LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Securities Class Action Lawsuit Against News Corp., Others Dismissed

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 31 granted several motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit stemming from the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal in the United Kingdom, ruling that a pension fund has failed to plead personal jurisdiction over certain defendants and an actionable misrepresentation among others (Lewis Wilder, et al. v. News Corp., et al., No. 11-4947, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Refuses To Grant Abatement For Alleged Mold Condition

NEW YORK - After determining that it was not shown that an apartment allegedly contaminated with mold was completely uninhabitable, a New York justice on March 31 refused to grant a preliminary injunction barring a landlord from pursing a nonpayment action and denying a request for complete abatement of the property filed by tenants (Janet Greenberg Baker, et al., v. S. Krauss Restoration and Yates Restoration Group Ltd., No. 603683/03, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2014 NY Slip OP 30774$(U$)).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Judge: Wal-Mart's Loss Of Video Footage Warrants Adverse Inference

NEW YORK - Wal-Mart Stores East LP's failure to preserve surveillance video footage capturing a woman's slip-and-fall accident warrants the imposition of an adverse inference jury instruction and was fatal to the defendant company's motion for summary judgment, a federal judge in New York ruled March 31 (Ilmije Thaqi v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP, No. 09-CV-755, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45107).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - MF Global SIPA Trustee: More Than $6.65B Being Returned To Investors

NEW YORK - More than 2,600 customers of bankrupt MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) on April 4 will begin receiving a total of $6.656 billion in funds they invested with MFGH's customer branch, MF Global Inc. (MFGI), according to a statement issued by the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) trustee (In Re: MF Global Holdings Ltd., No. 11-15059, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Reinsurance Arbitration Disputes Should Be Resolved In Other Venues

OMAHA, Neb. - A federal judge in Nebraska on March 31 found that two reinsurance arbitration disputes could best be handled in parallel cases pending in federal courts in New York and Illinois (National Indemnity Company v. Transatlantic Reinsurance Company, et al., No. 14-cv-00074, D. Neb.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43473).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Securities Class Action Lawsuit Against News Corp., Others Dismissed

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 31 granted several motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit stemming from the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal in the United Kingdom, ruling that a pension fund has failed to plead personal jurisdiction over certain defendants and an actionable misrepresentation among others (Lewis Wilder, et al. v. News Corp., et al., No. 11-4947, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Investors Pleaded Securities Law Claims Against Certain Defendants, Judge Rules

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 31 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and certain of its current and former executive officers, ruling that lead plaintiffs have properly pleaded scienter and a material misrepresentation against certain defendants, but not others (In re JPMorgan Chase & Co. Securities Litigation, No. 12-3852, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44050).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Investors Pleaded Securities Law Claims Against Certain Defendants, Judge Rules

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 31 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and certain of its current and former executive officers, ruling that lead plaintiffs have properly pleaded scienter and a material misrepresentation against certain defendants, but not others (In re JPMorgan Chase & Co. Securities Litigation, No. 12-3852, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44050).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - New York Residents Claim Apartments Are Not Adequately Heated

NEW YORK - Tenants of a New York City apartment complex filed a class action complaint in state court on April 1, alleging that the property is inadequately insulated and heated and seeking $100 million in damages (Maureen Koetz v. Marina Tower Associates L.P., et al., No. 651023/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Investors Pleaded Securities Law Claims Against Certain Defendants, Judge Rules

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 31 granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss filed by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and certain of its current and former executive officers, ruling that lead plaintiffs have properly pleaded scienter and a material misrepresentation against certain defendants, but not others (In re JPMorgan Chase & Co. Securities Litigation, No. 12-3852, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44050).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York Residents Claim Apartments Are Not Adequately Heated

NEW YORK - Tenants of a New York City apartment complex filed a class action complaint in state court on April 1, alleging that the property is inadequately insulated and heated and seeking $100 million in damages (Maureen Koetz v. Marina Tower Associates L.P., et al., No. 651023/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Insurer's Notice To Reinsurer Was Untimely

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on March 31 granted summary judgment to a reinsurer because its reinsured had not given timely notice of certain asbestos-related claims (Granite State Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 09-cv-10607, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44573).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Adopts Magistrate's Finding That Cost-Recovery Claim Is Timely

BUFFALO, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on March 31 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation finding that NL Industries Inc.'s claim for cost recovery under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) is timely because a second phase of work to remove contamination from the Village of Depew, N.Y., Superfund site was a continuation of the initial remedial action (NL Industries Inc. v. ACF Industries, et al., No. 10-CV-89, W.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43979).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer: Connecticut Prepleading Security Statute Is Inapplicable To Dispute

