WACO, Texas - A settlement agreement that resolved a payment dispute between a general contractor that was hired to construct a housing complex on Sam Houston State University's (SHSU) campus and the subcontractor that installed the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system did not result in a merger of the indemnity clause between the parties' subcontracts, a Texas appellate panel ruled April 28 in reversing the subcontractor's summary judgment award (Capstone Building Corporation v. IES Commercial Inc., No. 10-15-00182-CV, Texas App., 10th Dist.; 2016 Texas App. LEXIS 4449).
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 28 denied a law firm insured's motion to remand to state court its breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking lawyers' professional liability coverage for an underlying legal malpractice action (Hippo Fleming & Pertile Law Offices, et al., v. Westport Insurance Corp., et al., No. 15-322, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56571).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 28 affirmed a trial court's grant of summary judgment under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) and an accompany damages award against a man who registered four Internet domains incorporating Donald Trump's trademark in bad faith (J. Taikwok Yung v. Donald J. Trump, No. 14-1554, 2nd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7662).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 29 affirmed an Illinois federal judge's determination that a pension fund need not refund contributions made by an employer on behalf of an erroneously classified employee, but reversed and remanded the district court's determination that the pension fund need not enforce its own rules, which required arbitration by and conforming to the procedures of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) (Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund v. Bulk Transport Corp., Nos. 15-3346, 15-3208, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7790).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A woman who won an Engle progeny verdict against Philip Morris USA Inc. asked a federal judge in Florida on May 2 to deny the tobacco company's motion to stay her motion to reinstate her punitive damages award, saying it would be "needlessly cruel" to stay her 20-year-old case (Judith Berger v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 3:09-cv-14157, M.D. Fla.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal district court erred in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit and denying reconsideration of its ruling because shareholders properly pleaded a material misrepresentation, scienter and loss causation in making their federal securities law claims, the shareholders argue in an appellant brief filed May 2 in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Joseph Curry, et al. v. Yelp Inc., et al., No. 16-15104, 9th Cir.).
OAKLAND, Calif. - An automobile brake-grinding-machine manufacturer must face claims arising from a man's asbestos exposure because the evidence suggests the machines' use would inevitably create a hazardous condition, a California appeals court held April 28 (Susan Hetzel v. Hennessy Industries Inc., No. A144218, Calif. App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3167).
PORTLAND, Ore. - In a private nuisance lawsuit between a homeowner and wind turbine companies, experts cannot testify regarding the causal link between turbine-generated infrasound and adverse human health effects, an Oregon federal magistrate judge held April 28 (Daniel Brian Williams v. Invenergy, LLC and Willow Creek Energy, LLC, No. 13-01391, D. Ore.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57045).
NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana federal judge overseeing the Xarelto multidistrict litigation on April 28 granted a plaintiffs' motion to file a sealed brief to compel discovery of Bayer HealthCare AG's German employees and their personnel files (In Re: Xarelto [Rivaroxaban] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2592, No. 14-md-2592, E.D. Pa.).
GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas federal magistrate judge on April 28 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute arising from the insurer's cancellation of a federal flood insurance policy following Hurricane Ike, dismissing with prejudice all claims against the insurer (Robert Spong and Kerry Spong v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 10-228, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56474).
TULSA, Okla. - Dismissal of claims in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against an insurance agent is proper because it is an agent and did not write or issue the insurance policy at issue, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled April 29 (Christopher Wise v. CSAA General Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-0100, N.D. Okla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57192).
OCALA, Fla. - The former owner of several compounding pharmacies, including the one at the center of the Brilliant Blue G contamination outbreak, on April 29 agreed to a permanent injunction in Florida federal court requiring it to notify the Food and Drug Administration if he ever starts compounding drugs again (United States of America v. Paul W. Franck, No. 16-85, M.D. Fla., Ocala Div.).
ST. LOUIS - The plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation against the operator of AshleyMadison.com related to a July 2015 breach of the adult dating website's network may not use or refer to documents stolen from Avid Dating Life Inc. in the computer hack of its database when filing the plaintiffs' consolidated complaint, a Missouri federal judge ruled April 29 (In re Ashley Madison Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 15-2669, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57619).
