LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Magistrate Judge Says Lack Of Tissue Bag For Morcellator Can Be A Product Defect

NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal magistrate judge on Aug. 11 allowed a plaintiff in a power morcellator case to amend her complaint to argue that the lack of a tissue bag is a defect (Sumaira Khan v. Karl Storz Endoscopy-America, Inc., et al., No. 15-7822, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106130).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Groups: Court Erred When It Dismissed Some Defendants In Lead Contamination Case

TRENTON, N.J. - Environmental groups that have sued NL Industries Inc. alleging lead contamination filed a brief in New Jersey federal court on Aug. 9, contending that when the district court granted summary judgment dismissal to some of the defendants, it made "clear legal and factual errors that warrant reconsideration" (Raritan Baykeeper Inc., et al. v. NL Industries Inc., et al., No. 09-4117, D. N.J.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 3rd Circuit Rejects FedEx Claims That Worker Unit Must Expand

PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 9 granted a cross-petition by the National Labor Relations Board to enforce a decision finding a unit of FedEx Freight Inc. drivers at one of its New Jersey facilities to be proper, despite FedEx's claim that the unit must also include dockworkers (National Labor Relations Board v. FedEx Freight, Inc., No. 15-2585, FedEx Freight, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 15-2712, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14593).

Mealey's Insurance - New Jersey Panel Allows Claims Related To Contamination That Predate Sale Of Company

TRENTON, N.J. - A company successor is entitled to allege claims for breach of contract and breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing as long as those claims pertain to coverage for environmental contamination that predated the successor's acquisition of the insured's company, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court said Aug. 4 (Haskell Properties LLC v. The American Insurance Co., et al., No. A-1452-14T2, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1836).

Mealey's Insurance - Faulty Work's Consequential Damages Are Insured, New Jersey High Court Finds

TRENTON, N.J. - Consequential damages caused by the subcontractors' faulty workmanship constitute "property damage," and water damage from rain flowing into the interior of the property due to that faulty work is an "occurrence" under a commercial general liability insurance policy, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Aug. 4 (Cypress Point Condominium Association Inc. v. Adria Towers LLC, et al., No. A-13/14, N.J. Sup.; 2016 N.J. LEXIS 847).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Extraordinary Circumstances Excuse Untimely Filing Of Affidavits Of Merit

CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 2 found that extraordinary circumstances excuse insureds' untimely filing of affidavits of merit in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (Brian McMullin, et al. v. Harleysville Insurance Co., Inc., et al., No. 14-7537, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101491).

Mealey's IP/Tech - N.J. Man Sues Pokemon Go Developer For Placing Stops On Private Property

OAKLAND, Calif. - The developer of Pokemon Go, a popular "augmented reality" game that is played on smartphones, is liable for nuisance for placing virtual parts of the game known as "Pokestops" and "Pokemon gyms" on or adjacent to private property, a New Jersey man alleges in a class complaint filed July 29 in a California federal court (Jeffrey Marder, et al. v. Niantic, Inc., et al., No. 16-4300, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - N.J. Man Sues Pokemon Go Developer For Placing Stops On Private Property

OAKLAND, Calif. - The developer of Pokemon Go, a popular "augmented reality" game that is played on smartphones, is liable for nuisance for placing virtual parts of the game known as "Pokestops" and "Pokemon gyms" on or adjacent to private property, a New Jersey man alleges in a class complaint filed July 29 in a California federal court (Jeffrey Marder, et al. v. Niantic, Inc., et al., No. 16-4300, N.D. Calif.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New Jersey Appeals Panel Vacates 2 $9M Accutane Verdicts, Orders New Trial

TRENTON, N.J. - A panel of the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division on July 22 vacated two $9 million Accutane bowel injury verdicts and remanded them for a new trial after finding that the trial court improperly allowed evidence of subsequent remedial action by defendant Hoffman-La Roche Inc. (Kathleen Rossitto v. Hoffman-La Roche Inc., et al., No. A-1236-13T1, Riley Dean Wilkinson v. Hoffman-La Roche Inc., et al., No. A-1237-13T1, N.J. Sup., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1714).

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).