LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Jury Hits Hennessy With $25M Asbestos Verdict

NEW YORK - A New York state jury on Sept. 25 awarded $25 million to a man for his mesothelioma, holding brake-grinding machine manufacturer Hennessy Industries Inc. 86 percent liable for the man's injury (Walter Miller v. BMW of North America LLC, et al., No. 190087/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Justice Asks For Input Regarding Proposed End Of HMO's Liquidation

NEW YORK - A New York justice on Sept. 25 issued an order to show cause, asking for input into a liquidator's request to close an insurer's liquidation and distribute its more than $3 million in assets (In the Matter of Essence Healthcare of New York, Inc., No. 452879/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Parties Who Are Potentially Obligated To Pay Must Be Identified, Federal Judge Says

ALBANY, N.Y. - A ruling on allocation and an insured's duty to indemnify two of its insurers cannot be made until all of the parties who are potentially obligated to pay for underlying asbestos claims are identified, a New York federal judge said Sept. 29 in denying both the insured's and insurers' motions for summary judgment (Pacific Employers Insurance Co. v. Troy Belting & Supply Co., et al., No. 11-912, N.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130681).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Copyright Case Yields $100,000 Statutory Damages Awards

NEW YORK - Myriad default defendants were ordered Sept. 28 to pay $100,000 in statutory damages for infringing a copyrighted image of multi-sport athlete Bo Jackson (Richard Noble v. Crazetees.com, et al., No. 13-5086, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130391).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New GM And Plaintiffs Submit Arguments On Punitive Damages Issue

NEW YORK - General Motors LLC (New GM) and post-closing ignition switch accident plaintiffs each filed briefs on Sept. 22 in a New York bankruptcy court, disputing whether the plaintiffs should be entitled to punitive damage awards in numerous personal injury lawsuits filed against New GM (In re: Motors Liquidation Company, et al., f/k/a General Motors Corp., et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurers Ask Court To Confirm $7.8 Million Reinsurance Arbitration Award

NEW YORK - Two insurers asked a federal court in New York on Sept. 22 to confirm an arbitration award in which a reinsurer is ordered to pay almost $8 million (AmTrust North America, Inc., et al. v. Pacific Re, Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-07505, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Refuses To Preclude Expert Testimony On Brake Dust Link To Mesothelioma

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 22 declined to exclude an expert's testimony that brake dust causes mesothelioma in a wrongful death lawsuit (Deste C. Relyea, as Executor of the Estate of Jo Ann Relyea v. Borg Warner Corp., et al., No. 12-3564, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126895).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit: Arbitration Clause In New Employment Contract Is Not Retroactive

NEW YORK - An arbitration clause in an employment agreement signed by workers who were made employees after working as independent contractors is not binding on events that occurred before the signing, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 22, upholding a decision by the district court (Jan P. Holick Jr., et al. v. Cellular Sales of New York, LLC, et al., No. 14-4323, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16815).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Refuses To Preclude Expert Testimony On Brake Dust Link To Mesothelioma

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 22 declined to exclude an expert's testimony that brake dust causes mesothelioma in a wrongful death lawsuit (Deste C. Relyea, as Executor of the Estate of Jo Ann Relyea v. Borg Warner Corp., et al., No. 12-3564, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126895).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2nd Circuit: Arbitration Clause In New Employment Contract Is Not Retroactive

NEW YORK - An arbitration clause in an employment agreement signed by workers who were made employees after working as independent contractors is not binding on events that occurred before the signing, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 22, upholding a decision by the district court (Jan P. Holick Jr., et al. v. Cellular Sales of New York, LLC, et al., No. 14-4323, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16815).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - New York Federal Judge Approves $1.5 Million DHL Wage Settlement

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 21 granted final approval of a $1.5 million settlement to be paid by an international mail and freight company to end wage claims by a class of its workers but reduced the fees sought by class counsel from $500,000 to $370,236.50 (Dionne Marshall, et al. v. Deutsche Post DHL, et al., No. 13-1471, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125869).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 2 Class Actions Filed In New York Federal Court Over Excellus Data Breach

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Two putative class actions were filed Sept. 18 against Excellus Health Plan Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, alleging negligence in the health insurance provider's failure to safeguard policyholders' personally identifiable information (PII) and protected health information (PHI) from a recently announced data breach (Matthew Fero, et al. v. Excellus Health Plan Inc., et al., No. 6:15-cv-06569; Nicholas Gilbert v. Excellus Health Plan Inc., No. 6:15-cv-06570; W.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Finds Removal Was Proper Under New York Convention

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Sept. 18 found that a solar corporation's claims against two Chinese entities were directly related to an underlying arbitration agreement and that its breach of contract claims were properly removed to federal court (Sunvalley Solar Inc. v. CEEG [Shanghai] Solar, et al., No. 15-5099, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125199).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge: Copyright Claims Against University Are Untimely

