LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge: No Double Recovery Under Copyright, Lanham Acts

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A magistrate judge did not err in rejecting efforts by prevailing copyright and trademark infringement plaintiffs to recover damages under both the Copyright Act and the Lanham Act because double recovery is disfavored in cases involving the sale of pirated material, a New York federal judge ruled April 25 (Cengage Learning Inc., et al. v. Globonline SDN BHD, et al., No. 14-3174, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70315).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Defendant Seeks 2nd Circuit Rehearing On SLUSA Preclusion Ruling

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel's ruling that a policyholder's "passive retention" of his annuity funds fails to meet the "in connection with" requirement for Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA) preclusion because an insurance company issued the misrepresentation to state regulators and not the policyholder directly conflicts with U.S. Supreme Court precedent on the application of SLUSA's "in connection with requirement," the defendant argues in an April 24 petition for rehearing (Richard O'Donnell v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co., No. 17-1085, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - New York Appeals Panel Upholds Fraud Claim In Sham Reinsurer Scheme

NEW YORK - In two alleged schemes involving a "sham reinsurance company" and a "sham medical billing company," the First Department New York Supreme Court Appellate Division on April 26 affirmed that an investment fund sufficiently asserted a fraud claim against the sham companies' directors (Wimbledon Financing Master Fund Ltd. v Weston Capital Management LLC, et al., No. 653468/15, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2018 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2855).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer, Reinsurer Propose Revised Schedule For Asbestos Coverage Dispute

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A New York federal magistrate judge on April 23 granted an insurer's new proposed schedule in an asbestos coverage case with its reinsurer regarding the production of documents (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 15-270, N.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Panel: Lack Of Actionable Misrepresentations Dooms Etsy Securities Lawsuit

NEW YORK - Alleged misrepresentations made by online marketplace Etsy Inc., certain of its officers and directors and underwriters of its initial public offering (IPO) concealing deficiencies in the company's policies regarding the sale of counterfeit products were not actionable and, as a result, a federal district court did not err in dismissing a shareholder class action, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in an April 24 summary order (Saleh Altayyar, et al. v. Etsy Inc., et al., No. 17-1180, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Imposes Constructive Trust Against Lago Agrio Residents For Chevron

NEW YORK - A judge in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on April 23 issued a default judgment against a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. for injuries, only to have it reversed, and imposed a constructive trust against those residents for the benefit of Chevron (Chevron Corporation v. Donziger, et al., No. 11 Civ. 691, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Denial Of Summary Judgment Sends Asbestos Case To New York Jury

NEW YORK - An asbestos flooring manufacturer fails to eliminate the potential for an architect's bystander exposure or demonstrate that its products contained only the chrysotile fibers its expert claims could not cause mesothelioma, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 19 (Tatjana Pogacnik, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190340/2015, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Ponzi Scheme Operator Collaterally Estopped From Denying Liability, Panel Holds

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 20 ruled that a defendant in a securities fraud lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission was collaterally estopped from denying his liability in the instant action based on his guilty plea in a related criminal proceeding, affirming a federal district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the SEC (United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Francisco Illarremendi, et al., Nos. 17-1506, 17-1893 and 17-2551, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9948).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Carrier, Broker Not Liable To Insurer For $84,511 In Damaged Batteries

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17 affirmed a lower federal court's summary judgment ruling that rejected an insurer's lawsuit seeking to recover the $84,511.23 that it paid to its insured after a cargo of batteries that were owned by the insured's customer allegedly incurred damage during transport (New York Marine and General Insurance Co. v. Estes Express Lines, Inc., et al., No. 16-56748, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9667).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge Denies Attorney Fee Award In Copyright Case

NEW YORK - A voluntary dismissal by a copyright infringement plaintiff two months after filing suit did not render a defendant in the action a prevailing party, a New York federal judge ruled Feb. 22 (Matthew McDermott v. Monday Monday LLC, No. 17-9230, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28664).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Harvey Weinstein, Other Defendants Seek Dismissal Of RICO Class Complaint

NEW YORK - Harvey Weinstein and the other defendants in a New York federal lawsuit alleging that Weinstein flashed, fondled, assaulted and raped multiple women filed separate motions on Feb. 20 seeking dismissal of the class complaint alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, battery assault and emotional distress (Louisette Geiss, et al. v. The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, et al., No. 17-9554, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiffs Showed Companies Owed A Duty Of Care For Tainted Aquifer, Judge Says

ALBANY, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 20 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a groundwater contamination lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiffs showed that the chemical company defendants have a duty to businesses within the area of contamination that have suffered economic losses as a result of the tainted aquifer (R.M. Bacon LLC v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., et al., No. 17-0441, N.D. N.Y.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26299).

