LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Coverage Barred By CGL Policy's Professional Services Exclusion, Panel Affirms

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey panel affirmed July 20 that commercial general liability coverage for an underlying negligence lawsuit against an engineering firm insured is barred by the policy's professional services exclusion (EIC Group LLC v. The Travelers Indemnity Company of America, No. A-2590-14T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1683).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Couple Appeals Paulsboro Train Derailment Vinyl Chloride Case To The 3rd Circuit

CAMDEN, N.J. - A couple that had its lawsuit against a group of railroad companies consolidated with other New Jersey residents filed a notice in New Jersey federal court on July 19 that it was appealing to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the district court's rulings that granted the defendants' motions in limine to exclude the couple's experts. The experts had sought to testify on injury causation related to exposure to vinyl chloride caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical over a bridge (In Re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: District Court Lacks Subject Matter Jurisdiction Over Bad Faith Suit

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on July 19 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to show that the district court has subject matter jurisdiction over the action (Florence Hanson v. Allstate New Jersey Insurance Co., No. 15-8882, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93444).

Mealey's Insurance - Insured's Faulty Work Is Not Covered 'Property Damage,' Panel Upholds

TRENTON, N.J. - Allegations of an insured's negligent work that caused a collapse do not constitute covered "property damage" under commercial general liability insurance policies, a New Jersey appeals panel affirmed July 15 (New Jersey-American Water Co., Inc. v. Watchung Square Associates, LLC and Fidelity Corp. v. Vollers Excavating & Construction, Inc. and Frank Ferraro v. Salvatore Davino, et al. and Travelers Insurance Co., et al., Nos. A3436-13T1 & A-3445-13T1, N.J. Super. App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1639).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Declines To Find Policy Voidable For Not Complying With N.J. Rule Of Court

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 14 rejected an attorney insured's argument that a professional liability insurance policy is voidable for failing to comply with the requirements of New Jersey Rule of Court 1:21-1B(a)(4), denying the insured's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over client funds that were allegedly misappropriated by a legal assistant (Jill Cadre, et al. v. ProAssurance Casualty Co., No. 16-0103, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91925).

Mealey's Insurance - Insured Filed Superstorm Sandy Claim 11 Days Too Late, Federal Judge Rules

CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 14 held that the one-year statute of limitations under the National Flood Insurance Act (NFIA) was triggered on the date an insurer mailed its denial letter and not on the date the insured received the denial letter, finding that the insured filed his claim for Superstorm Sandy damage to his beach house 11 day too late (John Cholankeril Jr. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, No. 15-3269, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91457).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Paid Full Amount Of Mold Sublimit, Federal Judge Says; No Breach Of Contract

CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on July 12 determined that an insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith when handling its insureds' claims for water and mold damages because the insurer paid for some of the damages and paid the full amount of the mold sublimit under the policy (Warren and Maryann Andrews v. Merchants Mutual Insurance Co., No. 14-5147, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89997).

Mealey's Insurance - Couple, Companies Ordered To Pay $7.7M For Submitting False Claims

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on July 8 granted the federal government's motion for summary judgment in a False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit and ordered a New Jersey couple and their companies to pay $7.7 million after finding them to be liable for knowingly submitting false claims to Medicare (United States of America, ex rel. Jane Doe v. Heart Solutions, et al., No. 14-cv-3644, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88614).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - BlackBerry Contacts App Defect Class Suit Dismissed With Prejudice

NEWARK, N.J. - A class complaint accusing a cellular phone company of breach of warranty for selling phones with a known flaw in one of its apps was dismissed with prejudice on July 6 by a New Jersey federal judge, who ruled that the complaint failed to plead facts to support a cause of action (Russ Semeran, et al. v. BlackBerry Corporation, No. 15-750, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87379).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New Jersey Appeals Court Affirms Ruling Denying Motion To Compel Arbitration

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appellate panel on July 6 upheld a judge's ruling denying a contractor's motion to compel arbitration, finding that the arbitration clause in a home sales agreement did not sufficiently inform a couple of their waiver to a right to pursue their claims in a judicial forum (Eric Epstein, et al. v. Richard T. Conboy, No. A-2135-15T3, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1560).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - N.J. Top Court: Duty To Household Members Extends Beyond Spouses

