NEW YORK - General Motors LLC (New GM) asked the federal judge overseeing the multidistrict ignition-switch litigation June 18 to issue an order requiring that pretrial discovery be used solely for litigation purposes, arguing that one of plaintiffs' co-lead counsel has used discovery material to "garner sensational press coverage" of the litigation (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-02543, S.D. N.Y.).
ASHEVILLE, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on June 19 denied a defense motion to separate two Boston Scientific Corp. pelvic mesh trials and granted the plaintiffs' motion to consolidate them for trial next year (Bertie Frankum v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 15-91, Teri Mathison, et al. v. Boston Scientific Corporation, No. 15-92, W.D. N.C., Asheville, Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80444).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An insurance policy's wear-and-tear provision excludes coverage for an insured's claimed loss from water damage during Superstorm Sandy, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled June 22 (Steven J. Inc. v. Landmark American Insurance Co., No. 14-0474, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80278).
CINCINNATI - Exclusions for cracking and defective design do not apply under a business owners insurance policy to a collapse extension, and there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether decay occurred, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 22, reversing the grant of summary judgment to an insurer and remanding the case for further proceedings (Joy Tabernacle-The New Testament Church v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-2160, 6th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A worker who was fired for taking time off after she submitted a request for intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) should be given the chance to cure any deficiencies in her medical certification, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 22, reversing a trial court's decision (Deborah Hansler v. Lehigh Valley Hospital Network, No. 14-1772, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10444).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas appeals panel held June 18 that an insurer did not waive any geographic limitation to its commercial personal property policy coverage because the covered locations were described in the renewal certificate and supplemental declarations of the policy, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute over a filmmaker's archive of materials destroyed in a wildfire (3109 Props, L.L.C., et al. v. Truck Insurance Exchange, No. 03-13-00350-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 6146).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 22 affirmed the conviction and sentencing of three defendants accused of submitting false disability claims to the Long Island Railroad's (LIRR) Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), finding that the defendants were unable to show that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New Hampshire was an improper forum (United States of America v. Joseph Rutigliano, et al., Nos. 14-152, 14-759, 14-1339, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10443).
RENO, Nev. - A Nevada federal judge on June 18 approved a settlement between a commercial general liability insurer and its insured and vacated orders finding that the insurer has a duty to defend an underlying construction defects case because a designated work exclusion and a pre-existing damage exclusion do not apply (Gemini Insurance Co. v. North American Capacity Insurance Co., No. 14-00121, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80239).
FRESNO, Calif. - In an initial screening order, a California federal judge on June 19 found that a borrower's claims against a bank for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) can proceed (Jeffrey Wayne Taylor v. Chase Bank, No. 1:13-cv-00982, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79978).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A defendant in a trade secrets and computer fraud lawsuit related to online automotive training courses failed to support its objections to discovery sought by the plaintiff, a Kansas federal judge ruled June 19, granting the plaintiff's motion to compel (U Incorporated v. ShipMate Inc., et al., No. 2:14-cv-02287, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79694).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in California on June 19 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss in an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to state a claim for relief on any of his claims filed (Edmond Petrus, et al. v. New York Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-2268, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79306).
INDIANAPOLIS - Dismissal of claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Indiana ruled June 18, because the lead plaintiff's securities fraud claims "are simply too vague and attenuated to withstand the heightened pleading requirements" (Eva and Harold Baron, et al. v. Angie's List Inc., et al., No. 13-2032, S.D. Ind.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on June 18 rejected an insurer's argument that a now-deceased plaintiff's deposition testimony should be excluded after determining that the insurer, which was not present when the depositions were held, was represented by the presence of its predecessor in interest at the depositions (Sally Gros Vedros, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding Inc., et al., No. 11-1198, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79219).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A jury's finding that an Engle plaintiff's claims are barred by the statute of limitations is supported by the evidence, a federal judge in Florida ruled June 18 (Karen Lennox v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No 3:09-cv-13744, M.D. Fla.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 19 declined to stay remand of an asbestos case, saying the shipyard defendant lacked sufficient evidence of a causal nexus or the existence of a colorable federal contractor defense to warrant such a move (Mary Jane Wilde v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 15-30476, 5th Cir.).
ST. LOUIS - The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 18 affirmed dismissal of a putative class action of borrowers against a bank and related entities, rejecting their claims that they were entitled to equitable tolling based on a previous state court action that involved the same claims against the bank (Deanthony Thomas, et al. v. US Bank NA ND, et al., No. 14-2265, 8th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10239).
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Iowa Supreme Court on June 19 said the state's medical rule requiring doctors to be present when prescribing or dispensing abortifacients is unconstitutional (Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Inc., et al. v. Iowa Board of Medicine, No. 14-1415, Iowa Sup.; 2015 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 71).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on June 18 held that a financial institution bond's requirement that a loss be attributable to a defrauder acting solely in his or her capacity as an investment adviser was not satisfied, reversing and remanding a lower court's finding that an insurer has a duty to insure a loss arising from Bernard Madoff fictitious reporting of the value of an investment management company's assets (Jacobson Family Investments Inc., et al. v National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, et al., No. 14802, 601325/10, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5175).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge on June 18 approved the form of class notice in a suit brought by purchasers of Camel brand cigarettes over discontinuation of a promotional campaign and ordered R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. to provide a list of class members (Amanda Sateriale, et al. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 2:09cv08394, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES - The primary jurisdiction doctrine does not bar a suit alleging that the manufacturer of infant formula made false representations and engaged in misleading practices in the marketing of its product, a federal judge in California ruled June 18 (Oula Zakaria v. Gerber Products Co., et al., No. 15-200, C.D. Calif.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A youth football organization may proceed with a putative class action alleging that the manufacturer of football helmets made "knowingly false" statements about the effectiveness of its products, a federal judge in West Virginia ruled June 18 (Midwestern Midget Football Club Inc. v. Riddell Inc., No. 2:15-cv-00255, S.D. W.Va.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - An insured failed to establish its breach of contract and bad faith claims against its insurer for denying property damage sustained during Superstorm Sandy based upon a policy's water exclusion, a New Jersey federal magistrate judge found June 18, granting summary judgment to the insurer (151 East Leaming Avenue Condo Association v. QBE Specialty Insurance Co., No. 14-175, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79002).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced June 18 that Covenant Hospice Inc., a nonprofit hospice care provider, agreed to pay $10.1 million for overcharging Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare for hospice services.