NEW YORK - A New York federal magistrate judge did not err in deeming copyright infringement allegations by student and adjunct lecturer against the City University of New York untimely, a New York federal judge ruled Sept. 22 (Edgardo Diaz v. City University of New York, et al., No. 13-2038, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126855).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - New York Federal Judge Approves $1.5 Million DHL Wage Settlement

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 21 granted final approval of a $1.5 million settlement to be paid by an international mail and freight company to end wage claims by a class of its workers but reduced the fees sought by class counsel from $500,000 to $370,236.50 (Dionne Marshall, et al. v. Deutsche Post DHL, et al., No. 13-1471, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125869).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Lawyer Says Manville Trust Unlawfully Disallowed Submission Of His Claims

NEW YORK - The trustees of the asbestos trust established in the landmark Chapter 11 case of Johns-Manville Corp. abused their discretion and breached their fiduciary duties of impartiality and loyalty when they decided to disallow the submission of claims from a California attorney based on allegations that he has filed unreliable claim-related evidence with other asbestos personal injury settlement trusts, the attorney said Sept. 21 in his answer to the Johns-Manville trust's declaratory judgment adversary complaint (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656 [Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Michael J. Mandelbrot and The Mandelbrot Law Firm, No. 15-01296], S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Magistrate Judge Grants Leave To Amend In Trademark Case

NEW YORK - A dispute over whether "FlashXHype" is likely to confuse consumers will proceed with new allegations of trademark infringement, in light of a recently received trademark registration for "XHype," thanks to a Sept. 21 ruling by a New York federal magistrate judge (Cat3 LLC et al. v. Black Lineage Inc. et al., No. 14-5511, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125879).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Fund Failed To Show Madoff Investment Caused A Loss, N.Y. Federal Judge Says

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 16 dismissed a pension fund's complaint against its investment advisers because the trustees of the pension fund failed to allege a legally cognizable loss sustained as a result of the placement of assets in Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme (Trustees of the Upstate New York Engineers Pension Fund v. Ivy Asset Management et al., No. 13-3180, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123590).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Dismisses Claims That UPS Knowingly Delivered Contraband Cigarettes

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 16 dismissed claims brought by the State of New York and the City of New York contending that United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) knowingly delivered millions of packs of contraband cigarettes throughout the state between January 2010 and November 2014 (The State of New York, et al. v. United Parcel Service Inc., No. 15-1136, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123771).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Partly Affirms, Partly Reverses Noninfringement Holding

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge's determination on summary judgment that two categories of accused products did not infringe three patents was reversed, in part, by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 (TNS Media Research LLC d/b/a Kantar Media Audiences, et al. v. TiVO Research and Analytics Inc., d/b/a TRA Inc., No. 14-1668, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Vacates Attorney Fee Award In Patent Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The same day it vacated findings that three patents were not infringed, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 in a contemporaneous ruling vacated as "premature" a New York federal judge's award of attorney fees in the case (TNS Media Research LLC d/b/a Kantar Media Audiences, et al. v. TiVO Research and Analytics Inc., d/b/a TRA Inc., No. 15-1252, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM Argues It Is Not Liable For Punitive Damages In Personal Injury Suits

NEW YORK - General Motors LLC (New GM) on Sept. 13 argued before a New York federal bankruptcy court that it has no liability to pay punitive damages in relation to numerous personal injury lawsuits filed against it, submitting that it is not responsible for the conduct of Motors Liquidation Co., f/k/a General Motors Corp. (Old GM) (In re: Motors Liquidation Company, et al., f/k/a General Motors Corp., et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Insurance - New York Liquidation Bureau Says Ancillary Receivership Has Self-Terminated

NEW YORK - A representative of an insolvent Oklahoma insurer's ancillary receiver told a New York court on Sept. 14 that, per an earlier court order, the ancillary receivership proceeding has ended (In the Matter of Red Rock Insurance Company, No. 451197/15, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Lions Gate Entertainment Seeks To Settle Intern Suit For $1.34 Million

NEW YORK - A former intern for "The Wendy Williams Show" on Sept. 11 moved in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to settle his class complaint with Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. after the company agreed to pay $1,341,752 to end claims that it, Lions Gate Films Inc. and Debmar-Mercury LLC violated federal and state wage-and-hour statutes by failing to pay their interns (Anthony Tart, et al. v. Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation, et al., No. 14-8004, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Judge Dismisses Securities Law Claims Against Medical Device Maker

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 14 dismissed a securities class action complaint filed against a medical device maker and its CEO, ruling that the lead plaintiff in the action failed to properly plead an actionable misrepresentation or scienter in making his federal securities law claims (In re EDAP TMS S.A. Securities Litigation, No. 14-6069, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121960).