LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Paxil Birth Defect Trial Ends In Nonsuit On Prescribing Doctor's Testimony

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court judge on April 4 granted a compulsory nonsuit motion in a Paxil birth defect trial because the prescribing physician testified that a different warning would not have changed his decision to prescribe the antidepressant (Braden Rader, et al. v. SmithKlineBeecham Corp., et al., No. 110903672, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Summary Judgment Granted In Nearly All Zoloft Birth Defect MDL Cases

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on April 5 granted summary judgment in all but 23 Zoloft birth defect multidistrict litigation cases after ruling that the plaintiffs have not produced admissible general causation evidence despite repeated attempts (In Re: Zoloft [Sertraline Hydrochloride] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2342, No. 12-md-2341, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46062).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Transfers Asbestos-Related Reinsurance Dispute

CHICAGO - A federal judge in Illinois on March 30 ordered the transfer of a $4.4 million asbestos-related reinsurance dispute to a Pennsylvania federal court, noting that the Pennsylvania court is a more proper venue than Illinois (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-07784, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42489).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Federal Judge: Failure-To-Warn, Defective Product Claims Cannot Stand

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 30 determined that a plaintiff failed to prove that the manufacturer of a table saw did not adequately warn consumers of the product's dangers or that the table saw used by the plaintiff was defective (Kenneth Wright v. Ryobi Technologies Inc., et al., No. 15-1100, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42003).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer In Better Shoes To Bear Risk Of Co-Insured's Potential Default

SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on March 30 held that whether one insured reimburses all or none of the $50,000 it was ordered to pay its insurer for the advancement of defense costs in an underlying criminal proceeding, the insurer has a duty to pay a second insured up to the $100,000 limit of liability pursuant to a public officials liability and employment practices liability insurance policy (Darwin National Assurance Co. v. Luzerne County Transportation Authority, et al., No. 14-2417, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41733).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Reimbursement Suit Between Insurers Over Water Damage

PHILADELPHIA - A general contractor and a developer are not necessary parties to a reimbursement lawsuit between an insurer who paid the developer's water damage claims and the contractor's insurers allegedly responsible for the costs, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 30, declining to dismiss the case (Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co. v. Admiral Insurance Co. and The Ohio Casualty Insurance Co., No. 15-3486, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42593).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Denies Investors' Attempt To Opt Out Of Securities Suit Settlement Class

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 28 denied motions filed by investors in a securities class action lawsuit to grant them an extension to opt out of a settlement class, ruling that they were provided with "sufficient notice and due process protections" but failed to meet the opt-out deadline (In re DVI Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 03-5336, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40473).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insurer's Equitable Subrogation, Unjust Enrichment Claims

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 28 dismissed an insurer's counterclaims for equitable subrogation and unjust enrichment against two insurers for failure to join a mutual insured in a lawsuit seeking reimbursement for the defense of an underlying construction defects case (St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, No. 15-02744, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41659).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge Denies Investors' Attempt To Opt Out Of Securities Suit Settlement Class

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 28 denied motions filed by investors in a securities class action lawsuit to grant them an extension to opt out of a settlement class, ruling that they were provided with "sufficient notice and due process protections" but failed to meet the opt-out deadline (In re DVI Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 03-5336, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40473).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Cosby Accuser Opposes Attorney's Motion To Quash Subpoena In Defamation Suit

PHILADELPHIA - In a March 28 brief opposing a motion to quash by Bill Cosby's attorney, a one-time accuser of the comedian argued in Pennsylvania federal court that documents and information sought from the attorney are relevant to her present defamation lawsuit against a Pennsylvania district attorney (D.A.) and to responding to Cosby's pending motion to intervene in the present suit (Andrea Constand v. Bruce Castor, No. 2:15-cv-05799, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Faulty Work Claims Do Not Constitute 'Occurrence' Under Insurance Policies

