SHERMAN, Texas - A claims adjuster and adjusting company were improperly joined in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insured failed to provide any fact to show that those defendants' actions were in violation of the Texas Insurance Code, a federal judge in Texas ruled Aug. 8 in denying the insured's motion to remand (Lillian Elizondo v. Metropolitan Lloyds Insurance Co. of Texas, et al., No. 16-306, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103878).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Aug. 5 held that the lack of an excess judgment against Warner Brothers Entertainment Inc. in an underlying employment injury dispute that settled does not preclude the equitable subrogation and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing lawsuit that the entertainment company's excess insurer brought against its primary insurer (Ace American Insurance Co. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. B264861, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2016 Cal. App. LEXIS 647).
DETROIT - Residents who sued Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and state officials alleging liability for the lead-contaminated drinking water in the City of Flint, Mich., on Aug. 8 filed a brief in a Michigan federal court opposing the defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissal. The plaintiffs insist that the defendants are attempting to evade responsibility on the "faulty premise" that the district court lacks subject matter jurisdiction, and they contend that they have adequately pleaded claims for violation of their rights under the U.S. Constitution (Melissa Mays, et al. v. Gov. Rick Snyder, et al., No. 15-14002, E.D. Mich.).
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), New York University (NYU) and Yale University were sued Aug. 9 in separate putative class action lawsuits on behalf of more than 60,000 employees in their defined contribution retirement plans who claim that the universities, as plan sponsors, breached their duties of loyalty and prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing plan participants to pay millions of dollars in unreasonable and excessive administrative fees.
SAN FRANCISCO - In an Aug. 8 opposition brief filed in California federal court, Oracle America Inc. calls a post-trial motion for civil contempt and sanctions by Google Inc. "unprecedented," asserting that the discovery trial statements that purportedly disclosed confidential information "were responsive" to arguments from Google and probing questions from the presiding magistrate (Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - Based on a recent decision by the New York Court of Appeals regarding allocation, a New York federal judge on Aug. 8 granted an insured's motion for reconsideration and said that in light of the Court of Appeals' decision, an all-sums method of allocation, not a pro rata method of allocation, must be applied to policies with noncumulation clauses (Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. The Fairbanks Co., Nos. 13-3755, 15-1141, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104250).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A February 2016 request for inter partes review was granted Aug. 4 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, following failure by the patent owner to respond to the petition (Elekta Inc. v. Varian Medical Systems Inc., No. IPR2016-00551, PTAB).
LOS ANGELES - A U.S. magistrate judge in California on Aug. 4 dismissed a groundwater contamination lawsuit against a gas and electric company on grounds that the claim was preempted by federal law (Ken Nitao v. Pacific Gas and Electric Company, No. 16-2532, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102766).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent that is currently the subject of several pending inter partes review (IPR) requests filed by companies including Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and Toyota Motor Co. is under fire again, in light of an Aug. 4 petition for IPR filed by America Honda Motor Co. Inc. (Honda) with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (American Honda Motor Co. v. Blitzsafe Texas LLC, No. IPR2016-01533, PTAB).
BALTIMORE - A plaintiff's decision to pursue patent litigation became "clearly unreasonable" once the plaintiff failed to adequately rebut or otherwise address a defendant's position that the case was barred by 28 U.S. Code Section 1498, a Maryland federal judge ruled Aug. 4 (Astornet Technologies Inc. v. BAE Systems Inc., No. 14-245, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 102260).
CLEVELAND - A lawsuit involving restaurant trade dress will proceed without a temporary restraining order in place, an Ohio federal judge ruled Aug. 8 (Barteca Holdings LLC v. Coastal Taco LLC, No. 16-1498, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104026).
ROCKVILLE, Md. - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Frostburg State University on Aug. 8 agreed to pay $1.2 million to a concussion foundation created by the family of a Frostburg State University football player who died during football practice from a traumatic brain injury, according to media reports and a statement by the NCAA (Kristen Sheely, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al., No. 380569V, Md. Cir., Montgomery Co.).
