LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer In Liquidation Says Trial Judge Should Have Accepted Complaint As True

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.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit Orders Further Reduction Of Punitive Damages Award In Bias Suit

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).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Lago Agrio Attorney: Chevron Fraud Case Should Be Dismissed

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.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Federal Judge Refuses To Withdraw Claims From Bankruptcy Court

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).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Refuses To Withdraw Claims From Bankruptcy Court

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).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Tainted Well Case; Plaintiffs' Expert Did Not Review Test Results

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).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - New York Justice Orders Liquidation Of Insurer With Consent Of Insurer's Board

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.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - GM Vehicle Owners Ask Bankruptcy Court Not To Enforce Bankruptcy Shield

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.).

Mealey's Insurance - New York Justice Orders Liquidation Of Insurer With Consent Of Insurer's Board

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.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Housing Authority Fails To Prove Danger Of Asbestos Tiles, G-I Holdings Says

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.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Bans Hydraulic Fracturing Statewide

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.

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM Vehicle Owners Ask Bankruptcy Court Not To Enforce Bankruptcy Shield

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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York Jury Awards $20 Million In Asbestos Trial; Burnham 30 Percent Liable

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.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Jury Awards $20 Million In Asbestos Trial; Burnham 30 Percent Liable

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.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer, Reinsurer Tell Court They Failed To Settle Case In Mediation Session

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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Second Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Suit Linking Diabetes To Corn Syrup

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Lead Plaintiffs Failed To Plead Scienter In Securities Class Action

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.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Lead Plaintiffs Failed To Plead Scienter In Securities Class Action

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.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge Sets Status Conference To Discuss Effect Of Newman On Insider Trading Case

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.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurers Say Arbitration Panel's Interim Award Contains Nonfinal Rulings

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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice: Man With Hearing Issues Sufficiently Alleges Case Against Tile Maker

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.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Man With Hearing Issues Sufficiently Alleges Case Against Tile Maker

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.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - 2nd Circuit Panel Overturns Insider Trading Convictions

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge Dismisses Copyright Dispute Over 'Oh'

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Allstate Awarded Default Judgment In Suit Alleging Fraudulent Billing From Doctor

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.).