LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Panel: New York Landlord Did Not Establish Lack Of Notice In Lead-Poisoning Case

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York court on April 1 reversed a lower court's decision and held that a landlord failed to establish that she did not have constructive notice that a hazardous lead-based paint condition existed in the apartment she rented to a family whose children tested positive for elevated blood-lead levels (Micah Greene, et al. v. Lula A. Mullen, No. 2013-00930, N.Y. Sup., App Div., 2nd Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2739).

New York High Court: Fracking Leases Not Extended By Moratorium

ALBANY, N.Y. - The New York Court of Appeals on March 31 ruled that oil and gas leases between residents and a hydraulic fracturing company were not extended because the force majeure clauses in those leases did not modify the primary term of the habendum clause, which the company had argued was triggered by the state's moratorium on fracking (Walter R. Beardslee, et al. v. Inflection Energy LLC, No. 44, N.Y. App.; 2015 N.Y. LEXIS 657).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Maryland Law Governs Pennsylvania's MTBE Claims Against Lukoil

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 30 ruled that Maryland law governs a dispute between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Lukoil Americas Corp. (LAC) regarding groundwater contamination stemming from the release of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether Products Liability Litigation, No. 00-1898, MDL 1358, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, No. 14-06228, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42579).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit: No Jurisdiction In Appeal Of Denial Of Stay

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by a New York federal judge to deny a stay of patent litigation will stand, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 1 (Intellectual Ventures II LLC v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, et al., No. 14-1724, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5204).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Defendants Seek Stay Of Asbestos Litigation To Rework Case Management Order

NEW YORK - In a joint motion filed March 31, New York City asbestos defendants asked for a stay of all litigation while the parties work on a "much needed, new, fair and balanced" case management order (CMO) (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 40000/1988, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit: New York Wage Parity Law For Home Health Aides Not Preempted By ERISA

NEW YORK - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the National Labor Relations Act do not preempt a New York wage parity law governing the total compensation for home care aides, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 27 (Concerned Home Care Providers, Inc., et al. v. Andrew M. Cuomo, et al., No. 13-3790-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4973).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Defendants Seek Stay Of Asbestos Litigation To Rework Case Management Order

NEW YORK - In a joint motion filed March 31, New York City asbestos defendants asked for a stay of all litigation while the parties work on a "much needed, new, fair and balanced" case management order (CMO) (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, No. 40000/1988, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Says New Decision Relates To Motion To Review Earlier Opinion

NEW YORK - An insurer told a federal court in New York on March 27 that a recent decision in a Pennsylvania court supports the insurer's motion for review of the federal court's earlier decision in favor of a reinsurer (Global Reinsurance Corporation of America v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-06577, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Shareholders Failed To Plead Auditor Scienter In Securities Suit, Panel Rules

NEW YORK - A federal district court judge did not err in denying shareholders' motion for leave to amend their securities class action complaint because they failed to plead auditor scienter, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 25 (In re Advanced Battery Technologies Inc., et al., No. 14-1410, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4879).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Shareholders Failed To Plead Auditor Scienter In Securities Suit, Panel Rules

NEW YORK - A federal district court judge did not err in denying shareholders' motion for leave to amend their securities class action complaint because they failed to plead auditor scienter, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 25 (In re Advanced Battery Technologies Inc., et al., No. 14-1410, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4879).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice: Conflicting Testimony Keeps Product Distributor In Asbestos Case

NEW YORK - Conflicting testimony regarding whether a defendant offered specific asbestos-containing products for sale during the relevant time period involves credibility issues, not admissibility issues, and does not warrant summary judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 26 (Thomas Brigantino and Phyllis Brigantino v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190390/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Investors Failed To Properly Plead Scienter Against Company's Officers

MINNEAPOLIS - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit have failed to plead scienter in making their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled March 25 in dismissing the shareholders' amended complaint (Rand-Hart of New York Inc., et al. v. James P. Dolan, et al., No. 14-3011, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38160).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Conflicting Testimony Keeps Product Distributor In Asbestos Case

NEW YORK - Conflicting testimony regarding whether a defendant offered specific asbestos-containing products for sale during the relevant time period involves credibility issues, not admissibility issues, and does not warrant summary judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted March 26 (Thomas Brigantino and Phyllis Brigantino v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190390/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: Investors Failed To Properly Plead Scienter Against Company's Officers

MINNEAPOLIS - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit have failed to plead scienter in making their federal securities law claims, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled March 25 in dismissing the shareholders' amended complaint (Rand-Hart of New York Inc., et al. v. James P. Dolan, et al., No. 14-3011, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38160).