ATLANTA - A letter stating the mortgage lender's required net payout amount for a short sale to proceed, which was nearly $300,000 less than the amount offered by the buyer, was clearly a clerical error and did not lead to the formation of a valid contract, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 28, upholding a trial court's decision denying the buyer's request to enforce the short sale contract and permitting the lender to proceed with a foreclosure (Victor W. Patterson, et al. v. CitiMortgage, Inc., et al., No. 14-14636, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7660).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Efforts by a patent infringement defendant to obtain dismissal or transfer of the litigation from Delaware to Indiana federal court were unsuccessful on April 29, when the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a petition for mandamus (In re: TC Heartland LLC, No. 16-105, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7753).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 29 reversed a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction in a predatory lending suit filed against the lender that held the note and mortgage at the time of foreclosure after the original lender went bankrupt (Carol Proal v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 15-1732, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7793).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 29 affirmed a district court's ruling that an insured failed to prove its affirmative defense of estoppel against the insurer, noting that it is clear that the insured knew or should have known that the insurer was reserving its rights (National Surety Corp. v. Dustex Corp. and Miron Construction Co. Inc., No. 15-2096, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7757).
NEW YORK - A federal judge did not err in dismissing federal securities laws claims against defendants in a securities class action lawsuit because shareholder claims were time-barred under the applicable statute of repose, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 29 (DeKalb County Pension Fund v. Transocean Ltd., et al., No. 14-0894, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three union health care funds on April 29 told the U.S. Supreme Court that it should deny review of their Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act case involving the diabetes drug Avandia because the third-party payers are suing over the same behavior to which defendant GlaxoSmithKline LLC (GSK) has pleaded guilty (GlaxoSmithKline LLC v. Allied Services Division Welfare Fund, et al., No. 15-1078, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 2 declined review of a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision affirming a federal district court's ruling that denied a motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit based upon the damages methodology used (Robert Ludlow, et al. v. BP PLC, No. 15-952, U.S. Sup.).
LOS ANGELES - California's high court should accept review of a $2 million verdict in an asbestos case and firmly establish that testimony that any exposure to asbestos causes disease falls short of the state's causation standard, amici curiae argue in an April 29 brief (Nickole Davis, as personal representative, etc. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. S233753, Calif. Sup.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A commercial general liability insurance policy does not extend basic coverage for a claim of breach of contract, a majority of the Arkansas Supreme Court held April 28, finding that there is no coverage and considering certified questions moot (Columbia Insurance Group Inc. and Columbia Mutual Insurance Co. Inc. v. Cenark Project Management Services, Inc., et al., No. CV-15-804, Ark. Sup.; 2016 Ark. LEXIS 153).
NEW YORK - New York's high court will hear oral argument on May 3 on whether a lower court erred in affirming the consolidated trial of two asbestos cases involving different types of exposures and resulting disease (In the Matter of New York City Asbestos Litigation; Ruby E. Konstantin, individually and as executrix of the estate of Dave John Konstantin v. 630 Third Ave. Associates, et al., No. APL-2014-00317, N.Y. App.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - In answering certified questions from the Delaware Supreme Court in an asbestos coverage suit, the New York State Court of Appeals on May 3 determined that the language in the insurance policies at issue require an all sums method of allocation and vertical exhaustion of the policies at issue (Viking Pump Inc. v. Century Indemnity Co., et al. Warren Pumps LLC v. Century Indemnity Co., et al., Viking Pump Inc. v. John Crane Inc., Houdaille Industries Inc., No. 59, N.Y. App.).
NEW YORK - An appeals court erred in finding that Ford USA's control over the brand's trademark placed it sufficiently in the chain of distribution for liability arising from Ford UK's asbestos-containing products, New York's high court held May 3 (Raymond Finerty, et al. v. Abex Corp., et al., No. 190187/10 14344 14343, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).