RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 affirmed a directed defense verdict last year in the first Ethicon pelvic mesh multidistrict litigation trial (Carolyn Lewis, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 14-1244, 4th Cir.).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 27 reversed a decision that a borrower lacked standing to bring claims against a title company and law firm but affirmed dismissal of her claims for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) (Patricia L. Clements v. LSI Title Agency Inc., et al., No. 14-11636, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3144).
NEW YORK - A brake-grinding machine manufacturer must face liability for a man's exposure from asbestos-containing brakes used in conjunction with the grinder, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Feb. 27 (Linda Vellucci, as executrix of the heirs and estates of John Vellucci v. Borg Warner Corp., et al., No. 190201/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 518).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House of Representatives' role as controller of the purse strings gives it sufficient injury to challenge the administration's alleged misallocation of public funds related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Republicans told a federal judge in the District of Columbia on Feb. 27 (United States House of Representatives v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-1967, D. D.C.).
CHICAGO - A trial judge did not err in instructing a jury on both institutional and professional negligence in a suit alleging that the death of an elderly woman was the result of negligence on the part of a nursing home and its staff, the Illinois Appellate Court for the First Judicial District ruled Feb. 27 (William M. Groeller Jr. v. The Evergreen Health Care Center LLC, No. 1-14-0932, Ill. App., 1st Jud. Dist.)
DALLAS - A Texas appeals court on Feb. 27 affirmed a trial court's decision grating summary judgment in favor of a real estate firm in relation to a condominium owner's claims that her unit contained mold, finding that it did not err in refusing her additional time for discovery (Michelle Manatou v. Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc., No. 05-13-01035, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 1942).
BOSTON - A New York operator of skilled nursing facilities has entered into an agreement with the United States to pay $3.5 million to resolve allegations concerning inflated Medicare claims for rehabilitation therapy, according to a March 2 news release issued by the U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz for the District of Massachusetts.
DENVER - A federal judge in Colorado on Feb. 25 declined to dismiss a suit in which the plaintiff accused his health insurance company of breach of contract for allegedly wrongfully informing him that the effective date of his coverage was later than it really was, causing the plaintiff to receive treatment for pancreatic cancer later than necessary (Kent Wilson v. Humana Health Plan Inc., No. 14-3259, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22672).
CHICAGO - A divided Illinois appeals court reversed and vacated the judgment of a trial court granting the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and class certification in a health care subrogation dispute, saying the plaintiff had no right to rely on the common fund doctrine to support her claims (Nelli Stefanski v. The City of Chicago, No. 1-13-2844, Ill. App., 1st Dist. 6th Div.; 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 133).
MIAMI - A district court properly sanctioned a nonparty financing firm for providing an expert economist witness in a life insurance fraud trial, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 26, finding that the firm educated the witness to answer questions that were helpful to it but did not instruct him on any questions that might have cast the firm in a bad light (Steven A. Sciarretta v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-12559, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2864).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Feb. 27 declined to strike class wage claims filed by two distributors who claim that they have been improperly classified as independent contractors (Edmund Sayward Sr., et al. v. Pepperidge Farm, Inc., No. 13-12770, D. Mass.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24060).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 27 reversed the denial of class certification in a lawsuit accusing Ford Motor Co. of failing to inform consumers of a known defect in the electronic throttle control system (ETC) that causes Freestyles to accelerate unexpectedly (Gene Edwards, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, No. 13-55331, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3073).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - An Illinois appeals court on Feb. 25 heard arguments over whether a jury's $1,443,810.53 asbestos verdict can stand in the face of challenges to the verdict form's lack of itemization and references to a leasee's nearby use of asbestos (In re: Estate of Lilienthal, No. 4-14-0280, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).
NEW ORLEANS - A man submits no evidence indicating that his father suffered exposure to asbestos-containing friction products originating with three automobile manufacturers, a federal judge in Louisiana held Feb. 25 (Scott Laurent v. City of New Orleans, et al., No. 14-2022, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22867).
NEW YORK - Ford USA acted as a "global guardian" of the brand and cannot escape liability for Ford UK asbestos-containing parts, but New York courts lack jurisdiction over the foreign company, a New York appeals court held Feb. 26 (Raymond Finerty, et al. v. Abex Corp., et al., No. 190187/10 14344 14343, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin appellate panel on Feb. 26 affirmed a lower court's decision to impose sanctions and revoke an attorney's pro hac vice status in lawsuit pertaining to a dispute over a contract for the supply of frack sand on grounds that the parties acted in bad faith (In the Matter of Sanctions in Minerals Development & Supply Company Inc. v. Hunton & Williams LLP, No. 2014AP287, Wis. App., Dist. 4; 2015 Wisc. App. LEXIS 154).
INDIANAPOLIS - A clothing store did not owe a duty of care to protect a 4-year-old child from the presence of empty clothes hangers on a rack, a federal judge in Indiana ruled Feb. 26 (B.F., et al. v. The Buckle Inc., No. 3:13-cv-00222-RLY-WGH, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23211).
HONOLULU - After a company and its president failed to respond to a petition to confirm an international arbitration award, a Hawaii federal judge on Feb. 27 granted the petition and confirmed the award in favor of two franchise operators (YF Franchise LLC, et al. v. Jun Kil An, No. 14-00496, D. Hawaii; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24355).
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - An Arkansas federal judge on Feb. 26 denied an employment practices liability insurer's motion to dismiss or stay an insured's bad faith claim in a coverage dispute over an underlying wrongful termination lawsuit (Children's Safety Center Inc. v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 14-05274, W.D. Ark.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23963).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A California federal judge's decision to sustain a jury verdict of patent infringement was upheld March 2 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, but a related award of damages for past infringement and an ongoing royalty rate was remanded for a new trial (Warsaw Orthopedic Inc. et al. v. NuVasive Inc., Nos. 13-1576, -1577, Fed. Cir.).