Mealey's Insurance - Issues Of Fact Exist On Insurer's Notice Of Claims, New York Appellate Panel Says

NEW YORK - A trial court erred in dismissing a reinsurer's affirmative defenses in an asbestos coverage case because issues of fact exist regarding whether the insurer provided timely notice of the loss, a New York appellate panel said March 24 (New Hampshire Insurance Co. v. Clearwater Insurance Co., No. 653547/11, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 2452).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Company Providing Virtual Assistants Hit With Wage-And-Hour Collective Action

NEW YORK - A Tennessee woman filed a collective action complaint on March 24, accusing her employer of violating Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum and overtime wage provisions by paying its employees who work as virtual assistants (VAs) on a per-task basis but grossly underestimating the amount of time each task takes to complete (Harriet Callier, et al. v. Fancy Hands, Inc., No. 15-2232, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Company Providing Virtual Assistants Hit With Wage-And-Hour Collective Action

NEW YORK - A Tennessee woman filed a collective action complaint on March 24, accusing her employer of violating Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum and overtime wage provisions by paying its employees who work as virtual assistants (VAs) on a per-task basis but grossly underestimating the amount of time each task takes to complete (Harriet Callier, et al. v. Fancy Hands, Inc., No. 15-2232, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 2nd Circuit: Employee Found To Be Fully Disabled Is Barred From Bringing Bias Claims

NEW YORK - A worker who was found by an administrative law judge to have been fully disabled more than two months before her termination cannot bring race and color bias claims against her former employer alleging that her termination was discriminatory, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 24 (Sebrena Robinson v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., No. 14-941, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4757).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge Appoints Lead Plaintiff, Lead Counsel In Securities Class Action

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 23 appointed an institutional investor as lead plaintiff in a consolidated securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the investor has met all statutory requirements for serving as lead plaintiff (Woburn Retirement System v. Salix Pharmaceutical Ltd., et al., No. 14-8925 and George Bruyn v. Salix Pharmaceutical Ltd., et al., No. 14-9226, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26409).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - New York Federal Judge Adopts Recommendation To Order Arbitration In UCL Suit

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on March 23 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation to compel arbitration in a class action complaint accusing a manufacturer and distributor of video games of violating California's unfair competition law (UCL) by misleading consumers as to the ability to use the defendant's online platform to play certain games with other consumers via the Internet (Justin T. Bassett v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 13-4208, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35895).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - New York Federal Judge Adopts Recommendation To Order Arbitration In UCL Suit

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on March 23 adopted a magistrate judge's recommendation to compel arbitration in a class action complaint accusing a manufacturer and distributor of video games of violating California's unfair competition law (UCL) by misleading consumers as to the ability to use the defendant's online platform to play certain games with other consumers via the Internet (Justin T. Bassett v. Electronic Arts Inc., No. 13-4208, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35895).

Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge Issues Injunction In Trademark Dispute

CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A defaulting defendant was ordered March 23 by a New York federal judge to change its "Solo Salon Studios" name, in light of likely confusion with "Sola Salon Studios" (Sola Salon Studios LLC v. Solo Salon Studios Inc., No. 14-946, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35901).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM MDL Judges Issues Orders On Choice Of Law, Dismissal Of Claims

NEW YORK - Suits by 22 plaintiffs alleging ignition-switch defects in vehicles manufactured after July 11, 2009, will be governed by the law of the state of the owner's residence, the federal judge overseeing the multidistrict litigation against General Motors LLC (New GM) ruled March 24 (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-2543, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - High School Hockey Player Assumed Risk Of Injury, New York Appeals Court Rules

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - A high school hockey player assumed the risk of injury when he became involved in the sport, barring his negligence action against a New York school district for injuries he suffered when a teammate wearing skates stepped on his foot in a locker room, a state appeals panel ruled March 20 (Brady Litz v. Clinton Central School District, et al., No. 14-01215, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 4th Dept.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Tenant Failed To Show Landlord Had Notice Of Lead-Based Paint Hazard

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on March 23 ruled that a mother could not establish that her former landlord was on notice of lead-paint hazard in the apartment she rented and, therefore, he was not liable under federal law (Niki Hernandez-Adams v. Mark Kimpson, No. 13-5059, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35876).