SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 7 entered judgment in favor of an insurer one day after granting its motion to dismiss declaratory relief, breach of contract and bad faith claims in a dispute over coverage for underlying employment-related wage disputes (Granite Outlet Inc. v. Hartford Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-00575, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74238).
PHILADELPHIA - The judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation on June 9 declined to reconsider his ruling applying the bare-metal defense (Leroy J. Mortimer and Cheryl Mortimer v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-4169, E.D. Pa.).
DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on June 8 denied State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.'s motion to reconsider her Feb. 23 order denying the insurer's motion to dismiss a medical group's counterclaims for fraud, civil conspiracy and violation of the Michigan Unfair Trade Practices Act (MUTPA), holding that the recent decision in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Louis Radden, D.O., et al., (2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20717 [E.D. Mich.]) did not constitute an intervening authority (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Universal Rehab Services Inc., et al., No. 15-10999, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74495).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurance-purchasing group's motion to dismiss Aspen Specialty Insurance Co.'s suit seeking rescission of policies it issued to the company based on material misrepresentations was denied by a federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 9, after the judge found that the insurer sufficiently stated claims for relief (Aspen Specialty Insurance Company v. Hospitality Supportive Systems LLC, No. 16-1133, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75110).
WAUSAU, Wis. - Plaintiffs are not required to support their negligence claim with expert testimony, a Wisconsin appeals panel ruled June 7, also finding that a trial judge improperly applied safe place statute principles (Andrew Hiser and Secura Insurance v. West Bend Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 2015AP1329, Wis. App., Dist. 3; 2016 Wisc. App. LEXIS 347).
OLYMPIA, Wash. - An insurance policy unambiguously excluded coverage for insureds' water damage immediately upon vacancy, the Washington Supreme Court ruled June 9, affirming an appellate court's reversal of a trial judge's contrary holding that the exclusion would commence only after a 60-day vacancy (Kut Suen Lui and May Far Lui v. Essex Insurance Co., No. 91777-9, Wash. Sup.; 2016 Wash. LEXIS 692).
LOS ANGELES - A disability plan administrator abused its discretion by terminating a claimant's disability benefits without fully considering her work-related restrictions, a California federal judge said June 7 in issuing an amended findings of fact and conclusions of law (Catherine Thornton v. Sedgwick CMS, et al., No. 14-7942, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61930).
PHILADELPHIA - Urban Outfitters Inc. and certain of its executive officers will pay $8.5 million to settle claims that they misrepresented the clothing retailer's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, according to a stipulation of settlement filed June 8 in Pennsylvania federal court by the lead plaintiff in the action (In re Urban Outfitters Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-5978, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24915).
PORTLAND, Maine - Even under the less burdensome standard applied by the trial court a widow cannot sufficiently link her husband's asbestos-related death to the negligence of four companies, Maine's top court held June 7 (Patricia Grant, et al. v. Foster Wheeler LLC, et al., No. BCD-15-404, Maine Sup. Jud.).
CINCINNATI - A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 7 vacated final approval of a nearly $30 million settlement by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan to end consolidated class actions accusing it of price fixing, finding that the district court improperly redacted and sealed records and failed to show that the settlement amount, attorney fees and incentive awards were appropriate (Shane Group, Inc., et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Nos. 15-1544/1551/1552, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10264).
PHILADELPHIA - Dismissal of a bad faith claim in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because an insured has provided only conclusory allegations in making her claims against the insurer, a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania ruled June 8 (Mary Camp v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., No. 16-1087, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74496).
GULFPORT, Miss. - In a personal injury lawsuit against an insurance company, a medical doctor may not testify on sleep disorders but may with regard to the duration of headaches experienced by some patients, a Mississippi federal judge ruled June 8, also finding that a jury should decide whether certain drug testing was necessary and reasonable (Elvis Johnson v. 21st Century Centennial Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-74, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74722).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court on June 9 ruled 5-2 that a tobacco company owes nearly $770,000 in post-judgment interest to an Engle progeny plaintiff because a statute that changed the interest rate was not in place when judgment in the plaintiffs case was originally entered (Lyantie Townsend v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No SC15-722, Fla. Sup.; 2016 Fla. Sup. LEXIS 1195).
PASADENA, Calif. - A federal district court applied the proper pleading standard in determining that a shareholder failed to plead scienter in making his federal securities law claims against a pharmaceutical company and certain of its executive officers, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 8 in affirming the district court's ruling (Nathaniel L. Anderson v. Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 14-55882, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that a tribunal exceeded its authority when it determined increased arbitrators' fees in an arbitration commenced by a company against the Republic of Guinea, a District of Columbia federal judge on June 9 refused to confirm an approximately $43.5 million award that was recently annulled by the Common Court of Justice and Arbitration (CCJA) (In the matter of the Arbitration of Certain Controversies Between Getma International and The Republic of Guinea, No. 14-1616, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148482).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on June 8 released a decision ordering a Bangladesh oil and gas company to immediately pay a $25,312,747 arbitration award, plus 139,988,337 Bangladesh Taka and interest, despite any contrary orders issued by the courts of Bangladesh (Niko Resources [Bangladesh] Ltd. v. People's Republic of Bangladesh, et al., Nos. ARB/10/11 and ARB/10/18, ICSID).
ALBANY, N.Y. - Reversing an appeals court's ruling, a New York Court of Appeals majority on June 9 held that the attorney-client privilege is waived when purportedly confidential documents sought via discovery are shared with a separately represented third party without "pending or reasonably anticipated litigation" (Ambac Assurance Corp., et al. v. Countrywide Home Loans Inc., et al., No. 80, N.Y. App.; 2016 N.Y. LEXIS 1649; 2016 NY Slip Op 04439).
BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 9 certified three questions in an employment practices liability coverage dispute to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, noting that the outcome "could affect scores of insurance contracts in Massachusetts" (Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Co. v. VisionAid, Inc. f/k/a H.L. Boulton Co. Inc., No. 15-1351, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 10464).
WASHINGTON D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 9 ruled that jurors may be recalled to start over deliberations after they have already rendered a verdict and have been discharged by the court (Rocky Dietz v. Hillary Bouldin, No. 15-458, U.S. Sup.).
MADISON, Wis. - A federal judge in Wisconsin on June 7 denied plaintiffs' motion to reconsider her March 25 ruling finding that the proffered testimony of two experts for plaintiffs claiming that windows made by Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc. are defective was inadmissible, holding that the plaintiffs failed to present any evidence that supports reconsideration of the ruling (Mary Haley, et al. v. Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc., No. 14-cv-99, W.D. Wis.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73806).
GREENSBORO, N.C. - A federal judge denied two motions for summary judgment June 6 and ordered limited jurisdictional discovery into the asbestos-tainted talc defendants' connections with North Carolina and a third defendant (Merton Eric Branson v. American International Industries, et al., No. 15-73, M.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73855).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 7 partially dismissed claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other state law claims asserted by purchasers of allegedly defective tractor engines who seek to certify various classes of purchasers (T.J. McDermott Transportation Co., Inc. et al. v. Cummins Inc., et al., No. 14-4209, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73859).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on June 8 partially granted a disability claimant's request to expand the scope of discovery beyond the administrative record on the basis that the factual allegations of the claimant's complaint show that good cause exists to expand the scope of discovery (Angela Shelton v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 16-1559, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74739).
BALTIMORE - The evidence completely contradicts an expert's conclusion that a man worked with asbestos-containing Micarta, a federal judge in Maryland held June 6, also granting partial summary judgment (Charles Lemuel Arbogast Jr., et al. v. A.W. Chesterton Co., et al., No. 14-4049, D. Md.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73425).