LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Justice Dismisses Mold-Related Claims In Condo Action

NEW YORK - A New York justice on April 9 dismissed claims asserted by a tenant who alleged that mold in her condominium caused personal injuries and property damage and dismissed third-party claims asserted by her landlord for contribution and indemnity (Sara L. Williams v. Sol Graf, et al., No. 111935/2009, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2014 to N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1624).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - N.Y. Federal Judge: Fraud Claims Against Publishing Company Can Proceed

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 11 dismissed a parent corporation from a putative class action alleging that a company that sells publishing and marketing services to people who want to self-publish books has defrauded customers; however, the judge allowed claims under California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws to proceed (Kelvin James, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc. and Author Solutions, No. 13-2801, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50769).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Will Defer Arbitration Umpire Selection Until After Disclosures Are Made

NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 9 told the parties to certain reinsurance agreements that he will defer his decision regarding the appointment of an arbitration umpire until the parties hold arbitration organizational meetings and review disclosures regarding a proposed umpire's neutrality (Employers Insurance Company of Wausau, et al. v. Arrowood Indemnity Co., No. 12-cv-8005; National Casualty Company v. Arrowood Indemnity Company, No. 12-cv-08006; Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Arrowood Indemnity Company, No. 12-cv-08007, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Engine-Block Maker's Alleged Successor Can't Escape Marine Asbestos Case

NEW YORK - A company's potential liability for an engine block maker it sold five years after purchasing it remains a triable fact, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 10 (Robert Bruce Burawa and Deborah Ann Burawa v. Acker Drill Co., et al., No. 190272/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice: Testimony That 'Asbestos Filler' Was Actually Mineral Fiber Unsupported

NEW YORK - A corporate witness's unsubstantiated testimony that the company's "Asbestos Fiber Filler" never actually contained asbestos falls short of entitling it to judgment, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 10 (Stanley Friedman & Phyllis Friedman v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 190187/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - N.Y. Justice Finds Lack Of Exposure Dates Keeps Asbestos-Fiber Supplier In Case

NEW YORK - Failure to elicit testimony regarding when a man allegedly suffered exposure to asbestos from joint compound does not warrant granting judgment to raw asbestos fiber supplier Union Carbide Corp., a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 10 (Ruth Vantosh and Harold Vantosh v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190439/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice Allows Depositions From Other Asbestos Cases, Keeps Crane Co. In Action

NEW YORK - Deposition testimony from another asbestos case is admissible for summary judgment purposes, even if the plaintiff failed to timely designate the material as expert testimony, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 8 (Eileen C. Skelton, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 103009/08, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 2nd Circuit Affirms $980,000 Judgment In Asbestos Boiler Case

NEW YORK - Rejecting challenges to causation, liability apportionment and award offsets under Kansas law, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 10 affirmed a $3.8 million award against Cleaver Brooks Inc. (Kelly McCormick, et al. v. Cleaver Brooks Company Inc., No. 13-704, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - N.Y. Justice Finds Lack Of Exposure Dates Keeps Asbestos-Fiber Supplier In Case

NEW YORK - Failure to elicit testimony regarding when a man allegedly suffered exposure to asbestos from joint compound does not warrant granting judgment to raw asbestos fiber supplier Union Carbide Corp., a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 10 (Ruth Vantosh and Harold Vantosh v. 3M Co., et al., No. 190439/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Engineering Firm Claims Florida Museum Breached Construction Contract

MIAMI - A New York-based engineering company filed a complaint in a Florida state court on April 8, contending that it was not paid for construction design services after contractors botched building part of a museum (ARUP USA Inc. v. Jorge M. Perez Art Museum of Miami Dade County Inc., No. 2014-9218-CA, Fla. Cir., Miami Dade Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice Allows Depositions From Other Asbestos Cases, Keeps Crane Co. In Action

NEW YORK - Deposition testimony from another asbestos case is admissible for summary judgment purposes, even if the plaintiff failed to timely designate the material as expert testimony, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 8 (Eileen C. Skelton, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Co., et al., No. 103009/08, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Dismisses Complaint Seeking To Enforce ICC Award

NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 9 granted a motion to dismiss an action to enforce a French arbitration award issued in favor of a group of Brazilian companies in a dispute over contracts for the sale of pig iron, finding that the companies' alter-ego and successor claims failed (CBF Industria de Gusa S/A, et al. v. AMCI Holdings Inc., No. 13 Civ. 2581, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49368).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurance Broker Can Pursue Unjust Enrichment Claim Against Former Employee

NEW YORK - An insurance brokerage firm can amend its complaint to add an unjust enrichment claim against a former employee but not a competing insurance broker the employee went to work for, a New York federal judge held April 9 (DeWitt Stern Group Inc. v. Richard Eisenberg, No. 13-3060, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49374).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 2nd Circuit Affirms $980,000 Judgment In Asbestos Boiler Case