PHILADELPHIA - Allegations of faulty workmanship in performance of a contract do not constitute an "occurrence" under commercial insurance policies and umbrella excess policies, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 23, finding that an insurer has no duty to indemnify pre-tender defense costs and has no duty to provide an ongoing defense (Lenick Construction, Inc. v. Selective Way Insurance Co., No. 14-2701, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38119).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Testosterone Cases Won't Become A State Court Mass Tort

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court judge on March 22 denied a motion by plaintiffs - supported by defendants - to consolidate 31 testosterone replacement therapy cases pending in the Philadelphia Common Pleas Court and to designate the cases a mass tort (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, Robert F. Hoehl, et al. v. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 140301684, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Only Misrepresentation, Warning Claims Escape Unscathed In 5 Essure Cases

PHILADELPHIA - Only claims of negligent misrepresentation and negligent failure to warn survived in five consolidated Essure birth control device cases March 22 after a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled on Bayer Corp.'s motion for judgment (Helen McLaughlin v. Bayer Corporation, No. 14-7315, Ruth Ruble v. Bayer Corporation, No. 14-7316, Melda Strimel v. Bayer Corporation, No. 14-7317, Susan Stelzer v. Bayer Corporation, No. 14-7318 and Heather Walsh v. Bayer Corporation, No. 15-384, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. 37516).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Finds Analysis Of University's Tenure Process Beyond Expert's Expertise

PHILADELPHIA - An expert's analysis of the tenure process at a university is beyond her expertise, a Pennsylvania federal judge held March 21, excluding testimony in a gender discrimination lawsuit on the social science of stereotyping (Kristen Stromberg Childers, Ph.D. v. Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, No. 14-2439, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35827).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Dismisses Buck Rogers Copyright Dispute

PITTSBURGH - A request for a declaratory judgment that the literary character Buck Rogers has entered into the public domain was turned away March 21 by a Pennsylvania federal judge, who instead found that a plaintiff film company failed to allege facts to sufficient a justiciable controversy under the Declaratory Judgment Act and Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Team Angry Filmworks Inc. v. Louise A. Geer, Trustee of the Dille Family Trust, No. 15-1381, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36286).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Finds Analysis Of University's Tenure Process Beyond Expert's Expertise

PHILADELPHIA - An expert's analysis of the tenure process at a university is beyond her expertise, a Pennsylvania federal judge held March 21, excluding testimony in a gender discrimination lawsuit on the social science of stereotyping (Kristen Stromberg Childers, Ph.D. v. Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, No. 14-2439, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35827).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Cosby's Attorney Moves To Quash Subpoena In Defamation Suit Against D.A.

PHILADELPHIA - An attorney representing Bill Cosby in a criminal lawsuit over an alleged sexual assault moved in Pennsylvania federal court March 17, seeking to quash a subpoena filed on him in a separate defamation suit brought by the assault suit claimant against a former Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney (D.A.) who has made public statements regarding her credibility (Andrea Constand v. Bruce Castor, No. 2:15-cv-05799, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Bad Faith, Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims Are Actionable

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 18 substantially denied an insurer's motion to dismiss counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duty and bad faith in an insurance dispute, ruling that the claims sound in contract and, thus, are actionable (MONY Life Insurance Co. v. Carol Snyder, f/k/a Carol Eckert, and Pamela Eckert, No. 15-2109, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34371).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Has No Duty To Defend, Indemnify Faulty Work, Federal Judge Says

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).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Engineering Consultant To Testify On Valve In Products Liability Suit, Judge Finds

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Denies Attorney Fees In 'Acrimonious' Patent Case

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Engineering Consultant To Testify On Valve In Products Liability Suit, Judge Finds

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).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Settlement Administrator Will Have To Sue Avandia Plaintiffs For Indemnification

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.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Administrative Law Judge Finds Chipotle's Social Media Policy Violates Labor Act

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.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Administrative Law Judge Finds Chipotle's Social Media Policy Violates Labor Act

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.).