NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 23 approved a $39 million settlement deal under which ConocoPhillips, a defendant in the multidistrict litigation for groundwater contamination from methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), will be released from the litigation (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 00-1898, MDL 1358, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Atlantic Richfield Company, No. 08-0312, S.D. N.Y.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A majority of the Supreme Court of New Jersey on May 25 reversed an appeals court's ruling that held that an insured is owed $207,961.28 for debris removal in addition to $1 million in flood coverage under a surplus lines insurance policy, reinstating a lower court's partial summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (Oxford Realty Group Cedar v. Travelers Excess and Surplus Lines Co., No. A-85-15, 077617, N.J. Sup., 2017 N.J. LEXIS 570).
NEWARK, N.J. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and its CEO have failed to plead any material misstatements or omissions in arguing that the defendants misrepresented that the company's new drug was expected to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in violation of federal securities laws, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled May 19 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (Blake Bauer v. Eagle Pharmaceuticals Inc., et al., No. 16-3091, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76247).
TRENTON, N.J. - A dispute over plans by Sandoz Inc. and Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sandoz, collectively) to sell generic Copaxone will proceed in Delaware federal court, a New Jersey federal judge ruled May 22 (Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. v. Sandoz Inc., et al., No. 17-275, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77193).
TRENTON, N.J. - Evidence that a man worked with asbestos and that Union Carbide Corp. supplied more than 40,000 pounds of the mineral to the facility at which he worked are enough to establish exposure, even without a direct link, a New Jersey appeals court held in reversing judgment May 17 (Thomasina Fowler, et al. v. Akzo Nobel Chemicals Inc., et al., No. A-2300-15T4, N.J. Super., App. Div.).
NEWARK, N.J. - Discovery into underlying asbestos claims is not warranted in a class action alleging that a talc company destroyed evidence relevant to asbestos claims because the case involves the scheme to protect the company from liability, not the tort actions, plaintiffs told a federal judge in New Jersey on May 12 (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on May 9 granted preliminary approval of a $165 million securities class action settlement between shareholders and certain underwriters of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) alleged to have taken part in a fraudulent scheme to misrepresent the underwriting standards they used in the offering documents for a series of MBS (New Jersey Health Fund v. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, et al., No. 08-5310, S.D. N.Y.).
TRENTON, N.J. - An expert who believes that Newton's Third Law, every action has an equal or opposite reaction, caused a rubber mallet used as part of an amusement park game to strike a man in the face is reliable and should not be precluded from admission, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled May 8 (Jonathon Crowley, et al. v. Six Flags Great Adventure, et al., No. 14-cv-2433-BRM-TJB, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69703).
NEWARK, N.J. - A dispute among several companies, including former Chapter 11 debtor G-I Holdings Inc., over who should pay for the cleanup of a 26-acre polluted industrial site in New Jersey does not belong in federal bankruptcy court, a federal judge ruled May 5 in agreeing to remand the case to state court (G-I Holdings Inc., et al. v. Ashland Inc., et al., No. 17-0077, D. N.J.).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on May 4 unanimously affirmed a trial court's finding that a chiropractor and attorney who promoted a scheme that encouraged the creation of medical practices that were operated by doctors with a limited scope of practice violated the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (IFPA), overruling an appellate court's decision that there was not enough evidence to support such a finding (Allstate Insurance Company, et al. v. Northfield Medical Center, P.C., et al., No. A-27 September Term 2015, 076069, N.J. Sup., 2017 N.J. LEXIS 431).
NEWARK, N.J. - Two lawsuits stemming from contamination at a site formerly owned by Aluminum Corporation of America, A.P. (Alcoa) were consolidated for discovery purposes by a federal judge in New Jersey on May 3 because the judge found that the suits shared common issues of fact and because consolidation would benefit judicial economy (Borough of Edgewater v. Waterside Construction, LLC, et al., No. 14-5060, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67976).
TRENTON, N.J. - Purchasers of cedar shingles that allegedly cup and curl due to water retention asked a federal judge in New Jersey on May 3 to stay proceedings pending their appeal of a March 28 decision denying their motion for class certification and striking testimony from an expert (Ilene Stern, et al. v. Maibec, Inc., No. 11-3951, D. N.J.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey panel on May 1 rejected a tool manufacturer insured's argument that its insurance broker breached a duty to provide additional flood quotes for its Harrison, N.J., commercial facilities, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the broker in a dispute arising from Superstorm Sandy flood damage (C.S. Osborne & Co., Inc. v. The Charter Oak Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. A-2182-15T4, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1051).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on May 1 declined to decide a request by former Chapter 11 debtor G-I Holdings Inc. to enforce its reorganization plan injunction to bar indemnification claims for cleanup of a polluted industrial site, saying G-I's appeal of a remand order in the dispute deprives her of jurisdiction (In re: G-I Holdings, Inc., et al., Nos. 01-30135 and 01-38790, D. N.J. Bkcy., 2017 Bankr. LEXIS 1194).
NEWARK, N.J. - Class counsel's failure to comply with basic discovery obligations requires imposing sanctions and an order mandating compliance, a company accused of hiding and destroying evidence of asbestos-contamination of its talc 25-years ago told a federal judge in New Jersey on May 1. Meanwhile, the parties continue to battle over whether third-party attorneys and firms must turn over evidence relating to the underlying asbestos tort claims (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC, et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).