LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - N.Y. Federal Judge Grants Health Insurer Judgment In Denial Of Benefits Case

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Sept. 3 granted a health insurer's motion for summary judgment in a wrongful denial of benefits suit, saying mental health coverage provided at the residential treatment facility at issue was not covered under the plan because the facility did not have an operating certificate from the commission of mental health (Bruce J. Halpern v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, No. 12-407S, W.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124388).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Compels Arbitration Of Clothing Trademark Dispute In India

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 5 granted a motion to compel arbitration filed by the United States Polo Association and others in India, finding that they did not waive to their right to arbitrate a clothing-related trademark dispute (Ralph Lauren Corporation, et al. v. United States Polo Association Inc., et al., No. 13-7147, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123968).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - MTBE MDL Judge Refuses To Declassify MTBE Study Documents

NEW YORK - The federal judge in New York presiding over litigation concerning alleged groundwater contamination caused by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) on Sept. 3 refused to declassify documents from two research institutions regarding a study investigating the carcinogenic potential of the chemical, finding that the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) failed to comply with the terms of two protective orders (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, Case No. 00-1898, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Atlantic Richfield Inc., No. 08 Civ. 312, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123061).

Mealey's Health Law - N.Y. Federal Judge Grants Health Insurer Judgment In Denial Of Benefits Case

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Sept. 3 granted a health insurer's motion for summary judgment in a wrongful denial of benefits suit, saying mental health coverage provided at the residential treatment facility at issue was not covered under the plan because the facility did not have an operating certificate from the commission of mental health (Bruce J. Halpern v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York, No. 12-407S, W.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124388).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Visual Works Copyright Holders Settle Class Action Over Google Library Project

NEW YORK - In conjunction with a press release noting "a settlement that benefits" all parties involved, a coalition of photographer and illustrator groups filed a stipulation in New York federal court on Sept. 5 dismissing their four-year old copyright infringement lawsuit against Google Inc. related to the Google Library Project (GLP) (The American Society of Media Photographers Inc., et al. v. Google Inc., No. 10-cv-02977, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - 2nd Circuit Vacates Guilty Verdict In Health Care Fraud Case

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York committed plain error in allowing inadmissible testimony and allowing the submission of seven government exhibits during a health care fraud trial, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 3 in vacating a defendant's guilty verdict (United States of America v. Lyubov Groysman, No. 13-1031, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16991).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice: Questions Remain Regarding Asbestos Exposure From Honeywell Valves

NEW YORK - Question remain regarding a man's potential asbestos exposure from Honeywell International Inc. valves, a New York justice held in denying summary judgment in an opinion posted Sept. 2 (Mary Murray, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190554/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice Keeps Boiler Maker In Case Involving Potential Third-Party Exposures

NEW YORK - A boiler company is not entitled to summary judgment while questions remain over whether it recommended or supplied asbestos-containing, third-party parts, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 2 (Richard Fallon v. Fulton Boiler Works Inc., et al., No. 190156/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3908).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM, Plaintiffs Agree On Preservation Of Non-Ignition Switch Parts

NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors LLC ignition-switch litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York signed an agreed order on Sept. 3 setting forth GM's obligations for maintaining and preserving recalled parts covered by four National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall campaigns (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-02543-JMF, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Justice Says He Will Hear Objections To Liquidator's Request To Amend Procedures

NEW YORK - A New York justice on Sept. 2 issued an order to show cause, requesting comments on a liquidator's petition to amend the procedures followed regarding the liquidation of an insolvent insurer (In the Matter of the Rehabilitation of Professional Liability Insurance Company of America, No. 400986/2010, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Questions Remain Regarding Asbestos Exposure From Honeywell Valves

NEW YORK - Question remain regarding a man's potential asbestos exposure from Honeywell International Inc. valves, a New York justice held in denying summary judgment in an opinion posted Sept. 2 (Mary Murray, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190554/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice Keeps Boiler Maker In Case Involving Potential Third-Party Exposures

NEW YORK - A boiler company is not entitled to summary judgment while questions remain over whether it recommended or supplied asbestos-containing, third-party parts, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Sept. 2 (Richard Fallon v. Fulton Boiler Works Inc., et al., No. 190156/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2014 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3908).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York Justice Reduces Loss-Of-Consortium Award, Affirms Remaining $4M Award