NEW YORK - Rejecting challenges to causation, liability apportionment and award offsets under Kansas law, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 10 affirmed a $3.8 million award against Cleaver Brooks Inc. (Kelly McCormick, et al. v. Cleaver Brooks Company Inc., No. 13-704, 2nd Cir.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice Finds Unsafe Conditions In Apartment Warrant Abatement For Tenant

NEW YORK - A New York justice on April 7 found that a landlord was entitled to unpaid rent but awarded a tenant abatement in relation to various hazards and defects at the property, including mold growth (West 161 LLC v. Robert Reynolds, No. 51939/14, N.Y. Civ.; 2014 NY Slip Op 50550[U]).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - MF Global SIPA Trustee: Broker's Claim Should Be Reduced By $215,386.73

NEW YORK - The trustee appointed under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) litigation in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of MF Global Inc. (MFGI), the customer investment branch of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH), on April 7 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that a claim against the MFGI estate should be reduced by $215,386.73 (In Re: MF Global Inc., No. 11-2790, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - MF Global SIPA Trustee: Broker's Claim Should Be Reduced By $215,386.73

NEW YORK - The trustee appointed under the Securities Investor Protection Act (SIPA) litigation in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of MF Global Inc. (MFGI), the customer investment branch of MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH), on April 7 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York arguing that a claim against the MFGI estate should be reduced by $215,386.73 (In Re: MF Global Inc., No. 11-2790, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - NYCAL Justice Ends Deferral Of Punitive Damages, Keeps CMO Intact

NEW YORK - Continued deferral of punitive damages in New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) unfairly prejudices plaintiffs, and fears of runaway verdicts bankrupting defendants appear overblown in light of the standard necessary for such awards, a New York justice held April 8. The justice also denied a cross-motion by various defendants seeking to withdraw from the case management orders (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Nos. 190293/11, 190311/11, 190294/11, 190262/11, 190215/11, 190299/11, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York Appeals Court Affirms No Coverage Owed For Underlying Lead Suit

ALBANY, N.Y. - An insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying personal injury suit arising out of lead exposure because the insurer submitted sufficient evidence that it properly notified its insured of the addition of a lead exclusion to the policy, the New York Court of Appeals said April 3 (Preferred Mutual Insurance Co. v. John Donnelly, et al., No. 128 SSM 6, N.Y. App.; 2014 N.Y. LEXIS 660).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice Rejects Unsubstantiated Testimony Regarding Brake Brand Name Stamping

NEW YORK - A company's failure to produce any of the "thousands" of pages of documentation a representative relied upon in concluding that the company never stamped a symbol on brakes dooms its summary judgment motion, especially in light of the decedent's clear testimony to the contrary, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 3 (Carolyn T. Mazzoli, et al. v. Advanced Auto Parts Inc., et al., No. 190008/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Bankruptcy Judge Approves Sbarro Restructuring Plan And Bidding Procedures

NEW YORK - The federal bankruptcy judge presiding over the Chapter 11 case of Sbarro LLC, the parent company of a chain of pizzerias based primarily in shopping malls, on April 8 approved the company's plan for the solicitation and consideration of proposals for an alternative restructuring transaction (In Re: Sbarro LLC, No. 14-10557, Chapter 11, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - NYCAL Justice Ends Deferral Of Punitive Damages, Keeps CMO Intact

NEW YORK - Continued deferral of punitive damages in New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL) unfairly prejudices plaintiffs, and fears of runaway verdicts bankrupting defendants appear overblown in light of the standard necessary for such awards, a New York justice held April 8. The justice also denied a cross-motion by various defendants seeking to withdraw from the case management orders (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, Nos. 190293/11, 190311/11, 190294/11, 190262/11, 190215/11, 190299/11, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - Nonsignatory To Reinsurance Agreements Says It Cannot Be Compelled To Arbitrate

NEW YORK - The nonsignatory to certain reinsurance agreements told a federal court in New York on April 3 that it did not agree to arbitrate any disputes with a pair of reinsurers that have petitioned that it be compelled to arbitrate (Transatlantic Reinsurance Company, et al. v. National Indemnity Company, No. 14-cv-2109, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice Rejects Unsubstantiated Testimony Regarding Brake Brand Name Stamping

NEW YORK - A company's failure to produce any of the "thousands" of pages of documentation a representative relied upon in concluding that the company never stamped a symbol on brakes dooms its summary judgment motion, especially in light of the decedent's clear testimony to the contrary, a New York justice held in an opinion posted April 3 (Carolyn T. Mazzoli, et al. v. Advanced Auto Parts Inc., et al., No. 190008/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

Mealey's Insurance - New York Appeals Court Affirms No Coverage Owed For Underlying Lead Suit

ALBANY, N.Y. - An insurer has no duty to defend its insured against an underlying personal injury suit arising out of lead exposure because the insurer submitted sufficient evidence that it properly notified its insured of the addition of a lead exclusion to the policy, the New York Court of Appeals said April 3 (Preferred Mutual Insurance Co. v. John Donnelly, et al., No. 128 SSM 6, N.Y. App.; 2014 N.Y. LEXIS 660).