v. BancInsure Inc., Nos. 14-1265 and 14-2202, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9120).
DENVER - Although one expert for plaintiffs in a class action suit alleging that an operator of hemodialysis clinics acted negligently in administering care cannot testify on matters of nephrology and dialysis because she has no expertise in those areas, she can testify on data collected by the clinics and the monitoring of the data, a Colorado federal judge ruled May 29, also finding that opinions by another expert for the plaintiffs and one for the clinic operator are admissible (Doris Morris, et al. v. DaVita Healthcare Partners, Inc., No. 13-cv-00573, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69046).
DENVER - A tow truck driver injured in a crash forfeited his right to challenge a biomechanical engineer's testimony that the forces involved in the collision were insufficient to cause the driver's injuries because the driver never filed an objection to the expert's witness statement or objected to any questions seeking to elicit such testimony during trial, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 2 (Melvin L. Mathis v. Huff & Puff Trucking, Inc., et al., No. 13-8082, 10th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9181).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 2 vacated a district court's final approval of a $4.5 million settlement in a wage suit brought by day laborers, finding that the district court failed to satisfy the procedural standard outlined in In re Bluetooth Headset Products Liab. Litig. (654 F.3d 935 [9th Cir. 2011]) (Jeffrey Lee Allen, et al. v. Margie Bedolla, et al., No. 13-55106, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9139).
MADISON, Wis. - Plaintiffs alleging asbestos exposure from a nearby plant may not establish the standard of care by referencing Clean Air Act (CAA) regulations, but otherwise may pursue nuisance claims under Wisconsin law, a federal judge held June 2 (Milton Boyer and Kathy Boyer v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-286, Richard Masephol v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-186, Janet Pecher, et al. v. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-147, Virginia Prust, et al. v. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-143, Roger Seehafer and Janice Seehafer v. Weyerhaeuser Co. and Owens-Illinois Inc., No. 14-161, Wesley Sydow and Theresa Sydow v. v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 3M Co., Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Owens-Illinois Co., No. 14-219, W.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70899).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Finding no error in a rejection by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of a petition to cancel the "Colorworx" trademark, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 3 affirmed (Joel Beling v. Ennis Inc., No. 15-1157, Fed. Cir.).
CHICAGO - Former professional hockey player Steven Ludzik filed suit in federal court on June 1, alleging that the National Hockey League violated its duty to properly evaluate, monitor and treat brain trauma he suffered during practices and games during his eight-year career, causing him to develop Parkinson's disease (Steven Ludzik v. National Hockey League, et al., No. 15-4816, N.D. Ill.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 29 denied a petition for a writ of mandamus from plaintiff law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro in Seattle to prevent or limit a district court's inquiry into whether 31 plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their thalidomide lawsuits against three defendants (In Re: Rebecca Alexander, et al., No. 15-2245, 3rd Cir.).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - After finding that a homeowner received notice of default on her mortgage loan and notice of a trustee's sale, a California federal judge on June 1 granted a bank's motion to dismiss the case in its entirety (Nancy Siqueiros v. Federal National Mortgage Association as Successor in Interest to Bank of America Corporation, et al., No. 13-01789, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71286).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A dispute over paperboard cars used by a restaurant to serve children's meals will proceed without a copyright infringement claim, a Kansas federal judge ruled June 2 (Kid Stuff Marketing Inc. v. Creative Consumer Concepts Inc. et al., No. 15-2620, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70779).