ST. LOUIS - An Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 3 affirmed a lower court decision in favor of an insolvent insurer, holding that a bank did not prove that a purported forgery on a lease guaranty instrument caused the bank's loss of more than $2 million (BancInsure, Inc. v. Highland Bank, No. 13-3324, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3260).
ATLANTA - Finding that an insurer admitted that a homeowners association's underlying lawsuits were "wrongful acts" under a nonprofit management and organization liability insurance policy, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 5 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer in a coverage dispute over underlying attorney fees (Culbreath Isles Property Owners Association Inc., et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 13-15414, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3510).
LAKE CHARLES, La. - A man who purchased seven tracts of land following the expiration of mineral leases provided to 12 companies cannot pursue claims seeking remediation of the properties, a Louisiana appeals panel ruled March 4, affirming a ruling awarding summary judgment to the defendants (Vincent Charles Bundrick, et al. v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., et al., No. 14-993, La. App., 3rd Cir.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A June 2014 preliminary injunction barring a defendant from ordering, purchasing, marketing or selling sports protective eyewear under the "Rec Specs" trademark will remain in place, a New York federal judge ruled March 5 (Halo Optical Products Inc. v. Liberty Sports Inc., No. 14-282, N.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26714).
NEW YORK - Acting on remand from the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a New York federal judge on March 5 stood by his earlier findings that Oprah Winfrey did not violate the Lanham Act when using the slogan "Own Your Power" (Simone Kelly-Brown, et al. v. Oprah Winfrey, et al., No. 11-7875, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27124).
NEW YORK - After finding that an arbitration panel did not commit manifest disregard for the law is issuing its award in a dispute over contaminated jet fuel, a New York federal judge on March 4 confirmed a $1,192,021.25 award in favor of Hess Corp. (In the matter of the Arbitration Between Hess Corp. and Dorado Tanker Pool Inc., No. 14 Civ. 6412, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26444).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 4 dismissed insurers' breach of contract claim against insureds regarding an insurance policy's potential coverage for an underlying construction defects case because the insureds are not pursuing coverage under that policy (Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, et al. v. Centex Homes, et al., No. 14-1450, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27182).
LOS ANGELES - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend the president and vice president of a roofing subcontractor in an underlying construction defects lawsuit because they did not tender notice of a claim, a California appeals panel affirmed March 5 (Bartile Roofs Inc., et al. v. Employers Mutual Casualty Co., No. B253243, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1573).
TRENTON, N.J. - A man may pursue his asbestos-exposure action based on his testimony regarding work aboard ships and schematics suggesting the presence of asbestos, a New Jersey appeals court held March 3 (Henry W. Latter Jr., et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. A-2714-13T4, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 425).
LAKE CHARLES, La. - A trial court judge in Louisiana did not err when awarding summary judgment to the manufacturer of a metal roof, a state appeals panel ruled March 4, holding that the company specifically stated on its website that it assumed no supervisory role in the installation of its product (James Duplantis, et al. v. Victor Miller, et al., No. 14-1070, La. App., 3rd Cir.; 2015 La. App. LEXIS 429).
AUSTIN, Texas - Remand of an insured's breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit to state court is not proper because it is not subject to the "direct action" provision in 28 U.S. Code Section 1332(c)(1), a federal judge in Texas ruled March 5 (Kenneth Harris v. Peerless Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 14-1087, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26859).
ST. LOUIS - A divided Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on March 3 vacated a $340,000 jury award for a superintendent found to have been wrongfully fired, holding that the jury wrongfully included front pay in the award (Ray Nassar, Ph.D., et al. v. Earnestine Jackson, et al., No. 13-1953, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3367).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Trial got under way March 4 with opening statements in the Florida 15th District Circuit Court for Palm Beach County in a suit alleging that injuries suffered by a now-17-year-old boy resulted from the unnecessary use of vacuum extraction during his March 1998 delivery (Melissa MacDonald, et al. v. Women's Healthcare Associates, et al., No. 2000CA008025, Fla. Cir., 15th Dist., Palm Beach Co.).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on March 2 held that an insured's claim for $106,000 in Halloween merchandise is not "covered property" under a commercial insurance policy, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment on the insured's claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Crazy Willy's Inc. v. Valley Forge Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-cv-03154, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25494).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on March 3 denied an investor's motion for reconsideration of her order appointing an investor group as lead plaintiff in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the investor group properly rebutted the presumption in favor of the investor (In re Enzymotec Ltd. Securities Litigation, No. 14-5556, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25720).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 4 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion to dismiss a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that dismissal of the bad faith claim is proper because that claim is not recognized in Pennsylvania (Joseph Cicon, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 14-2187, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25780).
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A California state court jury on March 5 awarded $5.7 million to a plaintiff in an Ethicon pelvic mesh injury trial (Colleen Perry, et al. v. Ethicon Inc., et al., No. S-1500-CV-279123, Calif. Super., Kern Co.).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Noting a moving defendant's failure to show significant prejudice from a plaintiff's failure to comply with certain portions of its discovery requests, and in light of a subsequent submission of comparable evidence, a California federal magistrate on March 3 granted in part the defendant's motion for sanctions, awarding only a small portion of the award sought (Oculu LLC v. Oculus VR Inc., No. 8:14-cv-00196, C.D. Calif.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by Oklahoma residents who contend that they were injured from exposure to radioactive waste from a chemical plant operated by Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) on March 3 denied the residents class certification (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge on March 4 ordered a copyright and trademark infringement plaintiff to hand over evidence relating to its finances from 2010 to the present (Exist Inc. v. ESY Inc., No. 14-62429, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26248).
WHEELING, W.Va. - The federal judge in West Virginia presiding over the royalty dispute between a group of West Virginia landowners and a hydraulic fracturing company regarding allegations that the company failed to pay the landowners' royalties pursuant to their leases, on March 2 referred the plaintiffs' motion to compel discovery to a magistrate judge (Patrick D. Leggett, et al. v. EQT Production Company, et al., No. 13-0004, N.D. W.Va.).
JACKSON, Miss. - Pending briefing and discovery, a Mississippi federal judge on March 2 granted a motion by Google Inc. to preliminarily enjoin a subpoena Mississippi Attorney General (AG) Jim Hood served on the Internet giant in conjunction with his efforts to curb online piracy and the sale of counterfeit prescription drugs (Google Inc. v. Jim Hood, No. 3:14-cv-00981, S.D. Miss.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 3 granted a motion for preliminary approval of a $415 million settlement with Adobe Systems Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Intel Corp. on employees' claims that the high-tech companies conspired to fix and suppress employee compensation and to restrict employee mobility by entering into agreements not to compete for one another's employees in violation of federal antitrust law (In Re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-2509, N.D. Calif.).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina man on March 4 filed a federal class action lawsuit against Lumber Liquidators Inc., alleging that Chinese-made laminate hardwood flooring he purchased and installed in his home in August 2013 is defective because it shrinks and cracks easily and contains an excessive amount of formaldehyde (Michael Caiola, et al. v. Lumber Liquidators Inc., et al., No. 15cv37, E.D. N.C.).