LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - New Jersey High Court Grants Insurer Leave To Appeal PIP Benefits Ruling

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Supreme Court on June 15 granted an auto insurer leave to appeal a ruling finding the insurer liable for personal injury protection (PIP) benefits for an unnamed additional insured under terms of a voided insurance contract (Tyrone S. Henry Sr., et al. v. Santosh S. Bhowmik, et al., No. N/A, N.J. Sup., 2018 N.J. LEXIS 795).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - New Jersey Appeals Court: Yaz/Yasmin Plaintiff Didn't Provide Valid Expert Report

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 18 agreed with a trial court that a Yaz/Yasmin plaintiff failed to provide a valid expert opinion to support her claim, resulting in dismissal with prejudice (Rhonda Fuller v. Bayer Corp., et al., No. A-4813-1574, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1418).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - New Jersey Panel Holds Foreclosure Action Was Timely, Affirms Ruling

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals court on June 15 ruled that a bank's original foreclosure case, which was voluntarily dismissed, did not begin to run a statute of limitations, rejecting a borrower's argument that the foreclosure action was time-barred (Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, ex rel. v. Michael Hochmeyer, et al., No. A-4714-16T3, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1402).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New Jersey Appeals Court: Yaz/Yasmin Plaintiff Didn't Provide Valid Expert Report

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 18 agreed with a trial court that a Yaz/Yasmin plaintiff failed to provide a valid expert opinion to support her claim, resulting in dismissal with prejudice (Rhonda Fuller v. Bayer Corp., et al., No. A-4813-1574, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1418).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Biosciences Company Hit With Stock-Drop Suit Over Internal Controls Reporting

NEWARK, N.J. - An investor sued a biosciences company and certain of its senior officers and directors in New Jersey federal court on June 13, alleging that the defendants concealed certain weaknesses in the company's internal controls, allowing it to improperly recognize revenue in violation of federal securities laws (Tim Faulkner v. Akers Biosciences Inc., et al., No. 18-10521, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: Company Did Not Mislead Investors About Internet Licensing Compliance

NEWARK, N.J. - In a June 7 unpublished opinion, a federal judge in New Jersey dismissed a third amended securities class action complaint, ruling that a lead plaintiff failed to show that a Chinese social media company and certain of its current and former senior executives issued any misrepresentations in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings concealing that the company was not in compliance with Chinese internet licensing laws (Andrew Goldsmith v. Weibo Corp., et al., No. 17-4728, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95592).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Panel Rejects Franchisor's Appeal To Reverse Invalidation Of Arbitration Clause

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 5 refused to depart from its 2016 decision invalidating an arbitration clause in an agreement to participate at a trampoline park franchise, finding that the clause does not clearly and unmistakably inform signers that they are agreeing to waive their right to be heard in court or their constitutional right to a trial by jury or explain what arbitration is or how it differs from filing a claim in court (Alexander Defina v. Go Ahead and Jump 1, LLC, et al., No. A-1861-17T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1303).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Judge Erred When Modifying Plea Agreement For Lawyer Accused Of Fraud

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on June 5 reversed a judge's decision to grant a request for pretrial intervention (PTI) from an attorney accused of insurance fraud, finding that the judge erred when vacating a different judge's previous ruling denying the request (New Jersey v. Neal Pomper, No. A-3969-16T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. 1305).

Mealey's Insurance - Former Newspaper Reporter Entitled To Retroactive Disability Benefits, Judge Says

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on May 31 determined that a former newspaper reporter is entitled to short-term disability and long-term disability benefits under a disability plan issued by his employer because the wealth of medical evidence supports a finding that the claimant is disabled as a result of chronic fatigue syndrome under the terms of the plan and unable to perform the duties of his own occupation (Brian Vastag v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 15-6197, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91458).

Mealey's Insurance - Parents Sue New Jersey Insurance Guaranty Association For Benefits

JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Parents sued the New Jersey Property-Liability Insurance Guaranty Association (NJPLIGA) on May 30 in a New Jersey trial court for declining to provide statutory personal insurance protection (PIP) benefits for their child's personal injuries (Brian Escobar, et al. v. Jonathan Santos, et al., No. HUD-L-002110-18, N.J. Super., Hudson Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Ex-Insys Sales Representative Pleads Guilty In New Jersey For Opioid Kickbacks

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - A former sales representative for opioid maker Insys Therapeutics Inc. pleaded guilty on May 30 to conspiracy to bribe doctors who prescribed the company's Subsys fentanyl-based pain drug for off-label uses, according to a press release from the New Jersey attorney general's office.

