PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 14 affirmed a New Jersey federal judge's ruling in favor of an insurer in an environmental contamination dispute after determining that the insurer's failure to exclude coverage to certain parties involved in the contamination dispute clearly was a mistake or scrivener's error (Indian Harbor Insurance Co. v. NL Environmental Management Services Inc., et al., Nos. 16-3262, 16-3293, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 25277).
HACKENSACK, N.J. - A New Jersey state court jury on Dec. 14 awarded $15 million to a plaintiff and her husband in the state's second pelvic mesh trial (Elizabeth Hrymoc, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. L-13686-14, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion released Dec. 7, a two-judge panel of the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey vacated a $434,000 verdict and ordered a new trial in a premises liability suit after finding that the verdict sheet was confusing to jurors and the attorney of a woman who injured herself on a flight of steps discussed fixes the owners made to the building after the accident, which goes against the New Jersey Rules of Evidence (Caritza Soler Torres v. Khamis Sumrein, et al., No. A-4887-15T1, N.J. Super., App. Div., N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3020).
TRENTON, N.J. - The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) did not err when issuing a permit that allowed Princeton University to remediate a seven-acre site that was contaminated from previous pesticide use, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Dec. 1, finding that the notice provided to nearby residents was sufficient (Mark Smith, et al. v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, No. A-1684-14T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2970).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Nov. 30 said that a plaintiff's claims involving an allegedly defective Medtronic Inc. insulin pump are preempted but that in light of the seriousness of the plaintiff's alleged injuries, the plaintiff can file an amended complaint to assert claims that will parallel federal regulations (Kevin Hart v. Medtronic, Inc., et al., No. 16-5404, D. N.J.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Dec. 1 refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) over an alleged fraudulent billing scheme by doctors at two orthopedic firms, finding that the insurer's claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act (IFPA) are not subject to arbitration (Government Employees Insurance Company v. Regional Orthopedic Professional Association, et al., No. 17-1615, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197599).
TRENTON, N.J. - The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court on Nov. 29 affirmed a trial court's ruling that no coverage is owed for water damages caused by a sewer backup because the policy's exclusion for water that backs up through sewers or drains clearly bars coverage (Shree Riddhi Siddhi Hospitality LLC v. Scottsdale Insurance Co., No. A-5210-15T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2940).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Nov. 30 granted a bank's request to dismiss its parent company from a lawsuit filed by a borrower in relation to mortgage insurance premiums, but rejected its arguments that it was entitled to summary judgment because the Homeowners Protections Act (HPA) capped the borrower's potential damages at $500,000 (Ginnie Fried v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., et al., No. 16-3069, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196839).
SEATTLE - A federal lawsuit alleging collusion between pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and diabetic test strip manufacturers was transferred Nov. 28 from a Washington federal court to a New Jersey federal court to join other lawsuits alleging collusion between PBMs and insulin makers (Jeanine Prescott, et al. v. CVS Health Corporation, et al., No. 17-803, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195188).
NEW YORK - Coverage for underlying asbestos claims arising out of the construction of the original World Trade Center towers is triggered if the underlying claims allege that the exposure occurred during the construction of the towers even if the disease did not develop until years later, a New York County Supreme Court justice said Nov. 29, noting that the policy at issue provides coverage for any injury arising out of the construction project (American Home Assurance Co. v. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, et al., No. No. 651096/2012, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Nov. 29 granted summary judgment to four doctors in a medical malpractice suit because the plaintiff's expert does not practice the same kind of medicine as they do, but denied their hospital's motion for summary judgment and remanded the medical malpractice suit to state court (Jerrylinn Kirkland-Rodriguez, et al. v. Cooper University Health Care, et al., No. 1:16-cv-3999, D. N.J. 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195833).
NEW YORK - The First Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division on Nov. 28 reversed a trial court's denial of a motion to dismiss an insurer's claim seeking a declaration that no coverage is owed to its insured for an underlying contribution claim in an environmental contamination dispute because issues in the underlying suit must be litigated before the insurer's claim can be decided (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., v. Compaction Systems Corporation of New Jersey, et al., No. 5066, 107838/09, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8352).
HACKENSACK, N.J. - The second Ethicon pelvic mesh case to go to trial in New Jersey state court got under way on Nov. 27 (Elizabeth Hrymoc, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. L-13686-14, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Nov. 27 dismissed with prejudice a class complaint accusing Kohl's Department Stores Inc. of sending unwanted texts to customers, ruling that the lead plaintiff failed to plausibly plead a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) as she did not follow instructions to stop the text messages (Amy Viggiano, et al. v. Kohl's Department Stores, Inc., No. 17-243, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193999).
TRENTON, N.J. - An insurer owes no additional coverage to its insureds for mold damages caused by a leaking water pipe in the wall of a shower because the policy at issue clearly limited coverage for mold damage to $10,000 under a mold rider, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court said Nov. 15 (Eugene J. Payor, et al. v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., No. A-0345-16T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2851).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 16 granted a disability insurer's motion to transfer a disability claimant's suit to New Jersey federal court after determining that New Jersey is the more convenient forum for the parties and for the witnesses (Ernest Tarasovsky v. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, No. 17-03464, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189926).
TRENTON, N.J. - An engineering firm in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit has failed to show that it had a valid copyright registration or had applied for a copyright it alleges two former employees misappropriated after becoming employed by the firm's competitor, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Nov. 6 in dismissing the firm's complaint without prejudice (Kipcon Inc. v. D.W. Smith Associates LLC, No. 17-3190, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183576).
NEWARK, N.J. - Viacom Inc. and the remaining plaintiffs in a putative privacy class action jointly filed a stipulation in New Jersey federal court on Nov. 3, seeking final dismissal of a mostly dismissed suit alleging improper tracking of minor users of the Nickelodeon network's website (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 2:12-cv-07829, D. N.J.).
NEWARK, N.J. - The attorney-client privilege should not protect evidence in a case alleging defendants spent decades fraudulently concealing the existence of asbestos in talc, plaintiffs told a federal judge in New Jersey on Nov. 2 (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC., et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).