NEW YORK - A magazine publisher that has faced several class complaints alleging unlawful disclosures of customers' data had no duty to preserve evidence between the termination of the first class complaint and the filing of the second, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Dec. 18 (Josephine James Edwards v. Hearst Communications, Inc., No. 15-9279, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207540).
NEW YORK - In a coverage dispute over asbestos litigation costs, the New York Court of Appeals on Dec. 14 ruled that one of its previous rulings did not establish a general rule that a reinsurance contract's total liability cap encompasses both indemnity and defense costs incurred by an insurer (Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Co., No. CTQ-2016, 0005, N.Y. App., 2017 N.Y. LEXIS 3723).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 15 ruled that a solvent maker cannot pursue third-party claims for cost recovery and contribution under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) against 58 companies that entered into a consent decree with the state of New York over contamination at a landfill, holding that the agreement bars the solvent maker's claims (State of New York, et al. v. Pride Solvents & Chemical Co., et al., No. 15-CV-6569, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206678).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Dec. 12 granted summary judgment to two airlines after finding that an expert report presented by a woman who injured herself while walking on a plane is not sufficient under the Federal Rules of Evidence and that the hazard the woman injured herself on was open and obvious (Valentina Rodriguez v. British Airways PLC, et al., No. 17-CV-03691, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204217).
NEW YORK - In a Dec. 8 ruling, a New York federal judge found that although menorahs and dreidels depicted on Chanukah-themed paper cups and plates are "indisputably unprotectable," a comparison in a copyright infringement case of competing cups and plates shows that the items share "virtually identical expressions of those" unprotectable features pursuant to Fisher-Price, Inc. v. Well-Made Toy Mfg. Corp., 25 F.3d 119, 124 (2d Cir. 1994) (King Zak Industries Inc. v. Toys 4 U USA Corp., No. 16-9676, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202784).
NEW YORK - A federal judge on Dec. 8 entered judgment for a health insurer in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case, finding that denials issued during the precertification process did not render any further attempts at administrative remedies futile where the plan specifically required an appeal from the explanation of benefits (Sandra A. Peppiatt v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-2444, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199895).
NEW YORK - Four class representatives in a New York federal lawsuit accusing J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) of violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by mismanaging retirement savings funds filed an objection on Dec. 7 to a proposed $75 million cash settlement reached between eight of the class representatives and JPMC, arguing that the amount the class will actually receive is far less than the total class damages (In re J.P. Morgan Stable Value Fund ERISA Litigation, No. 12-2548, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 11 refused to review the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' ruling that a New York law barring the offset of a claimant's disability benefits with the proceeds of the claimant's settlement of a personal injury suit is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Aetna Life Insurance Co. v. Salvatore Arnone, No. 17-416, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - Miramax LLC, Miramax Film Corp. and Miramax Film NY LLC (collectively Miramax), The Weinstein Co. (TWC) and TWC's board facilitated and condoned the alleged flashing, fondling, sexual assault and rape carried out by movie producer Harvey Weinstein at offices, in hotel rooms, in his homes and in rooms at industry functions, six women allege in a Dec. 6 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking certification of a Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(4) class for liability for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), battery assault and emotional distress (Louisette Geiss, et al. v. The Weinstein Company Holdings LLC, et al., No. 17-9554, S.D. N.Y.).
GOSHEN, N.Y. - A New York justice on Dec. 5 refused to compel arbitration of a dispute pursuant to a provision under a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA) because the provision is invalid under Nebraska law (Milmar Food Group II, LLC, et al. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., No. EF003101-2017, N.Y. Sup., Orange Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4634).
NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a borrower's claims asserted against a lender and loan servicer related to his default on a mortgage, but vacated the court's denial of his request to amend his complaint and to add a new claim, finding that the court failed to give its reasons for denying leave (Robert Macias v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, et al., No. 17-902, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 24488).
NEW YORK - A federal district court erred in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against a China-based online and mobile commerce company and certain of its senior officers because shareholders had properly pleaded that the defendants acted with the requisite scienter by concealing that the company was subject to administrative proceedings by China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) in the months leading up to its initial public offering (IPO), a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 5 in reversing and remanding (Christine Asia Co. Ltd., et al. v. Jack Yun Ma, et al., No. 16-2519, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge, in an order filed Dec. 1, declined preliminary approval of a class settlement worth up to $7,425,000 offered by Dave & Buster's Inc. to end claims that the nationwide restaurant/entertainment chain violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by reducing the hours of its work force in 2013 to avoid the costs associated with providing health insurance to its full-time employees in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Maria De Lourdes Parra Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc., et al., No. 15-3608, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - An insurer asked the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 to reverse a lower court's finding that coverage for a firm's multimillion-dollar loss due to a fraudulent wire transfer scheme existed under the computer fraud provision of the company's executive protection insurance policy (Medidata Solutions Inc. v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 17-2492, 2nd Cir.).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A federal magistrate judge in New York on Dec. 1 approved employees' motion for final approval of a modified $1.7 million class action settlement that increased the payout to the class members in a lawsuit alleging that their franchisor and franchisee employers violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), further granting the plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees that awards the attorneys 44 percent less than the original proposal (Adam Cunningham, et al. v. Suds Pizza, Inc., et al., No. 15-6462, W.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198250).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A whistleblower on Nov. 30 was allowed by a New York federal court to voluntarily dismiss without prejudice her five-month-old federal False Claims Act lawsuit against six large opioid manufacturers in light of a federal government investigation, according to a court order (State of New York, ex rel. Laurie Khanzadian v. Purdue Pharma, Inc., et al., No. 17-742, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197239).
NEW YORK - A power company's contracts with its contractors requires indemnification only after the establishment of liability, a New York justice held in denying reargument in an asbestos case in an opinion posted Nov. 30 (In re New York City Asbestos Litigation Michael Koulermos and Marian Koulermos v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190406/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4530).