LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Coverage Triggered By Exposure To Asbestos, New York Justice Determines

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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Coverage Triggered By Exposure To Asbestos, New York Justice Determines

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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Judge Partially Grants Summary Judgment In Medical Malpractice Suit

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Coverage Triggered By Exposure To Asbestos, New York Justice Determines

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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Diabetic Test Strip Class Action Transferred, Joins Insulin Class Actions

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Issues Of Fact Exist On Insurer's Liability, New York Appellate Division Says

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).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 2nd New Jersey Ethicon Pelvic Mesh Trial Gets Under Way Nov. 27

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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Failure To Follow Instructions Dooms Unwanted Texts Class Suit Against Kohl's

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).

Mealey's Insurance - No Additional Coverage Owed For Mold Damage, New Jersey Panel Says

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).

Mealey's Insurance - California Federal Judge Transfers Disability Suit To New Jersey Federal Court

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Copyright Infringement, Trade Secrets Claims Dismissed In Misappropriation Suit

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Remanded Nickelodeon Privacy Class Action Dismissed With Prejudice

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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Class Wants Crime-Fraud Exception In Asbestos-Talc Evidence Destruction Case

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.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Class Wants Crime-Fraud Exception In Asbestos-Talc Evidence Destruction Case

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.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Alternative Burden For Remediation Of MTBE-Tainted Water 'Not Supported'

TRENTON, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Nov. 1 denied ExxonMobil Corp.'s and ExxonMobil Oil Corp.'s motion for partial summary judgment regarding damages associated with remediation costs pertaining to groundwater contamination caused by methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), concluding that the defendants' proposed alternative burden for determining proper remediation was "not supported by good cause" (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Amerada Hess Corporation, No. 15-6468, D. N.J.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180986).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Find Valid Defenses, Vacates Judgment In Health Insurance Coverage Spat

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 30 vacated a default judgment in a hospital's ERISA case challenging an employer's and insurer's alleged failure to compensate it for more than $1 million in medical care, saying the defendant raised potentially valid defenses to the claims. However, the judge ordered a hearing on potential sanctions related to the "extremely troubling" conduct by the defendant's executive that led to the original judgment (Hudson Hospital OPCO LLC, et al. v. Regency Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Center LLC, et al., No. 16-5673, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - New Jersey Panel Orders Review Of Personnel Records In Discrimination Suit

TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey Transit Corp. (NJT) should have the opportunity to establish the confidential nature of personnel files sought via discovery in an employee's discrimination lawsuit, a New Jersey appeals panel ruled Oct. 30, reversing an order compelling production and directing a trial court to conduct appropriate in camera review of the disputed documents (Mildalia Madlinger v. New Jersey Transit Corp., No. A-2310-16T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2726).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Expert Allowed To Opine That Ford Minivan Defect Caused Fire

CAMDEN, N.J. - With most testimony by a couple's expert on the cause of a fire that damaged their property allowed, summary judgment is not appropriate because there is a question of fact as to whether the fire started in a Ford minivan due to a design defect, a New Jersey federal judge held Oct. 27 (James Ford, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, et al., Plymouth Rock Assurance a/s/o James Ford v. Ford Motor Company, et al., No. 1:15-cv-357, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178963).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - New Jersey Panel Orders Review Of Personnel Records In Discrimination Suit

TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey Transit Corp. (NJT) should have the opportunity to establish the confidential nature of personnel files sought via discovery in an employee's discrimination lawsuit, a New Jersey appeals panel ruled Oct. 30, reversing an order compelling production and directing a trial court to conduct appropriate in camera review of the disputed documents (Mildalia Madlinger v. New Jersey Transit Corp., No. A-2310-16T2, N.J. Super., App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2726).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Allowed To Opine That Ford Minivan Defect Caused Fire

CAMDEN, N.J. - With most testimony by a couple's expert on the cause of a fire that damaged their property allowed, summary judgment is not appropriate because there is a question of fact as to whether the fire started in a Ford minivan due to a design defect, a New Jersey federal judge held Oct. 27 (James Ford, et al. v. Ford Motor Company, et al., Plymouth Rock Assurance a/s/o James Ford v. Ford Motor Company, et al., No. 1:15-cv-357, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178963).

Mealey's Insurance - Termination Of Disability Benefits Was Arbitrary And Capricious, Federal Judge Says

NEWARK, N.J. - A disability insurer's termination of long-term disability benefits after approving the claimant's benefits for seven years was arbitrary and capricious because the insurer failed to properly define the material duties of the claimant's occupation and because the evidence does not support the insurer's termination, a New Jersey federal judge said Oct. 23 (Christopher Patterson v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 15-8156, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175543).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses Professional Liability Insurer's Declaratory Judgment Suit

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Oct. 17 dismissed a professional liability insurer's lawsuit disputing coverage for an underlying legal malpractice action against its law firm insured, finding that the underlying state court provides an adequate forum to resolve the dispute involving substantial similarity in both issues and parties (Markel Ins. Co. v. Connolly, Connolly & Heun, LLP, et al., No. 17-1885, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170325).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer's Lawsuit Accusing Law Firm of Fraud Dismissed By Judge

NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on Oct. 16 granted a motion to dismiss filed by estates named as defendants in an insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit accusing a law firm of making misrepresentations on its Lawyers Professional Liability Policy application, finding that an underlying action in state court filed by the estates is a more appropriate forum for the insurer's allegations (Markel Insurance Company v. Connolly, Connolly & Huen LLP, et al., No. 17-1885, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170325).

Mealey's Insurance - New Jersey Panel Says Continuous Trigger Applies In Defects Coverage Dispute

TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on Oct. 10 agreed with a subcontractor that the continuous trigger theory applies to a dispute over whether coverage is owed by one of its insurers but remanded to the trial court the issue of when the manifestation began (Air Master & Cooling Inc. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, et al., No. A-5415-15T3, N.J. Super, App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 144).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Split N.J. High Court Nixes Class Certification In TGI Fridays Drink Prices Suit

TRENTON, N.J. - A divided New Jersey Supreme Court on Oct. 4 ruled in the first of two consolidated cases that class certification is inappropriate in a lawsuit against TGI Fridays Inc. over hidden drink prices and, in the second suit over hidden drink prices at Carrabba's New Jersey locations, ruled that class certification was appropriate for one of two claims as long as the class was narrowed (Debra Dugan, et al. v. TGI Fridays, Inc., et al., Ernest Bozzi, et al. v. OSI Restaurant Partners, LLC, et al., Nos. 077567 and 077556, N.J. Sup., 2017 N.J. LEXIS 975).