HARTFORD, Conn. - World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. on Aug. 8 asked a federal judge in Connecticut to impose sanctions against the attorneys for two former wrestlers in a consolidated concussion suit because the attorneys allegedly drafted and signed off on false responses to a court's compulsion order that were submitted to the WWE (Russ McCullough, et al. v. World Wrestling Entertainment Inc., No. 15-1074, D. Conn.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An employer violated the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) when it terminated union members' short-term disability benefits, encouraged an employee to circulate a decertification petition, interfered with union representatives access to the facility and decertified the union and refused to bargain with it or remit union dues; however, the employer waived its right to challenge the National Labor Relations Board remedy to reimburse the union with its own funds when it failed to raise the challenge before the NLRB, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 5 (Enterprise Leasing Company of Florida, doing business as Alamo Rent-A-Car v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 15-1200, D.C. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14376).
SAN FRANCISCO - The retaliation provision in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) does not preclude a First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution retaliation claim, a divided Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 5, reinstating claims by a former Arizona city employee who alleges that he was improperly terminated after agreeing to testify on behalf of another city employee suing for age discrimination (Ronnie D. Stilwell, et al. v. City of Williams, et al., No. 14-15540, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14430).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 announced that it will rehear en banc a case in which a panel previously found that 401(k) plan participants challenging the selection and retention of certain mutual funds forfeited their right to argue that their employer and its benefits plan failed to adequately monitor those investments because the argument was never raised before a California federal judge or in their initial appeal (Glenn Tibble, et al. v. Edison International, et al., No. 10-56406, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14413).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 8 found that the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA) does not preempt insureds' state law claims to the extent that they arise solely from the process of procuring a federal flood insurance policy, reversing a lower federal court in part in a dispute arising from flood damage (Michael H. Harris, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, et al., No. 15-6132, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14501).
NEW YORK - Barclays Bank PLC and Barclays Capital Inc. will pay $100 million to settle claims with 44 states that they engaged in fraudulent and anti-competitive conduction in manipulating the U.S. Dollar London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) "and other benchmark interest rates," according to a press release issued on Aug. 8 by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 8 ruled that a district court did not commit error when it ruled that an attorney and the Ecuadorian plaintiffs who sued Chevron Corp. committed fraud and violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act when they won an $18.5 billion judgment against the company for alleged injuries related to Chevron's involvement with an oil consortium (Chevron Corporation v. Steven R. Donziger, et al., No. 14-826, 2nd Cir.).
MINNEAPOLIS - Citing the interactive nature of a defendant's website, a Minnesota federal judge on Aug. 5 denied a motion to dismiss a patent infringement lawsuit on grounds of lacking personal jurisdiction (Imation Corporation v. Sanho Corporation Inc., No. 15-1883, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103626).
CHICAGO - Allegations that Steak n Shake Inc. infringed the copyrighted television advertisement of a competitor were rejected Aug. 5 by an Illinois federal judge, who deemed the commercials dissimilar (Culver Franchising System Inc. v. Steak n Shake Inc., No. 16-75, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103091).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 3 held that a lower federal court failed to consider whether parties were properly aligned in a dispute over whether an insurer owes an additional $1 million to $3 million to satisfy an underlying $3,736,278 judgment against its insured for breaching its duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain its common areas (Evanston Insurance Company v. Housing Authority of Somerset and Griffin, et al., No. 16-5018, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14465).
SALT LAKE CITY - An insurer owes no coverage for water damage to its insureds' home and personal property caused when rain entered the home before a new roof installation was complete because the incomplete roof does not constitute a roof as required by the policy, the Utah Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 4 (Annalee Poulsen et al. v. Farmers Insurance Exchange, No. 20150498, Utah App.; 2016 Utah App. LEXIS 175).