PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 21 dismissed all claims against the University of Pennsylvania and the university's vice president of human resources by a group of University of Pennsylvania Matching Plan participants and beneficiaries who allege that the defendants enable third-party service providers to collect excessive fees, increase costs and retain underperforming funds in the plan, finding that the plaintiffs failed to state claim upon which relief could be granted (Jennifer Sweda, et al. v. The University of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 16-4329, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153958).
PITTSBURGH - In a mortgage insurance reinsurance scheme case, mortgagors and a reinsurer are not entitled to judgment on a Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) claim under Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals law, homeowners say in a brief filed Sept. 19 in a Pennsylvania federal court (Linda Menichino, et al. v. Citibank, N.A., et al., No. 12-00058, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86380).
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal court jury on Sept. 21 found that Zimmer Biomet Inc. did not wrongfully discharge a sales representative and found that the sales representative instead breached his duty not to disclose information about Zimmer and its customers and owes his former employer $125,000 (Dominick Pistone v. Zimmer Biomet, Inc., No. 16-3526, E.D. Pa., Allentown Div.).
PHILADELPHIA - A reinsurer argues in a Sept. 20 reply brief that a Pennsylvania federal court should allow it leave to amend its answer to an insurer's breach of contract counterclaims so that it can assert a statute of limitations defense and that it did not agree to reinsure an excess umbrella policy (R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-1473, E.D. Pa.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 19 denied an insurer's motion to dismiss as it pertained to the insured's claims for breach of contract and bad faith because the insured presented sufficient evidence that she sustained damages as a result of the insurer's conduct in the handling of her property damage claim (Jennifer Pratts v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 16-2385, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151650).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - No coverage is afforded for damages to an insured's property caused by the collapse of liquid propane tanks into a sinkhole because the sinkhole was caused by excess rainfall, which is clearly precluded under the policy's flood exclusion, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Sept. 18 in granting an insurer's motion for summary judgment on claims of breach of contract and bad faith (Heller's Gas Inc. v. International Insurance Company of Hannover Ltd., et al., No. 15-1350, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151072).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 18 denied an automobile insurer's motion to sever and stay its insureds' bad faith claim after determining that bifurcation would not promote judicial economy and that the insurer would not be prejudiced if the claims are tried together (David Newhouse et al. v. GEICO Casualty Co., No. 17-477, M.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150793).
PHILADELPHIA - The operator of the conservative-leaning Gab social network claims that Google LLC removed its app from the Google Play Store under false "hate speech" pretenses, asserting that it was purely a move to squelch a potential rival, bringing antitrust claims against the tech giant in Pennsylvania federal court (Gab AI Inc. v. Google LLC, No. 2:17-cv-04115, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - The operator of the conservative-leaning Gab social network claims that Google LLC removed its app from the Google Play Store under false "hate speech" pretenses, asserting in a Sept. 14 complaint that it was purely a move to squelch a potential rival, bringing antitrust claims against the tech giant in Pennsylvania federal court (Gab AI Inc. v. Google LLC, No. 2:17-cv-04115, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - A panel of the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Sept. 18 found that a trial court did not err in granting summary judgment to a university and its affiliates in a wrongful death suit because a woman who claimed that her husband developed cancer and died from radiation exposure during research did not show that her claims were not governed by The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act (Estate of Jeffrey H. Ware v. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, et al., No. 16-3801, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17992).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Sept. 14 said an insurer is responsible for paying for 25 percent of a judgment entered against its insured in an underlying lead-paint injury case after determining that the allocation must be calculated based on the time period during which the tenant lived in the insured's property (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co., v. Jacob Dackman & Sons LLC, et al., No. 16-2640, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148907).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania did not err when dismissing an insurance company's claims that two attorneys and their law firm conspired to submit two fraudulent insurance claims for damage at a church, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 15, finding that the insurer's claims were barred by judicial privilege (Church Mutual Insurance Company v. Alliance Adjustment Group, et al., No. 16-3302, 3rd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17864).
PHILADELPHIA - A class of owners of life insurance policies adequately alleged that a life insurer's admitted consideration of lower investment income and higher reinsurance costs constituted breaches of the policies, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 11 (In re: Lincoln National Co. Litigation, No. 16-06605, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 146904).
PHILADELPHIA - A senior federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 12 granted two professional liability insurers' motions for judgment on the pleadings and/or summary judgment in a coverage dispute over an underlying negligence lawsuit brought against the insureds by a national title insurance underwriting company (Fidelity National Title Insurance Co. v. Maxum Indemnity Co., et al., No. 16-1360, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 147134).
PITTSBURGH - An individual who purchased nutritional supplements based on false labeling claims failed to show that he suffered a health-related or economic injury, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 8, dismissing the class complaint (Daniel Hubert, et al. v. General Nutrition Corporation, No. 15-1391, W.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145506).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Sept. 8 declined to review an appellate court's rejection of a widower's attempt to hold a company liable for his wife's death from mesothelioma and finding that the company's "free and clear" purchase of assets in a bankruptcy court auction barred his take-home asbestos exposure claims (Jacqueline S. Wagner, et al. v. Standard Steel LLC, et al., No. 80 EAL 2017, Pa. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court jury on Sept. 7 awarded an Ethicon Inc. pelvic mesh plaintiff $57.1 million after finding that two of the company's devices had design defects that caused permanent injuries to the woman (Ella Cederberg-Ebaugh, et al. v. Ethicon, Inc., et al., No. 1307000866, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 5 affirmed a $2.7 million verdict after finding that the evidence presented by the widow of man who died in a plane crash supported the verdict against the engine maker and denied the engine maker's motion for a new trial (Elizabeth C. Snider, et al. v. Sterling Airways Inc., et al., No. 13-CV-2949, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142799).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A film company says to a Pennsylvania trial court on Aug. 31 that it will deliver distribution revenue in its possession to an insolvent insurer's liquidator (In re: Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
PHILADELPHIA - Granting commercial general liability insurers' motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract lawsuit, a Pennsylvania federal judge held Aug. 31 that underlying construction defects claims against insureds fail to amount to an "occurrence" under the policies and that the "real estate development activities-completed operations" exclusion further bars coverage (Northridge Village LP, et al. v. Travelers Indemnity Co. of Connecticut, et al., No. 15-1947, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 140541).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A reinsurer owes $7.9 million to two insurers for asbestos claims, a Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Sept. 1, rejecting the reinsurer's argument that it already paid out $11 million under specific limits of the policies (Century Indemnity Co. v. OneBeacon Insurance Co., No. 1280 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3300).
PHILADELPHIA - A former employee of The Coca-Cola Co. (Coke), who says his personally identifiable information (PII) was exposed when company laptops were stolen, failed to establish any errors that would justify reconsidering summary judgment for Coke on contractual claims related to the incident, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Aug. 30, allowing a March ruling to stand (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., No. 2:14-cv-06476, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139525).