Mealey's Insurance - New York Panel: Armored Car Company's Insurer Is Not Liable For Jewelry Loss

NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Feb. 20 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an armored car company's insurer has no duty to compensate a freight carrier and its insurer for the loss of a gold jewelry shipment that was transported by its insured (AXA Winterthur Insurance Co. v Transvalue, Inc., et al., No. 4132, 650507/11, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2018 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1154).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA's Request To Stay New York Water Quality Standards Suit Denied

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 20 denied the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's motion to stay proceedings in a suit over whether it failed to comply with its requirement under the Clean Water Act to approve or disapprove water quality standards submitted by the state, finding that nine environmental groups would be prejudiced by the delay (Riverkeeper Inc., et al. v. Scott Pruitt, et al., No. 17-CV-4916, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26960).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York Top Court To Decide If Coke Oven Falls Under Asbestos Products Liability

BUFFALO, N.Y. - New York's top court on Feb. 15 agreed to hear a dispute over whether a contract involving coke oven batteries are products for the purposes of an asbestos products liability action or whether the construction project constituted services (In the matter of the Eighth Judicial District Asbestos Litigation, Donald J. Terwilliger, et al. v. Beazer East Inc., et al., No. APL-2018-00023, N.Y. App., 2018 N.Y. LEXIS 187).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Top Court To Decide If Coke Oven Falls Under Asbestos Products Liability

BUFFALO, N.Y. - New York's top court on Feb. 15 agreed to hear a dispute over whether a contract involving coke oven batteries are products for the purposes of an asbestos products liability action or whether the construction project constituted services (In the matter of the Eighth Judicial District Asbestos Litigation, Donald J. Terwilliger, et al. v. Beazer East Inc., et al., No. APL-2018-00023, N.Y. App., 2018 N.Y. LEXIS 187).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Divided 2nd Circuit: Assignment Did Not Confer Standing In Copyright Case

NEW YORK - Allegations that John Wiley & Sons Inc. exceeded the terms of its license to use certain photographs in textbooks and other educational materials were properly rejected on summary judgment because the plaintiff in the action - a purported assignee of the photographers' rights to sue - lacks standing to maintain an infringement action, a divided Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 16 (John Wiley & Sons Inc. v. DRK Photo, No. 15-1134, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 3758).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Insurer's Liquidator Has No Interest To Land, New York Bankruptcy Judge Says

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Reversionary interests in land parcels are property of a reorganized debtor, and an insurer's liquidator is precluded from interfering with those interests, a New York federal bankruptcy judge ruled Feb. 15, ordering transfer of title to the reorganized debtor (In re: Frontier Insurance Group Inc., et al., Chapter 11, No. 05-36877, Benjamin Lawsky v. Frontier Insurance Group LLC, et al., Adv. Pro. No. 14-9022, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 442).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Bank Of New York Seeks Foreclosure In Delaware Court

WILMINGTON, Del. - A bank on Feb. 15 filed a complaint in a Delaware court, requesting that it enter an order foreclosing on a property (The Bank of New York Mellon v. Fred A. Bassano, No. 18L-02-067, Del. Super).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer's Liquidator Has No Interest To Land, New York Bankruptcy Judge Says

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Reversionary interests in land parcels are property of a reorganized debtor, and an insurer's liquidator is precluded from interfering with those interests, a New York federal bankruptcy judge ruled Feb. 15, ordering transfer of title to the reorganized debtor (In re: Frontier Insurance Group Inc., et al., Chapter 11, No. 05-36877, Benjamin Lawsky v. Frontier Insurance Group LLC, et al., Adv. Pro. No. 14-9022, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy., 2018 Bankr. LEXIS 442).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class: Life Insurer, Private Investment Firm Unlawfully Raised Prices In Policies

NEW YORK - A life insurer and a private investment firm, which acquired the insurer, unlawfully increased the cost of premiums to recoup costs associated with the acquisition, among other reasons, plaintiffs allege in a Feb. 13 class action filed in a New York federal court (Derek Fan, et al. v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-01288, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Grants Class Certification In NYU Retirement Plan Dispute

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Feb. 13 granted a motion for class certification in a lawsuit alleging that New York University (NYU) breached its duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in its administration and management of its retirement plan (Dr. Alan Sacerdote, et al. v. New York University, et al., No. 16-6284, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23540).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2nd Circuit Denies Petition For Appeal Of Class Certification Grant

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 13 denied a retirement plan's administrative and investment committees' petition for permission to appeal the grant of class certification in a breach of fiduciary duty case in which the investors claim that the defendants selected company-affiliated mutual funds as plan investments rather than other better-performing mutual funds, finding that immediate appeal is unwarranted (Marya J. Leber v. Citigroup, Inc., et al., No. 07-9329, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Expert's Prior Exclusion Not Relevant To Admissibility Inquiry, Magistrate Says

NEW YORK - A biomechanical engineer is not precluded from testifying in a personal injury action over a car crash just because his opinions were stricken in another recent auto accident case, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 14 in denying a bid by the injured driver to exclude the expert's testimony (Craig Thomas v. YRC Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-6105, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24384).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Composer's Assignee Tells 2nd Circuit Italian Film Scores Were Not Works For Hire

NEW YORK - Arguing about differences in Italian and U.S. copyright law, a composer's copyright assignee tells the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Feb. 14 brief that a trial court incorrectly concluded that film scores written on commission in Italy are equivalent to works for hire in the United States (Ennio Morricone Music Inc. v. Bixio Music Group Ltd., No. 17-3595, 2nd Cir.).