PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on Aug. 20 affirmed a $4.2 million Topamax birth defect verdict, a ruling that turned on whether the trial judge violated Virginia law in his instructions on the causation standard (April Czimmer v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., No. 459 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer on Aug. 18 asked a Pennsylvania court to approve a nearly $16 million commutation payment from a reinsurer of certain workers' compensation, general liability and automobile liability policies (In re: Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 12 denied a request by two insurance companies for relief from the judgment approving Pittsburgh Corning Corp.'s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization, finding that she lacks authority to grant the request and that new evidence relied on by the insurers of alleged fraud in the asbestos trust system does not show that the plan approval was procured by fraud. The next day, the insurers appealed the ruling (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy. [Mt. McKinley Insurance Company, et al. v. Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, Nos. 13-01639, 14-0144, 14-0182, W.D. Pa.]; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105890).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 13 denied an electricity supplier's motion to transfer a class complaint alleging misrepresentation of energy rates to a New York federal court, where three other similar class cases are pending (Michael Kantor, et al. v. Hiko Energy, LLC, No. 14-5585, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106448).
RALEIGH, N.C. - A motion seeking documents and deposition from an unretained plaintiffs' asbestos expert about his role in a 2009 statement on asbestos disease in mechanics seeks evidence already in the company's possession and is unduly burdensome, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held Aug. 13 (Arthur L. Frank, M.D., Ph.D., v. Honeywell International Inc., f/k/a Allied Signal Inc., successor to Bendix Corp., and Ford Motor Co., No. 15-172, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106453).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 11 dismissed a lawsuit filed by a plaintiffs' law firm challenging the Food and Drug Administration's denial of a citizen petition seeking restrictions on the atypical antipsychotic drug Risperdal, its generic versions and Invega because of their alleged risks to children (Sheller, P.C. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 15-440, E.D. Pa.).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Arch Coal Inc. and 14 of its subsidiaries agreed Aug. 6 to pay a $2 million civil penalty and conduct numerous system upgrades at their coal mines in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia to resolve allegations from the federal government and states of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Virginia for hundreds of violations of the Clean Water Act (CWA) (United States of America, et al. v. Arch Coal Inc., et al., No. 15-11838, S.D. W.Va.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A utility company told the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Aug. 7 that an intermediate appeals court properly concluded that a contractor was not under its supervision when he was injured in a fall from a pole owned by the utility (Vincent P. Nertavich Jr. v. PPL Electric Utilities Corp., et al., No. 21 EAP 2015, Pa. Sup.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A subrogated insurer sufficiently alleges a claim for recklessness against contractors for their alleged failure to properly install piping that led to water damage on the insured's property, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Aug. 7 (The Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Markey Builders Inc. and Susquehanna Automatic Sprinklers Inc., No. 15-00062, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103492).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although agreeing that a defendant infringed two valid patents, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 4 rejected a Pennsylvania federal judge's determination that an award of $1.54 billion in enhanced damages was warranted on the basis of willfulness (Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Semiconductor Inc., No. 14-1492, Fed. Cir.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer on July 30 applied to a Pennsylvania court for approval of a report and recommendations regarding more than $5 million in undisputed and resolved claims, including the payment of $4.7 million to a reinsurer (In re: Legion Insurance Company [In Liquidation], No. 1 LEG 2002, Pa. Cmwlth.).
PHILADELPHIA - A false advertising dispute between two processed meat product makers will proceed in Pennsylvania federal court, but without injunctive relief in place, a federal judge ruled July 28 (Parks LLC v. Tyson Foods Inc. et al., No. 15-946, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98008).
PHILADELPHIA - U.S. Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on July 27 agreed to certify a class of direct purchaser plaintiffs in a long-running antitrust dispute over pay-for-delay agreements relating to generic modafinil (King Drug Company of Florence, Inc., et al. v. Cephalon, Inc., et al., No. 2:06-cv-1797, E.D. Pa.).
PITTSBURGH - There are triable issues of fact in a subrogated insurer's professional negligence lawsuit against a contractor regarding water damage as to causation in the failure to comply with identified code and provide stamped drawings from a professional engineer for a fire sprinkler system, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled on July 27 (Insurance Company of Greater New York, as subrogee of Five Star Hotels, LLC d/b/a Holiday Inn Parkway East v. Fire Fighter Sales & Service Co., No. 11-1078, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97467).
PHILADELPHIA - An avionics lead filed a class complaint on July 23 in Pennsylvania federal court accusing his employer of illegally rounding off the hours worked by nonexempt employees (Joshua Lane, et al. v. Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation, et al., No. 15-4106, E.D. Pa.).
PITTSBURGH - Because an insurer allegedly failed to exercise reasonable care when it provided advice regarding mold contamination, the insureds' negligence claim is cognizable and should not have been dismissed by a trial court, the Pennsylvania Superior Court said July 22 (David Bruno, et al. v. Erie Insurance Co., et al., No. 1154 WDA 2011, Pa. Sup.; 2015 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2308).
PITTSBURGH - A city's building code expert witness in a dispute over the construction of an addition at a business can offer opinions about her background, building codes in general, how she performs her job in comparison to the city's code officer and how the property in question compares to similar properties, but she cannot testify about the merits of any alleged equal protection claim or the conscientiousness and reasonableness of the code officer's actions, a Pennsylvania federal judge held July 24 (Edward L. Flanders Jr. v. Fred Dzugan, et al., No. 12-1481, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96757).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania did not err when sentencing a woman to 96 months in prison for her role in an insurance fraud scheme that resulted in Medicare and other supplemental insurers paying approximately $1.8 million in false claims, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 23, finding that the judge properly found that the defendant's scheme involved 10 or more victims (United States of America v. Anna Mudrova, No. 14-3580, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12733).