PHILADELPHIA - An insured's allegedly negligent failure to properly "tarp, wrap, cover, or otherwise protect" a home while installing a roof constitutes faulty workmanship that is not covered under an insurance policy, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 17, finding that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify (State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. Moreco Construction, Inc., No. 15-6131, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34362).
PITTSBURGH - An engineering consultant offered sufficient support for his opinion that an unknown contaminant prevented an exhaust port of a height control valve from closing when expected to do so, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 15, denying the valve manufacturer's motion to exclude testimony in a products liability action (Bonnie Rapchak, executrix of the Estate of John E. Borzik v. Haldex Brake Products Corp., No. 13-1307, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33148).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A request by a patent infringement plaintiff for an award of attorney fees was denied by a Pennsylvania federal judge on March 17 (Arlington Industries Inc. v. Bridgeport Fittings Inc., No. 06-1105, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34372).
PHILADELPHIA - An Avandia settlement fund administrator will have to sue what could amount to hundreds of multidistrict litigation plaintiffs for breach of contract or for indemnity in a dispute over its release of holdback money, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 16 (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1871, No. 07-md-1871, Cynthia Collier v. GlaxoSmithKline, No. 11-480, Jeffie Ezell v. GlaxoSmithKline, No. 11-482, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - An administrative law judge (ALJ) on March 14 ruled that Chipotle Services LLC's (doing business as Chipotle Mexican Grill) social media code violates the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and that the fast food chain committed further violations by directing an employee to delete certain tweets, prohibiting the employee from circulating a petition challenging the chain's break policy and terminating the employee for his actions (Chipotle Services LLC d/b/a Chipotle Mexican Grill and Pennsylvania Workers Organizing Committee, a Project of the Fast Food Workers Committee, Nos. 04-CA-147314 and 04-CA-149551, NLRB Judges Div.).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 10 denied a request to expand the scope of the class in a wage-and-hour dispute to include both salaried and hourly employees, finding that the lead plaintiff who was salaried failed to show that hourly employees were similarly situated (Julie L. Schneck v. Lawrence D. Brudy & Associates, Inc., No. 15-1058, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31050).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 14 partially dismissed an insurance bad faith claim in a breach of contract lawsuit, ruling that a number of claims made by an insured are covered by the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) while others are not (Berkys Urena v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-570, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32562).
PHILADELPHIA - An emergency medical technician (EMT) for a Pennsylvania-based ambulance service was sentenced March 10 by a federal judge in Pennsylvania to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution for his role in a fraudulent billing scheme (United States of America v. Fritzroy Brown, No. 14cr596, E.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal jury in Pennsylvania on March 10 awarded $4.24 million to residents who contended that a hydraulic fracturing company is liable for contaminating their groundwater (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.).
PITTSBURGH - An insureds' state court lawsuit regarding coverage issues for underlying construction project claims triggers a presumption against exercise of an insurers' declaratory judgment jurisdiction in federal court, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 8, dismissing the insurers' lawsuit (Steadfast Insurance Co. and Zurich American Insurance Co. v. Environmental Barrier Company, LLC, et al., No. 15-1442, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29457).
PHILADELPHIA - Deeming a plaintiff likely to succeed on the merits of allegations that competitors sold infringing fasteners and fastener components, a Pennsylvania federal judge on March 9 entered a preliminary injunction in the case (Penn Engineering & Manufacturing Corp. v. Pemco Hardware Inc., et al., No. 15-6377, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30283).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania judge on March 3 granted in part the liquidator of an insolvent insurer's application to end a program of holding back a portion of claims payments for policies with aggregate limits (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 3 granted a motion to stay a reinsurance dispute pending a jurisdictional decision in a parallel case in another federal court (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-5528, E.D. Pa.).
PITTSBURGH - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on March 3 recommended transferring a woman's lawsuit against the maker of an allegedly defective manufactured home and the company that installed it to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, ruling that she is not a resident of the forum where the case was removed to and that the injuries alleged in the suit occurred in the Middle District of Pennsylvania (Wendy Hench v. CMH Homes Inc., et al., No. 15-1227, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28016).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 1 denied dismissal of most claims by two whistle-blowers who allege that Pfizer Inc. fraudulently obtained approval of the anti-fungal drug Vfend and marketed it for off-label uses that led to submission of false claims (United States of America, ex rel. Catherine A. Brown, et al. v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 05-6795, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25723).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 29 granted a lead plaintiff's motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the lead plaintiff has met all statutory requirements for class certification (In re Urban Outfitters Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-5978, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24915).
PITTSBURGH - An insured filed a notice of appeal to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on March 1, challenging a Pennsylvania federal judge's finding that an insurer's rescission of a product contamination insurance policy was warranted (H.J. Heinz Co. v. Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Co., No. 15-0631, W.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - An insurer is liable for an insured's defense and indemnification costs incurred as a result of underlying asbestos personal injury lawsuits filed against the insured, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Feb. 29 (York International Corp. v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., No. 10-0692, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24294).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 26 denied reconsideration of his earlier finding that an employer satisfied 29 U.S. Code Sections 1024(b)(4) and 1103(a) when it provided a former employee with a copy of the company's operative 401(k) plan document (Derrick Askew v. R.L. Reppert Inc., et al., No. 11-4003, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23894).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Feb. 25 refused to reconsider a Nov. 19, 2015, ruling allowing PPG Industries Inc. to file a third-party complaint against the former owner and operator of a landfill, ruling that there is no evidence that potential claims against the party are unmeritorious (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23174).