NEW YORK - A New York justice affirmed most aspects of a $6 million asbestos verdict in an opinion filed Sept. 2, ordering a new trial on the loss-of-consortium claim only if the plaintiff refused to stipulate to a reduction to $340,000 of the $2 million award (Mary Anne McCloskey, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190441-12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice: Premise Owner Lacked Necessary Control For Asbestos Liability

NEW YORK - A premises owner's general inspections for safety and quality control do not evince the type of control required for liability under New York labor law, a New York justice held in wiping out a $3.5 million asbestos award in an opinion posted Sept. 2 (Phyllis Brown, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190415/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Reduces Loss-Of-Consortium Award, Affirms Remaining $4M Award

NEW YORK - A New York justice affirmed most aspects of a $6 million asbestos verdict in an opinion filed Sept. 2, ordering a new trial on the loss-of-consortium claim only if the plaintiff refused to stipulate to a reduction to $340,000 of the $2 million award (Mary Anne McCloskey, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190441-12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Premises Owner Lacked Necessary Control For Asbestos Liability

NEW YORK - A premises owner's general inspections for safety and quality control do not evince the type of control required for liability under New York labor law, a New York justice held in wiping out a $3.5 million asbestos award in an opinion posted Sept. 2 (Phyllis Brown, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190415/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - GM Opposes Stay Relief For California District Attorney's State Court Suit

NEW YORK - Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas should not be granted relief from a stay in the General Motors Corp. (Old GM) bankruptcy proceedings in order to seek remand of his suit against the automaker to California state court, General Motors LLC (New GM) argues in an Aug. 29 brief to 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 - GM, Plaintiffs Spar Over Federal-State Discovery Coordination

NEW YORK - General Motors LLC (GM) told the federal judge overseeing the ignition-switch multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in a letter on Aug. 29 that plaintiffs in consolidated state court actions should be permitted to participate in discovery in the MDL and that parties to the MDL should be allowed to participate in discovery in the state court suits (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-02543-JMF, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Puerto Rico May Not Retroactively Apply New Law To Revive MTBE Claims

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Aug. 29 ruled that the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico could not retroactively apply a law recently passed by its Legislature to revive old claims for contamination of groundwater from gasoline containing methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) (In Re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether [MTBE] Products Liability Litigation [Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Shell Oil Co.], No. 07-10470, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - GM Opposes Stay Relief For California District Attorney's State Court Suit

NEW YORK - Orange County, Calif., District Attorney Tony Rackauckas should not be granted relief from a stay in the General Motors Corp. (Old GM) bankruptcy proceedings in order to seek remand of his suit against the automaker to California state court, General Motors LLC (New GM) argues in an Aug. 29 brief to 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 Labor & Employment - 11th Circuit Finds Property Owner Failed To Properly Serve Complaint On Law Firm

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 affirmed a federal court's decision to dismiss a homeowner's complaint against a bank and a law firm in relation to the foreclosure of his home, finding that he failed to properly serve the complaint and for failure to state a claim (Ronald Fitzpatrick v. The Bank of New York Mellon, et al., No. 14-10051, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16595).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Even Inconsistent Testimony Keeps Sealing Firm In Asbestos Action, Justice Says

NEW YORK - A man's testimony regarding his work with and asbestos exposure from sealing compound overcomes summary judgment, and any credibility issues are best left for a jury, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Aug. 26 (James Augustus Proctor and Joy C. Proctor v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 190040/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Even Inconsistent Testimony Keeps Sealing Firm In Asbestos Action, Justice Says

NEW YORK - A man's testimony regarding his work with and asbestos exposure from sealing compound overcomes summary judgment, and any credibility issues are best left for a jury, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Aug. 26 (James Augustus Proctor and Joy C. Proctor v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 190040/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - 2nd Circuit Affirms That New York Law Governs Reinsurance Case

NEW YORK - A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in an unpublished Aug. 27 opinion affirmed a lower court decision that Illinois law applies to a late notice reinsurance billing dispute and, therefore, that the reinsurer did not have to show prejudice to refuse payment (AIU Insurance Co. v. TIG Insurance Co., No. 13-1580, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 16513).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Calidria's Use In Compound Keeps Union Carbide In Action, Justice Says

NEW YORK - Evidence that all of a company's joint compounds contained Union Carbide Inc.'s Calidria during the relevant periods keeps the company in an asbestos action, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Aug. 26 (Debora Jean Armanious, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190566/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).