NEW YORK - After finding that an insurer did not improperly deny coverage for continued treatment of an insured's anorexia nervosa in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 2 affirmed a court's ruling that the insurer's decision to cease coverage was based on the substantial evidence (Elizabeth W. v. Empire Healthchoice Assurance Inc., et al., No. 16-3463, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19099).
NEW YORK - While a $20 million attorney fee agreement for a settlement between an insurer and asbestos claimants does not say the money is to be divided unevenly among the four law firms that negotiated the settlement, it also does not say the fees are to be divided equally, a New York federal judge found Sept. 29 in reversing a bankruptcy court ruling awarding $5 million to each firm (Bevan & Associates, LPA, Inc., et al. v. Eric Bogdan, et al., No. 16-cv-7154, S.D. N.Y.).
BUFFALO, N.Y. - A New York appeals court on Sept. 29 rejected a motion seeking reargument and declined a man's request for leave to further appeal a decision that a contract governing the construction of coke oven batteries involves materials, work and labor rather than a product for product liability purposes (In the matter of the Eighth Judicial District Asbestos Litigation, Donald J. Terwilliger, et al. v. Beazer East Inc., et al., No. 85 CA 16-00947, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dist., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 6836).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 27 granted summary judgment to two of three defendants in a collective action complaint brought by cell phone service field agents who claim that they were denied full wages, granted summary judgment to the third defendant, Wallace Morgan Inc., on all claims except for the wage-notice claims brought under the New York Labor Law (NYLL) and ordered additional limited briefing on the remaining claims (Jamie Martin, et al. v. Sprint United Management Co., et al., No. 15-5237, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159479).
NEW YORK - An arbitrary and capricious standard of review will be applied in a disability benefits dispute because the plan at issue clearly granted discretionary authority to the insurer and the claimant failed to carry the burden of proving that a de novo standard of review should be applied, a New York federal judge said Sept. 26 (Laurie Tietjen v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 16-7021, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157721).
ALBANY, N.Y. - No coverage is owed to an insured for two underlying lawsuits alleging injuries caused by exposure to lead paint in the insured's rental property because the insured failed to provide the insurer with timely notice of the occurrence, which was a 1994 report by the county health department detailing the presence of lead paint in the property, a New York federal judge said Sept. 26 (J. Peter McPartlon v. Continental Casualty Co., and Continental Casualty Co. v. J. Peter McPartlon, Nos. 15-299, 15-1520, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157858).
NEW YORK - Ruling on dueling summary judgment motions, a New York federal judge held Sept. 25 that an investigation by the Securities Exchange Commission against a private investment firm insured is excluded from coverage because it was pending before the August 2011 inception of an excess directors and officers liability insurance policy (Patriarch Partners, LLC v. Axis Insurance Company, No. 16-2277, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155367).
NEW YORK - Citing evidence that a plaintiff "does not hold (and indeed, has not even applied for) a copyright," a New York federal judge on Sept. 25 dismissed without prejudice allegations of infringement by a bar exam prep company against a competitor (LLM Bar Exam LLC v. Barbri Inc., et al., No. 16-3770, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156411).
NEW YORK - A woman's state law class action claiming that her insurer's plan documents deceptively advertise and negligently misrepresent the availability of in-network lactation assistance providers sufficiently invokes federal law to warrant preemption, a federal judge in New York held Sept. 22 (Jacqueline Wyka Mahajan, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, No. 16-6944, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155365).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge on Sept. 25 denied a motion to strike the representative in a class suit against Bank of New York Mellon, National Association (BNY Mellon), over the bank's management of trusts, finding that the representative had adequate knowledge of the case and had not, as the bank alleged, ceded control of the case to an unfit attorney (Ashby Henderson, et al. v. The Bank of New York Mellon, National Association, No. 15-10599, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156021).
NEW YORK - An employer's operations in New York make jurisdiction there proper, and an amended complaint naming it as a defendant was timely filed, a federal judge held Sept. 20 (Kelan Unterberg v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp., et al., No. 14-10025, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118586).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Sept. 21 determined that environmental contamination resulting from an insured's everyday operations can be accidental, as that term in used in the policies' pollution exclusions, because the spills at issue occurred inadvertently during the insured's normal, everyday operations (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al., No. 14-4717, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 154584).
ISLIP, N.Y. - After finding that a borrower was not a consumer under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a New York federal judge on Sept. 19 dismissed her complaint against a loan servicer in relation to a notice and default letter (Janine Carbone v. Caliber Home Loans Inc., No. 15-5190, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151810).
NEW YORK - Rejecting an insurer's appeal, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that a carrier exception to an insurance policy's dishonest acts exclusion applies to allow coverage for an insured's $1,155,480 claim arising from 4,095 cases of allegedly stolen wine and liquor (Warehouse Wines & Spirits v. Travelers Property Casualty Co., 16-2611, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18239).
DALLAS - The fourth DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict trial got under way Sept. 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas with six New York plaintiffs (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 11-md-02244, Ramon Alicea, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics., Inc., et al., No. 15-03489, Uriel Barzel v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1245, Karen Kirschner v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1526, Hazel Miura v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-4119, Michael A. Stevens v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1776, Eugene Stevens Jr. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al., No. 14-2341, N.D. Texas).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Swedish telecommunications provider Telia Co. AB has agreed to pay nearly $1 billion as part of a global settlement with U.S., Dutch and Swedish officials for its role in a massive bribery and money laundering scheme with government officials in Uzbekistan, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in New York federal court on Sept. 21 (In the Matter of Telia Co. AB, No. 3-18195, SEC, and United States of America v. COSCOM LLC, No. 17-cr-581, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 19 substantially rejected a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action has properly pleaded a majority of its federal securities law claims (In re VEON Ltd. Securities Litigation, No. 15-8672, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152240).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - In a reinsurance dispute over coverage for underlying asbestos injury claims, an insurer writes in a letter filed in a New York federal court on Sept. 19 that it rejects a reinsurer's suggestion that it dismiss the case without prejudice because the case presents a justiciable controversy (Utica Mutual Insurance Co. v. R&Q Reinsurance Co., No. 15-270, N.D. N.Y.).