LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Judge OKs $15.9 Million Reinsurance Commutation Agreement

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania judge on Sept. 18 granted the liquidator of an insolvent insurer's application for the approval of a $15,930,000 commutation agreement with one of the insolvent insurer's reinsurers (In re: Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Apple Removes Class Suit Over Workers' Security Checks To Federal Court

PHILADELPHIA - Apple Inc. on Sept. 14 removed a class complaint accusing the company of failing to pay workers in its stores in Pennsylvania for the time they spend waiting for and undergoing security checks to a Pennsylvania federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Natasha Franklin, et al. v. Apple, Inc., No. 15-5119, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Liquidator Asks Court To Approve Agreement With States' Guaranty Associations

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer on Sept. 14 asked a Pennsylvania court to approve a settlement agreement with certain states' insurance guaranty associations (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001; California Insurance Guarantee Association, Objector v. Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 3 REL 2014; and California Insurance Guarantee Association, Objector v. Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 4 REL 2014, Pa. Cmwlth.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Apple Removes Class Suit Over Workers' Security Checks To Federal Court

PHILADELPHIA - Apple Inc. on Sept. 14 removed a class complaint accusing the company of failing to pay workers in its stores in Pennsylvania for the time they spend waiting for and undergoing security checks to a Pennsylvania federal court pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Natasha Franklin, et al. v. Apple, Inc., No. 15-5119, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Rejects Woman's No Contest Plea For Health Care Fraud Charges

PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 11 rejected a woman's request to plead no contest to 13 charges of health care fraud for her role in a $16 million Medicare fraud scheme, ruling that accepting the plea would not favor the public interest and that the evidence against the defendant was just as strong as her co-defendants, who have already been convicted (United States of America v. Patricia McGill, No. 12-112-01, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121832).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Federal Judge: No Strict Liability In Personal Injury Case

PHILADELPHIA - Allegations that the former designer of a resistance band that injured a plaintiff can be held strictly liable for those injuries were rejected by a Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 9 (Glenn Thorpe and Patricia Thorpe v. Bollinger Sports LLC, et al., No. 14-4520, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119643).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Enters Final Ruling, Orders Tech Company To Pay $6.9 Million

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 10 entered a final judgment in favor of a Taiwanese corporation in relation a Chinese arbitration award, ordering a Pennsylvania entity to pay it $6,943,817.13, representing the full amount of the award, fees and interest (Clientron Corp. v. Devon IT Inc., No. 13-05634, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Children's Motrin SJS/TEN Trial Under Way In Pennsylvania Federal Court

PHILADELPHIA - Trial continued Sept. 11 in Pennsylvania federal court in the case of a young girl who allegedly developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (SJS/TEN) as a result of taking Children's Motrin (Kristin L. Brown, et al. v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., No. 12-4929, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Failure To Disclose Tort Claim In Bankruptcy Doesn't Bar Action

PHILADELPHIA - A man's failure to disclose an asbestos tort claim in his bankruptcy more likely resulted from the fact that the court only recently reinstated the action, and the omission does not prohibit the action, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held Sept. 8 (Francis W. LaBrache Jr. v. A-C Product Liability Trust, et al., No. MDL 875, 09-30218, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Failure To Disclose Tort Claim In Bankruptcy Doesn't Bar Action

PHILADELPHIA - A man's failure to disclose an asbestos tort claim in his bankruptcy more likely resulted from the fact that the court only recently reinstated the action, and the omission does not prohibit the action, a federal judge in Pennsylvania held Sept. 8 (Francis W. LaBrache Jr. v. A-C Product Liability Trust, et al., No. MDL 875, 09-30218, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Oil Company: Order Regarding Cleanup Of Tainted Groundwater 'Arbitrary'

HARRISBURG, Pa. - An oil and gas exploration company on Sept. 3 appealed an order issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that found the company liable for contaminating groundwater as a result of its drilling operations. The company argues that the order is "arbitrary, capricious, unreasonable, not in accordance with law, and violates [the company's] constitutional rights" (Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. v. Department of Environmental Protection, No. 2015-131, Pa. EHB).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Denies Cosby's Discovery Motion Over Release Of Sealed Deposition

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 4 denied a motion by comedian William H. "Bill" Cosby Jr. to take discovery to determine if the counsel and plaintiff from a prior sexual assault case violated a court order by releasing a confidential transcript from that case to the media (Tamara Green, et al. v. William H. Cosby Jr., No. 2:15-cv-00144, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118216).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Allows Expert To Testify On Syndrome In Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - The U.S. government's expert can testify on child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome (CSAAS) in a sexual abuse case, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Sept. 8, finding the expert credible and her report reliable (United States of America v. Joseph D. Maurizio, Jr., No. 14-23, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119204).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer's Denial Of Defense, Indemnification Was Not In Bad Faith

PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Sept. 3 granted in part and denied in part motions for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insurer is entitled to summary judgment on the bad faith claim because a third-party beneficiary has failed to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in denying a defense or indemnification to an attorney in a malpractice case (Zhong Zhuang v. The Hanover Insurance Co., No. 15-0481, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118047).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 3rd Circuit: Dismissal Of False Advertising Claims Was Not Error

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge's finding that standing is lacking in a false advertising case pursuant to Conte Bros. Auto. Inc. v. Quaker-State Slick 50 Inc. (165 F.3d 221 [3rd Cir. 1998]) was affirmed Sept. 2 by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, albeit under a newer standard from the Supreme Court (The Knit With v. Knitting Fever Inc., et al., No. 12-3219, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15575).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith; Conversion Claim Is Not Covered, Judge Holds

WAYCROSS, Ga. - An insurer did not act in bad faith by denying coverage because its policy does not cover a conversion claim whether it was "willful and malicious" or "negligent," a Georgia federal judge ruled Sept. 1, finding that the claim is not an "accident" (Mary Jean Spivey and Douglas Asphalt Paving, Inc., as assignees of Dixie Roadbuilders, Inc. v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania, No. 15-004, S.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116407).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Finds Taiwanese Enforcement Order Is A Recognizable Judgment

PHILADELPHIA - After finding that a Pennsylvania corporation failed to show why a $6.57 million arbitration award issued in Taiwan should not be recognized, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 27 granted summary judgment and found that a Taiwanese enforcement order was a recognizable judgment under the Pennsylvania Uniform Foreign Money Judgment Recognition Act (UFMJRA) (Clientron Corp. v. Devon IT Inc., No. 13-05634, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 114304).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge OKs $7.8M Commutation Of Reinsurers' Obligations To Insolvent Insurer

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania judge on Aug. 26 approved a commutation, settlement agreement and release between an insolvent insurer and a pair of reinsurers (In re: Reliance Insurance Co. in liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 3 Gas Exploration Companies Fined A Combined $374,481 For Contaminating Groundwater

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on Aug. 21 announced that it had fined three companies involved in natural gas exploration a combined $374,481 for contaminating private drinking water supplies. The fines have all been paid, the DEP said.

Mealey's IP/Tech - Pennsylvania Federal Judge Won't Reconsider Dismissal Of Monopolization Claim

PHILADELPHIA - Efforts by the Federal Trade Commission to persuade a Pennsylvania federal judge to reconsider his earlier dismissal of monopolization and unlawful restraint of trade claims in light of the recent Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling in King Drug Co. of Florence Inc. v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. (791 F.3d 388 [3rd Cir. 2015]) failed Aug. 25 (Federal Trade Commission v. AbbVie Inc. et al., No. 14-5151, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112135).

Mealey's Insurance - Delaware Judge Finds Insurer Has A Duty To Defend Asbestos Suits

WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware state judge on Aug. 21 determined that an insurer has a duty to defend its insured against underlying asbestos suits, but deferred ruling on whether the insured provided timely notice of the underlying claims (CNH Industrial America LLC v. American Casualty Company of Pennsylvania et al., No. N12C-07-108, Del. Super., New Castle Co.; 2015 Del. Super. LEXIS 418; Del. Super. LEXIS 419; Del. Super. LEXIS 420).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Morcellator Lawsuit Settled For $800,000, According To Motion For Approval

PHILADELPHIA - A morcellator wrongful death lawsuit was settled for $800,000, according to a motion for court approval filed Aug. 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Scott Burkhart, et al. v. Lina Medical USA Inc., et al., No. 14-1557, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Coverage Suit In Light Of Parallel One Over Negligent Work Claims

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 19 dismissed an insurer's coverage lawsuit because there is an underlying parallel lawsuit involving the same parties and issues with regard to an insured's alleged negligent construction work that caused water damage in an apartment complex (American Home Assurance Co. v. Global Construction Company LLC, et al., No. 14-07319, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110378).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Appeals Court Affirms $4.2M Topamax Birth Defect Verdict

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.).

Mealey's Insurance - Liquidator Asks Court To OK $15.9 Million Reinsurance Commutation Agreement

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.).