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A reinsurer made the argument to a federal judge in Connecticut on March 31 that it should not have to post prepleading security because New York law, not Connecticut law, should be applied to a reinsurance billing dispute (Travelers Indemnity Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, No. 12-cv-01793, D. Conn.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Ally Financial: Class Actions Violate Injunction In ResCap Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

NEW YORK - Ally Financial Inc., an affiliate of bankrupt Residential Capital LLC, on March 28 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for an order enforcing an injunction in the Chapter 11 reorganization plan to prevent cases against it from proceeding (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Chinese Search Engine Wins Dismissal Of 1st Amendment Claims Against It

NEW YORK - A Chinese search engine did not violate a group of plaintiffs' First Amendment rights by purportedly blocking content related to Chinese democracy, a New York federal judge found March 27, instead holding that the First Amendment protected the search engine's right to make editorial decisions on what content to include or not include in search results for its users

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Denial Of Death Benefits Under Pension Plan Was Reasonable, 2nd Circuit Holds

NEW YORK - A pension plan did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by denying death benefits because the plan's interpretation of the plan as providing death benefits only if the decedent had surviving dependents or a spouse was reasonable, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed March 27 in an unpublished order (Richard Varney v. Verizon Communications, Inc., et al., No. 13-1635, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5593).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Says Pick For Arbitration Umpire May Not Be Neutral

NEW YORK - An insurer told a federal court in New York on March 28 that a group of reinsurers' request that a certain arbitration umpire be appointed to certain arbitrations is premature because the umpire has not been completely vetted (National Casualty Company v. Arrowood Indemnity Company, No. 12-cv-08006; Employers Insurance Company of Wausau, et al. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., No. 12-cv-8005; Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Arrowood Indemnity Company, No. 12-cv-08007, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Bankruptcy Judge Denies More Than $1.15M In SIPA Claims Against MF Global Inc.

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York presiding over the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of MF Global Inc. (MFGI), the consumer investment branch of bankrupt MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH), on April 1 issued an opinion denying $1,154,052.60 in claims filed by various creditors on grounds that they were filed too late in the proceeding (In Re: MF Global Inc., No. 11-2790, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Ally Financial: Class Actions Violate Injunction In ResCap Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

NEW YORK - Ally Financial Inc., an affiliate of bankrupt Residential Capital LLC, on March 28 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York for an order enforcing an injunction in the Chapter 11 reorganization plan to prevent cases against it from proceeding (In Re: Residential Capital LLC, No. 12-12020, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit: Implied Patent License Finding Erroneous

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A New York federal judge's denial of a preliminary injunction was reversed by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 31 on grounds that the order rested on an erroneous holding that defendants in the action possessed an implied license (Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Actavis Inc., No. 13-1658; Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Roxane Laboratories Inc., No. 13-1662, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Shareholder's Claims Are Constitutionally Sufficient, 2nd Circuit Panel Rules

NEW YORK - A federal district court did not err in granting a shareholder's motion for certification as class representative in a securities class action lawsuit because his injuries are "constitutionally sufficient," a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 28 (Eli Bensinger v. Denbury Resources Inc., No. 13-337, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5845).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Dewey & LeBoeuf Finance Director Says Adjustments Were Made To 'Deceive'

NEW YORK - Francis Canellas, the former director of finance for bankrupt law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf, on March 31 entered a plea agreement with the New York County district attorney admitting that he, under the direction of firm chairman Steven H. Davis and other principals, made "inappropriate adjustments" to the firm's financial books to "deceive" the firm's lenders into believing that the firm had met all of its financial covenants when, in fact, it had not.

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Says Fact Issue Exists Over Insurance Agent's Role In Insurance Application

BROOKLYN, N.Y. - In a dispute between an insurance broker and its errors and omissions (E&O) insurer regarding a duty to defend an underlying action against the broker, a New York federal judge ruled March 27 that there is a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether an insurance agent was acting on behalf of the broker (Sils Brokerage Corp. v. U.S. Underwriters Insurance Co., No. 10-5176, E.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42448).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - More Than $13.61M Sought By Dewey Trustee As Fraudulent Transfer To Ex-Employee

NEW YORK - The liquidating trustee in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of former law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf on March 28 filed an adversary proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York seeking a $13,611,836 judgment related to allegedly fraudulent transfers made to former employee (Alan M. Jacobs v. Dennis D'Alessandro $(In Re: Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP$), No. 12-12321, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).