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Says Expert's Testimony In Stucco, Water Damage Suit Should Not Be Barred

TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on May 25 reversed a trial court's ruling barring a portion of an expert witness's testimony in a defective stucco and water damage coverage suit after determining that the trial court precluded testimony about the damage to a number of homes that the witness should not be prohibited from providing (Bob Meyer Communities Inc., v. Ohio Casualty Insurance Co. et al., No. A-2171-17T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1227).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurers Ask Federal Court To Stop Insurer From Arbitrating Claims

NEW YORK - Two reinsurers sued an insurer on May 29 in a New York federal court, seeking a declaration that the insurer cannot arbitrate claims asserted under facultative reinsurance contracts for losses of $2.5 million (Continental Insurance Company of New Jersey, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, No. 18-4715, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Fraud Claim Related To Loan Servicer's Conduct

TRENTON, N.J. - After finding that a borrower alleged facts to show that a loan servicer possibly delayed the loan modification process and that its conduct lacked good faith, a New Jersey federal judge on May 23 denied the servicer's request to dismiss a cause of action for violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA) (Denise D'Alessandro v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No. 18-cv-01290, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86482).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Owes No Additional Coverage For Mold Damage, Federal Judge Determines

CAMDEN, N.J. - An insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith when it limited its payment for mold damage within an insured home because the policy at issue included a provision limiting coverage for mold damage, a New Jersey federal judge said May 23 (Charles Hobbs, et al. v. US Coastal Insurance Co., No. 17-3673, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86484).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge To Reconsider Settlement Denial In Wine Pricing Class Suit

CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge is set to reconsider on June 4 an April 17 opinion denying final approval of multi-million settlement in a class lawsuit accusing an online wine retailer of mispresenting pricing and the savings to consumers (Kyle Cannon, et al. v. Ashburn Corporation, et al., No. 16-1452, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Can Decide FutureRestoration Costs For MTBE Contamination, Judge Says

TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on May 22 bifurcated a trial to determine the amount of restoration costs companies who sold gasoline containing methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) should pay to remediate groundwater, finding that a jury should determine the amount of future costs the companies should pay followed by a bench trial to determine past costs (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, et al. v. Amerada Hess Corp., et al., No. 15-6468, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85514).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - McDonald's Franchisee Pays Penalties For Child Labor Violations

CENTRAL VALLEY, N.Y. - S&P Enterprises Inc., a McDonald's franchisee, has paid $8,829 in penalties to resolve child labor violations in 11 New Jersey fast food restaurants, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced May 18.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Injuries From Exploding Vaping Device Lead New Jersey Man To File Suit

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. - Asserting violations of the New Jersey Product Liability Act (NJPLA), negligence and other torts, a New Jersey man who suffered burns when his vaping device exploded in the pockets of his pants filed suit in the Middlesex County Superior Court on May 18 (Jesse Kelly, Jr. v. I South Vape LLC, et al., No. MID-L-003092-18, N.J .Super., Middlesex Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - U.S. Supreme Court Won't Review 3rd Circuit's Eyedrop Class Reversal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 21 denied review of a prescription eyedrop case, sending the purported class action back to a New Jersey federal court for further proceedings (Alcon Laboratories, Inc., et al. v. Leonard Cottrell, et al., No. 17-1337, U.S. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Company: Groundwater Ruling Should Not Be Reconsidered; Groups Lack Standing

TRENTON, N.J. - NL Industries Inc. on May 7 filed a supplemental brief in New Jersey federal court arguing that the court should deny environmental groups' motion for reconsideration of its prior ruling that they failed to produce sufficient evidence to show that NL and other companies violated the Clean Water Act (CWA) when they discharged pollutants in levels that exceeded federal permits and contaminated local groundwater (Raritan Baykeeper, et al. v. NL Industries Ind., et al., No. 09-4117, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: 'Incomprehensible' Proof Of Loss Bars Insured From Recovering For Flood Loss

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on May 8 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment and dismissed a coverage dispute over flood damage, finding that the insured failed to submit the required proof of loss pursuant to his Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) (Humphrey O. Uddoh v. Selective Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 13-2719, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77075).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Woman Sues New Jersey Insurance Guaranty Association For Benefits

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey woman on May 4 filed a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of herself and her son against the state's insurance guaranty association for injuries sustained as pedestrians caused by an unidentified motor vehicle (Marianela Lucero v. New Jersey Property Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., No. ESX-L-003210-18, N.J. Super., Essex Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Woman Sues New Jersey Insurance Guaranty Association For Benefits

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey woman on May 4 filed a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of herself and her son against the state's insurance guaranty association for injuries sustained as pedestrians caused by an unidentified motor vehicle (Marianela Lucero v. New Jersey Property Liability Insurance Guaranty Association, et al., No. ESX-L-003210-18, N.J. Super., Essex Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Notice's 1973 Allegations Can't Cover Late-1970s Asbestos Exposures

NEW YORK - A woman's notice of asbestos exposure occurring "approximately" in 1972 and 1973 while working at a Port Authority of New York & New Jersey airport cannot be stretched to cover the late-1970s exposures described in deposition testimony, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 2 (Tatjana Pogacnik, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190340/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1522).