LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Grants Class Counsel's Request For Additional Fees From Settlement Funds

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on June 23 granted a request from attorneys representing a class of plaintiffs who settled claims against Washington Mutual Inc. (WMI) over prepayment fees associated with mortgages and home equity loans, finding that they could recover the remaining $721,443 from the gross settlement funds (Denise Cassese, et al. v. Washington Mutual Inc., et al., No. 05-cv-2724, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85835).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 2nd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Investor Suit Against Merrill Lynch

NEW YORK - A federal court properly dismissed a shareholder suit against Merrill Lynch alleging securities law violations in connection with the sale of auction-rate securities (ARS), the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 25, agreeing that the shareholder's federal, state and common-law claims were not adequately pleaded (In re: Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., No. 13-1980, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11909).

Mealey's Insurance - New York Court: No Coverage For Investors' Claims Arising From Ponzi Scheme

NEW YORK - A New York appeals court on June 24 affirmed a lower court's ruling that coverage for underlying claims brought against an insured by investors following the aftermath of Bernard L. Madoff's Ponzi scheme is barred under a bankers professional liability insurance policy (Associated Community Bancorp, Inc., et al. v St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co., No. 12856, 651047/12, N.Y. Sup., App. Div.; 1st Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4627).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2nd Circuit: Letters Sent To Wrong Address Did Not Trigger RESPA Duties

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 24 affirmed the dismissal of a woman's class action lawsuit against CitiMortgage Inc., finding that her attorney's submission of three letters described as qualified written requests (QWRs) under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to the wrong address did not trigger the loan servicer's duties to respond under the act (Patricia Roth, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 13-3839-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11854).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Companies Barred From Sand Mining Due To 'Irreparable Harm' To Groundwater

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal magistrate judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on June 23 ruled that defendants connected to sand excavation at a site in Long Island, N.Y., were barred from undertaking further actions to mine native sand and minerals because of the "irreparable harm" it would do to the area's glacial aquifers (Town of Brookhaven v. Sills Road Realty LLC, et al., No. 14-2286, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85202).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 2nd Circuit: Letters Sent To Wrong Address Did Not Trigger RESPA Duties

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 24 affirmed the dismissal of a woman's class action lawsuit against CitiMortgage Inc., finding that her attorney's submission of three letters described as qualified written requests (QWRs) under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) to the wrong address did not trigger the loan servicer's duties to respond under the act (Patricia Roth, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 13-3839-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11854).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - New York Appeals Panel: Siblings' Medical Records Not Discoverable In Lead Case

NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on June 24 ruled that a woman who sued her landlord, alleging that her child had been injured by lead-paint poisoning, had not waived the physician-patient privilege regarding the medical records of the child's siblings (Vincent L., Jr., an Infant by his mother and natural guardian, v. AKS 183rd St. Realty Corp., et al, No. 8133/01, N.Y. Sup. App. Div., Dept. 1).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Appeals Panel: Siblings' Medical Records Not Discoverable In Lead Case

NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on June 24 ruled that a woman who sued her landlord, alleging that her child had been injured by lead-paint poisoning, had not waived the physician-patient privilege regarding the medical records of the child's siblings (Vincent L., Jr., an Infant by his mother and natural guardian, v. AKS 183rd St. Realty Corp., et al, No. 8133/01, N.Y. Sup. App. Div., Dept. 1).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge: Couple Lacks Standing To Challenge Assignment Of Mortgage Loan

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on June 23 dismissed a couple's lawsuit seeking to block the foreclosure of their home, ruling that they lacked standing because they could not challenge the validity of the assignment of their mortgage loan to defendant Bank of New York Mellon (Robert Wade Ferguson v. Bank of New York Mellon Corp., et al., No. H-13-279, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84699).

Mealey's Insurance - N.Y. Federal Judge Refuses To Issue Advisory Opinion In Asbestos Coverage Dispute

ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on June 20 denied an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an asbestos coverage suit on the basis that the insurer is seeking an advisory opinion, which is not within the federal court's purview (Pacific Employers Insurance Co. v. Troy Belting & Supply Co. et al., No. 11-912, N.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84065).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - New York Federal Judge: Prior Suit Does Not Bar Current TCPA Class Complaint

NEW YORK - The dismissal of a prior suit in a different court filed by the same lead plaintiff against the same defendants regarding the same phone call that allegedly violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) does not bar the present suit from proceeding, a New York federal judge ruled June 20 (Todd C. Bank v. Spark Energy Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 13-6130, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84493).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2nd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Class Suit Against BlackBerry Maker

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 19 affirmed the dismissal of a securities fraud class action against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), finding that the plaintiffs' allegations were not sufficient to plead scienter (Laura Prefontaine v. Research In Motion Ltd., et al., No. 13-1602, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11511).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 2nd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Class Suit Against BlackBerry Maker

NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 19 affirmed the dismissal of a securities fraud class action against BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), finding that the plaintiffs' allegations were not sufficient to plead scienter (Laura Prefontaine v. Research In Motion Ltd., et al., No. 13-1602, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11511).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit: Years Of Work At School Were Volunteer Hours

NEW YORK - A man who often spent 40 hours per week working at a school for more than three years did so as a volunteer, not as an employee, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 18, rejecting the man's wage claims (Jayquan Brown v. New York Department of Education, et al., No. 13-139, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11412).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Panel: Injunctive Relief, Civil Penalties Warranted In Insider Trading Suit

NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in granting injunctive relief and imposing treble civil penalties against former Goldman Sachs director Rajat K. Gupta for his role in an insider trading scheme because such actions were appropriate, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 17 (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Rajat K. Gupta, No. 13-3062, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - RBS To Pay $99.5M To Settle Claims In Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Lawsuits

NEW YORK - Royal Bank of Scotland Securities Inc. (RBSSI) on June 19 agreed to pay $99.5 million to settle claims that it violated state and federal securities laws by misrepresenting the investment quality of residential mortgage-backed securities it underwrote that were subsequently sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (Federal Housing Finance Agency v. Ally Financial Inc., No. 11-7010, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insufficient Evidence Exists On Whether Insured's Work Caused Collapse, Panel Says

NEW YORK - Insufficient evidence exists as to whether a collapse was caused by an insured's alleged negligent construction, a New York majority appeals panel held June 17, affirming denial of summary judgment to an insurer on its duty to defend and indemnify an underlying personal injury action (Tower Insurance Company of New York v. BCS Construction Services Corp., et al., No. 12152, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4349).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Apple Reaches Agreement With States, Consumers In E-Books Conspiracy Action

NEW YORK - Apple Inc. reached a settlement with states and consumers on June 16 in litigation in which the judge previously found that Apple conspired with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, heading off a trial on damages that was scheduled to begin Aug. 25 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 $(State of Texas v. Penguin Group (USA), Inc., No. 12-cv-3394$), S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Apple Reaches Agreement With States, Consumers In E-Books Conspiracy Action

NEW YORK - Apple Inc. reached a settlement with states and consumers on June 16 in litigation in which the judge previously found that Apple conspired with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, heading off a trial on damages that was scheduled to begin Aug. 25 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 $(State of Texas v. Penguin Group (USA), Inc., No. 12-cv-3394$), S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 2nd Circuit Affirms Safe Harbor Ruling In Copyright Case

NEW YORK - In a four-page ruling issued June 17, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that the online photograph-sharing website Photobucket.com Inc. was properly granted summary judgment of safe harbor immunity in response to copyright infringement claims (Sheila Wolk v. Photobucket.com Inc., No. 12-420, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Apple Reaches Agreement With States, Consumers In E-Books Conspiracy Action

NEW YORK - Apple Inc. reached a settlement with states and consumers on June 16 in litigation in which the judge previously found that Apple conspired with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, heading off a trial on damages that was scheduled to begin Aug. 25 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 [State of Texas v. Penguin Group [USA], Inc., No. 12-cv-3394], S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York Jury Awards $25 Million In Pair Of Consolidated Asbestos Cases

NEW YORK - A New York jury on June 16 awarded $25 million in a pair of consolidated asbestos cases involving exposure from valves and boilers, sources said. The jury found sole remaining defendant Crane Co. 20 percent liable in one case and 9 percent liable in the second, sources said (Ivan Sweberg v. ABB Inc., et al., Selwyn A. Hackshaw v. ABB Inc., et al., No. 190017-2013, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Dismisses Lanham Act Case Without Prejudice

CHICAGO - A Lanham Act dispute cannot proceed in Illinois federal court because a distribution agreement between the relevant parties mandates arbitration in the State of New York, an Illinois federal judge ruled June 16 (FarmedHere LLC v. AeroFarm Systems LLC, No. 14-370, N.D. Ill.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - MF Global Trustee: $25M In WARN Act Claims Should Be Disallowed, Expunged

NEW YORK - The trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of MF Global Inc. (MFGI), the customer investment affiliate of MF Global Holdings Inc. (MFGH), on June 16 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, arguing that $25 million in claims filed by former employees of MFGI should be disallowed and expunged (In Re: MF Global Inc., 11-2790, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - ResCap Trust: $32.85M Claim Filed In 'Bad Faith' And Should Be Disallowed

NEW YORK - The Residential Capital Borrower Claims Trust on June 16 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, contending that a couple's $32.85 million claim against the bankruptcy estate should be disallowed because it was not timely filed and it demonstrates conduct that was "dilatory and in bad faith" (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).