NEW YORK - A reinsurer in liquidation told the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 19 that a trial court judge erred when considering a motion to dismiss because the judge allegedly made inferences in favor of the defendant/reinsureds instead of the plaintiff/reinsurer (Mariah Re Ltd. [In Liquidation], acting by and through Geoffrey Varga and Jess Shakespeare, in their capacities as Liquidators thereof v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 14-4062, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 17 ordered the further reduction of a jury's punitive damages award in an employment bias and racial harassment suit that was already reduced to $5 million by the federal judge from the original $24 million (Elijah Turley v. ISG Lackawanna, Inc., No. 13-561, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 23705).
NEW YORK - The attorney representing a group of Ecuadorian residents who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. for personal injuries caused by the company's oil operations in the Lago Agrio region of Ecuador filed a reply brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 18, contending that Chevron's fraud action against the attorney should be dismissed in its entirety. Moreover, the attorney says that remand for further proceedings is unnecessary but that in the event of remand, the case should be reassigned to a different district judge (Chevron Corporation v. Steven R. Donziger, et al., No. 14-826, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - Although claimants asserted non-bankruptcy claims for violation of the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, a New York federal judge on Dec. 18 found that proofs of claim asserted against a bankruptcy entity should be decided by a bankruptcy court (Ronald A. Eriksen, et al. v. Residential Capital LLC, et al., No. 14-CV-7205, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175001).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 17 dismissed a lawsuit brought by residents who contended that their drinking wells were contaminated by the activities of an oil and gas exploration company, ruling that the plaintiffs' expert should be stricken because he did not review isotopic tests of the allegedly contaminated areas (Jason Baker, et al. v. Anschutz Exploration Corporation, No 11-6119, W.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174442).
NEW YORK - A New York justice on Dec. 16 granted New York's superintendent of financial services' petition for an order to liquidate an insurer (In the Matter of UHAB Mutual Insurance Company, No. 452618/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - Enforcement of a sale order and injunction entered as part of General Motors LLC's (New GM) acquisition of the assets of General Motors Corp. (Old GM) will violate the due process rights of plaintiffs in the ignition switch litigation against New GM, a group of GM vehicle owners argue in a memorandum filed Dec. 16 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York (In re: Chapter 11 Motors Liquidation Co., et al., f/k/a General Motors Corp., et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
NEWARK, N.J. - The New York City Housing Authority's (NYCHA) attempt to recoup $500 million from reorganized building products company G-I Holdings Inc. for abatement of asbestos property damage should be rejected because the authority cannot support its allegations that asbestos products installed in its buildings are inherently dangerous to tenants or that the dangers of the products create a duty to abate in the interest of public safety, G-I argues in a Dec. 15 brief supporting a motion for summary judgment in New Jersey federal bankruptcy court (In re: G-I Holdings, Inc., et al., Nos. 01-30135 and 01-38790, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - The commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Dec. 17 announced at a meeting of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's cabinet that he will "issue a legally binding findings statement" that will prohibit high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing (HVHF) in the state, according to a press release.
NEW YORK - A New York City jury on Dec. 12 found that a boiler maker failed to warn about the hazards of asbestos and awarded a man's estate $20 million while holding the defendant 30 percent liable (Charlene Hillyer, as executrix for the estate of Charles F. Hillyer v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190132/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An insurer and its reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Dec. 15 that they had held a mediation session as ordered by the court, but the case did not settle (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-00995, N.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A trial court properly dismissed a suit alleging that a child's Type 2 diabetes was caused by her consumption of foods containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) for failure to allege a safer design of the product or to identify the specific manufacturer whose HFCS is at issue, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Dec. 11 (S.F., et al. v. Archer Daniels Midland Co., et al., No. 14-1615, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 23448).
NEW YORK - Dismissal of federal securities law claims against a defendant in a securities class action lawsuit is warranted, a federal judge in New York ruled Dec. 10, because the lead plaintiff failed to properly plead scienter (In re China North East Petroleum Holdings Limited Securities Litigation, No. 10-4577, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 11 set a status conference in an insider trading lawsuit to determine whether the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling in U.S. v. Newman has any effect on the guilty plea entered by one of the defendants (United States of America v. Daryl Payton, No. 12-887, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - Two insurers told a federal court in New York on Dec. 9 that they do not object to the confirmation of certain portions of a reinsurance arbitration award that are final but object to confirmation of the award in its entirety because portions of the award are not final (Employers Insurance of Wausau A Mutual Company v. Nutmeg Insurance Company, et al., No. 14-cv-09284, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A man whose difficulty hearing may have interfered with his ability to answer deposition questions in an asbestos action presents sufficient evidence of exposure to a defendant's tile, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Dec. 9 (Eugene Sowa and Mary Louis Sowa v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190405/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 10 reversed two insider trading convictions, ruling that a federal district court erred in determining that the evidence provided was sufficient to sustain a guilty verdict (United States of America v. Todd Newman, et al., Nos. 13-1837 and 13-1917, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - Finding "no plausible claim of substantial similarity," a New York federal judge on Dec. 8 dismissed allegations of copyright infringement levied in connection with a defendant's alleged sampling of the word "oh" (Tufamerica Inc. v. WB Music Corp., No. 13-7874, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170008).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 5 adopted a magistrate judge's "well-reasoned" report and recommendation to award default judgment in favor of Allstate Insurance Co. in a suit accusing two doctors and their respective practices of fraudulently billing the insurer for medical services for individuals who were involved in automobile accidents and who were covered by Allstate's no-fault insurance policies (Allstate Insurance Company v. Conrad Robert Williams, M.D., et al., No. 13-CV-2893, E.D. N.Y.).