PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 17 dismissed without prejudice a lawsuit brought by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. (collectively, State Farm) against two chiropractors and their practices, after finding that the insurer failed to sufficiently plead that bills submitted by the defendants were fraudulent and that they were involved in a scheme to defraud the company (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Leonard Stavropolskiy, P.T., D.C., et al., No. 15-cv-5219, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18805).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A professional engineer may not testify to a stock picker's hydraulic system and electrical drive system but may testify regarding the stock picker's steering wheel fastening system, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 16, granting and denying in part summary judgment to a manufacturer on strict liability and negligence claims (Patricia English and Richard English v. Crown Equipment Corp., No. 13-0978, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18029).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Efforts by a copyright infringement defendant to obtain dismissal of a plaintiff's request for an award of attorney fees were unsuccessful Feb. 17, when a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled that such an award is explicitly authorized by the Copyright Act (Crestwood Membranes Inc. v. Constant Services Inc., No. 15-537, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19196).
PHILADELPHIA - A lawsuit accusing the City of Philadelphia of improperly collecting meter fees for parking when parking was to be free of charge was denied class certification on Feb. 11 by a Pennsylvania federal judge and sent back to the state court where it originated (Angela Parsons, et al. v. The Philadelphia Parking Authority, et al., No. 13-0955, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16731).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A majority of the Pennsylvania Superior Court on Feb. 12 rejected an insured's argument that a commercial general liability insurance policy's employer's liability exclusion as it relates to a "leased worker" is unconscionable and against public policy, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from a workplace injury (Westfield Insurance Company v. Astra Foods Inc., et al., No. 1392 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 84).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge properly found that a plaintiff's claim for pension benefits accrued by his late father is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and that the plaintiff lacks standing to maintain such an action, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 11 in a not precedential decision (Thomas E. Robinson Jr. v. Laneko Engineering Co. Inc., No. 15-2837, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2359).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 10 granted in part motions to dismiss by defendants that QVC Inc. says were responsible for causing its website to crash due to unauthorized use of a Web-crawler robot, with the judge finding that the home-shopping giant failed to plead that the defendants intended to cause it harm or that relevant agreements bound all parties (QVC Inc. v. Resultly LLC, et al., No. 2:14-cv-06714, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16053).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal jury in Pennsylvania on Feb. 9 awarded $1,085,000 in a mesothelioma case against Crane Co. and found it 30 percent liable, sources told Mealey's Publications (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 10-03202, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurance policy's bars coverage for an insureds' water damage because "surface water" includes water from both natural and man-made causes under the exclusion, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Feb. 9, dismissing breach of contract and bad faith claims (Citi Gas Convenience, Inc. v. Utica Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-6691, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15503).
PITTSBURGH - Even though an antitrust defendant inadvertently disclosed hundreds of documents to the U.S. Department of Justice in prior proceedings, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 8 found that the defendant's actions to claw back those documents permitted it to maintain its asserted attorney-client privilege, denying a motion to compel the documents (Cole's Wexford Hotel Inc., et al. v. UPMC, et al. No. 2:10-cv-01609, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15035).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 8 granted a professional liability insurer's motion for summary judgment in a coverage dispute over settlements arising from two bad faith lawsuits filed against its insured (United National Insurance Company, et al. v. Indian Harbor Insurance Co., No. 14-6425, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14791).
NEW YORK - A judge in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 8 granted an emergency stay of a lower court's order that required a group of plaintiffs to dismiss their chemical injury lawsuit pending in Pennsylvania state court against Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (Tronox Incorporated v. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, No. 14-5495, 2nd Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court jury on Feb. 10 returned a $13.45 million verdict in an Ethicon Corp. pelvic mesh trial after about two hours of deliberation, according to the parties (Sharon Carolino, et al. v. Ethicon Women's Health and Urology, et al., No. 130603470, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - Allegations that an employer violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to provide, upon request by a former employee a copy of a trust agreement were rejected Feb. 5 by a Pennsylvania federal judge, who instead found that the company's provision of the operative 401(k) plan document satisfied 29 U.S. Code Sections 1024(b)(4) and 1103(a) (Derrick Askew v. R.L. Reppert Inc., et al., No. 11-4003, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14448).
PITTSBURGH - Damages from an insured's alleged faulty construction did not arise during an insurance policy's period and thus did not trigger the insurer's duty to defend, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 5, dismissing the insured's breach of contract and bad faith claims (Reginella Construction Co., Inc. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. and State Farm General Insurance Co., No. 15-989, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14213).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 3 closed a third-party payer case involving the alleged off-label sales of the pain drug Actiq after the last remaining plaintiffs stipulated to dismissal with prejudice (Employers Mutual Casualty Co. v. Cephalon, Inc., No. 07-4492, E.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Feb. 1 agreed to decide whether strict-liability failure-to-warn cases permit a jury to determine if the product in question was unreasonably dangerous (Thomas Amato and Jean Amato v. Bell & Gossett, et al., No. 448 EAL 2015, Charlotte Vinciguerra, et al. v. Bayer Cropscience Inc, et al., No. 447 EAL 2015, Pa. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 2 denied a disability claimant's motion for summary judgment on the basis that the claimant did not meet the plan's definition of total disability as he has the ability to perform a sedentary job for at least 25 hours a week (Yuri Sirko v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 15-21, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11993).
PITTSBURGH - Because there is significant medical evidence supporting a disability plan's denial of a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits related to Lyme disease, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 1 denied the claimant's motion for summary judgment and granted the plan's motion for summary judgment (Elizabeth L. Ryan v. PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 14-1048, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11518).
PITTSBURGH - An insurer did not waive its right to rescind a product contamination insurance policy because the insured's misrepresentations on its policy application were intentional and material to the insurer when it issued the policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Feb. 1 in disagreeing with an advisory jury's conclusion that the insurer waived its right to rescind the policy (H.J. Heinz Co. v. Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Co., No. 15-0631, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11737).