TAMPA, Fla. - A jury in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida on March 25 found a couple guilty of operating a sham clinic for the purpose of committing health care fraud (United States of America v. Mario Fuertes, et al., No. 14-cr-00092, M.D. Fla.).
ST. LOUIS - Underlying allegations fail to allege "in either substance or form" the misuse of a slogan, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found March 26, affirming a lower court's ruling that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against an underlying dispute over the use of the name "Smart Candle" (Selective Insurance Co. of America v. Smart Candle LLC, No. 14-1356, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4894).
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - A trial court properly instructed a jury to conduct a comparative fault analysis in a personal injury lawsuit pertaining to an auto accident involving a drunken driver, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled March 24, also upholding the lower court's discovery and Daubert rulings (Mary L. Wise v. Steven F. Ludlow, No. S-14-0147 and S-14-0148, Wyo. Sup.; 2015 Wyo. LEXIS 48).
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - An Iowa federal judge on March 24 granted an insurer's motion to transfer an insured's suit to Texas federal court where the insurer filed its own suit because it is unclear which action constitutes the first filed action and it is clear that Texas has more ties to the parties than Iowa (Rockwell Collins Inc. v. National Indemnity Co., et al., No. 14-118, N.D. Iowa; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37937).
NEW YORK - Conflicting testimony regarding whether a defendant offered specific asbestos-containing products for sale during the relevant time period involves credibility issues, not admissibility issues, and does not warrant summary judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 26 (Thomas Brigantino and Phyllis Brigantino v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190390/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge on March 26 granted a motion by an online file-sharing defendant and his parents for a protective order against "a broadly worded subpoena duces tecum" served on them by a copyright infringement plaintiff, stating that 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case law and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34 do not permit the unrestricted computer hard drive access sought in the subpoena (Malibu Media LLC v. Roberto Roldan, No. 8:13-cv-03007, M.D. Fla.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A compressor company presents no evidence warranting a rehearing of a ruling finding sufficient evidence of asbestos exposure from its products, a Delaware justice held March 25 (In re: Asbestos Litigation Dorothy A. Phipps, et al. v. Carrier Corp., et al., No. N12C-06-069, Del. Sup., New Castle Co.; 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 144).
TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations of trademark infringement by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority against a Florida pizzeria were dismissed March 26, when a New Jersey federal judge deemed jurisdiction over a defendant lacking (New Jersey Turnpike Authority v. Jersey Boardwalk Pizza Inc., et al., No. 14-4589, D. N.J.).
WALTHAM, Mass. - A technology company on March 26 announced that its subsidiary has reached a 150 million pound settlement agreement with the United Kingdom in relation to a long-running arbitration dispute over electronic border security.
MINNEAPOLIS - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit have failed to plead scienter in making their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled March 25 in dismissing the shareholders' amended complaint (Rand-Hart of New York Inc., et al. v. James P. Dolan, et al., No. 14-3011, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38160).
NEW YORK - A trial court erred in dismissing a reinsurer's affirmative defenses in an asbestos coverage case because issues of fact exist regarding whether the insurer provided timely notice of the loss, a New York appellate panel said March 24 (New Hampshire Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co., No. 653547/11, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2452).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An Indiana federal judge on March 26 granted provisional approval of a $725,000 settlement in a class complaint accusing the Whitley County, Ind., sheriff of violating jailed individuals' constitutional rights (Lawrence M. Bickel, et al. v. Sheriff of Whitley County, No. 08-102, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38311).
NEW ORLEANS - Deaf Texas individuals who claim they were improperly barred from obtaining driver's licenses until they turned 25 failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted, a split Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 24 (Donnika Ivy, et al. v. Commissioner Michael Williams, in his official capacity as head of the Texas Education Agency, No. 14-50037, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4813).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 26 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that there is no coverage under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) for the removal of debris deposited outside the exterior perimeter walls of New Jersey insureds' building/structure in a Super Storm Sandy coverage dispute (Michael S. Torre, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-2733, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4902).
INDIANAPOLIS - After finding that consumers who allege that a defective washing machine caused flooding and mold that made them ill did not disclose their experts in bad faith, an Indiana federal judge on March 26 denied a motion by the maker of the machine to exclude their experts' testimony (Matthew Slabaugh, et al. v. LG Electronics USA Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-01020, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38331).
LANSING, Mich. - A federal judge in Michigan on March 25 granted a reinsurer's motion to compel its reinsured to produce certain documents that the reinsured contended were privileged (Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company v. Westport Insurance Corporation, No. 14-cv-00151, W.D. Mich.).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Plaintiffs who were unsuccessful in their suit accusing the owners of an automobile scrap yard of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) by discharging hazardous substances in public waters were ordered by a federal judge in Rhode Island on March 26 to pay $111,784.50 in attorney fees after she found that the plaintiffs knew that their claims lacked merit (Louis Paolino, et al. v. JF Realty LLC, et al., No. 12-39-ML, D. R.I.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38407).
PITTSBURGH - An environmental group's lawsuit complaining that emissions from Shenango Inc.'s coke operations in Allegheny County, Pa., are violating the Clean Air Act (CAA) was dismissed by a federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 26; she ruled that the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) is already diligently prosecuting claims against the company over the same alleged violations (Group Against Smog and Pollution v. Shenango Inc., No. 14-595, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38526).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge properly adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation that a copyright infringement defendant be denied prevailing-party attorney fees under the Copyright Act, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed March 26 (Malibu Media LLC v. Leo Pelizzo, No. 14-11795, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4898).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A federal judge on March 24 rejected Florida insureds' request for $80,008.49 in a Tropical Storm Debby coverage dispute, awarding them only $1,093.38 for additional insulation, stud-wall sealing and out-of-pocket costs (Timothy Slater, et al. v. Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, No. 13-345, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36824).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is not proper because the lead plaintiff has properly pleaded each of all elements of his federal securities law claims against an online social media game developer and certain of its officers and directors, a federal judge in California ruled March 25 (In re Zynga Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 12-4007, N.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA - A federal judge did not err in dismissing claims in a securities class action lawsuit against a company's executive officer and outside auditor because lead plaintiffs in the action failed to properly plead scienter, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 25 (Christopher Brophy, et al. v. Jiangbo Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 14-10213, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4846).