TRENTON, N.J. - A premises owner's duty to protect employees' household members from toxic exposures extends beyond spouses, New Jersey's top court held July 6 in answering a certified question from the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals about the limits of the duty it imposed in an asbestos case (Brenda Ann Schwartz v. Accuratus Corp., No. A-73 September Term 2014 076195, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 691).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - N.J. Top Court: Duty To Household Members Extends Beyond Spouses

TRENTON, N.J. - A premises owner's duty to protect employees' household members from toxic exposures extends beyond spouses, New Jersey's top court held July 6 in answering a certified question from the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals about the limits of the duty it imposed in an asbestos case (Brenda Ann Schwartz v. Accuratus Corp., No. A-73 September Term 2014 076195, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 691).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: Copyright Claims Not Likely to Succeed

TRENTON, N.J. - While recognizing that "the question of who a customer 'belongs to' may not be immediately clear," a New Jersey federal judge on June 30 nonetheless denied a copyright infringement plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction in its dispute with a competitor in the professional insurance market (Jorgensen & Company v. Gary Sutherland, et al., No. 15-7373, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85498).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Judge: Copyright Claims Not Likely to Succeed

TRENTON, N.J. - While recognizing that "the question of who a customer 'belongs to' may not be immediately clear," a New Jersey federal judge on June 30 nonetheless denied a copyright infringement plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction in its dispute with a competitor in the professional insurance market (Jorgensen & Company v. Gary Sutherland, et al., No. 15-7373, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85498).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New Jersey State Judge Tosses Complaint Over Dunkin' Donuts' Pricing

HACKENSACK, N.J. - A New Jersey judge on June 28 dismissed class action claims against Dunkin' Brands Inc. alleging that it improperly assessed sales tax on certain items sold at local Dunkin' Donuts franchises (Ron Frate, et al. v. Dunkin' Brands Inc., et al., No. BER-L-1271-16, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1499).

Mealey's Insurance - New Jersey Federal Judge: Flood Insurer Owes Coverage For Some Oil Leak Damages

TRENTON, N.J. - A flood insurer is required to pay for some of the damages associated with an oil leak from an abandoned underground oil tank because the flooding during Superstorm Sandy clearly caused residual oil to leak from the tank, a New Jersey federal judge said June 29 (Philip and Renee Weisbecker v. Janet Szalkowski, et al., No. 14-55, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84128).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plavix False Claims Act Suit Reinstated After High Court OKs Liability Theory

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 29 reinstated a Plavix whistle-blower lawsuit after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that false certification of compliance with federal regulations can be a basis for liability in such suits (United States of America, ex rel. Elisa Dickson v. Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., et al., No. 13-1039, D. N.J.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plavix MDL Judge Denies Discovery Enforcement For Hawaii State Court Case

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey federal judge overseeing the Plavix multidistrict litigation on June 29 denied a motion by defendants Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC to enforce MDL discovery agreements on the State of Hawaii in its state court case (In Re: Plavix Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation [No. II], MDL Docket No. 2418, No. 13-2418, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Allows RESPA Claim To Proceed Against Bank

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 28 refused to dismiss a borrower's claim against a bank for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) in relation to her request for a loan modification and reserved judgment on various state law claims pending the outcome of her request for an injunction (Edyta Rojecki v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 15-8160, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83434).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Aetna Must Make Choice-Of-Law Decision Before Summary Judgment Ruling

CAMDEN, N.J. - Aetna Health Inc. and Aetna Life Insurance Co. (collectively Aetna) must decide what state laws defendants accused of submitting fraudulent bills for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) devices and associated accessories violated before a ruling on the defendants' motion for summary judgment can be rendered, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled June 16 (Aetna Health Inc., et al. v. Carolina Analgesic Inc., et al., No. 13-7202, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78304).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New Jersey Federal Judge Issues Injunction In Copyright Case

TRENTON, N.J. - TD Bank N.A., which prevailed on allegations of copyright infringement in 2015, was granted a permanent injunction June 14 by a New Jersey federal judge (TD Bank N.A. v. Vernon W. Hill, No. 12-7188, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77025).

Mealey's Insurance - Conclusory Allegations Doom Claim In Bad Faith Suit, Magistrate Judge Rules

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Partially Dismisses UCL And Other Claims Related To Defective Engines

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).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Partially Dismisses UCL And Other Claims Related To Defective Engines

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).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses Complaint, Refuses Request To Amend Fraud Claim

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on June 2 granted a bank's motion to dismiss an amended complaint filed against it in relation to a mortgage on a property, finding that a borrower failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted (Ruben Martinez v. Capital One Financial Corp., No. 15-266, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71708).