NEW ORLEANS - A ship builder on June 9 indicated that it will appeal a federal judge's ruling that removal of an asbestos action ignores the "long list of cases" requiring direct government control for federal officer removal (Lorita M. Savoie v. Pennsylvania General Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-1220, E.D. La.).
ATLANTA - A commercial general liability insurer has a duty to indemnify an underlying breach of contract jury verdict entered against an insured regarding roof replacement work that allegedly caused leaking because the conduct was accidental, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 10, finding that a "contractual liability" exclusion does not apply (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. St. Catherine of Siena Parish and Kiker Corp., No. 14-12151, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9659).
PHILADELPHIA - A commercial general liability insurer on June 9 was blocked from subpoenaing a Pennsylvania State University (PSU) attorney who was involved in the investigation of the sexual abuse allegations against now-convicted former Penn State coach Gerald Sandusky, as a Pennsylvania judge granted the attorney's motion to quash (Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Co. v. The Pennsylvania State University, et al., No. 04126, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A man serving a prison sentence of life without parole (LWOP) was granted discovery of certain Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) binders on June 3, with a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge deeming them relevant to the inmate's claims of violations of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Robert L. Holbrook, et al. v. Theresa Jellen, et al., No. 3:14-cv-00028, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71607).
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on June 2 limited what a "visual and human factors" expert can testify about in a wrongful death action stemming from a fatal car accident because some of the expert's testimony exceeded the scope of her expertise and "other aspects of her testimony would confuse the jury" (Bruce Dolfman v. Zachary Edwards, et al., No. 13-2831, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70853).
PHILADELPHIA - Two engine experts can testify that a defectively designed or manufactured engine part caused a helicopter crash that killed two men because the experts are qualified, their testing is reliable and their conclusions are relevant to the cause of the crash, a Pennsylvania federal judge held May 29 (Pamela Lewis, et al. v. Lycoming Engines, et al., No. 11-6475, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69723).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 29 denied an insurer's motion to preclude an insured from offering evidence of settlements of underlying asbestos claims after determining that summaries of business records are admissible evidence (General Refractories Company v. First State Insurance Co., et al., No. 2:04-cv-3509, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69727).
PHILADELPHIA - A pair of reinsurers argued in a federal court in Pennsylvania on May 28 that a suit against them should be dismissed in favor of a suit the two filed against the instant plaintiff in a different federal court (Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation v. Select Insurance Company, et al., No. 15-cv-02522, E.D. Pa.).
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL), the maker of home improvement products Drylock sealant and ZAR wood finish, emerged from Chapter 11 protection on May 28 with the issuance by a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy judge of a final decree, closing a case filed four years ago to protect the family-owned business from asbestos personal injury claims (In re: United Gilsonite Laboratories, 11-2032, M.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court May 27 denied review of an appeals court ruling upholding a jury verdict for Ford Motor Co. in a suit alleging that design defects in the roof and restraint system in a 2001 Ford Excursion SUV contributed to the injuries suffered by a young girl in a rollover accident (Joseph and April Parr, et al. v. Ford Motor Co., et al., No. 46 EAL 2015, Pa. Sup.).
PHILADELPHIA - While Pennsylvania does not impose strict liability for third-party parts, a product manufacturer who knows the hazards posed by asbestos-containing parts originally supplied with its product always has a duty to warn about replacement parts under Pennsylvania negligence law, the judge overseeing the federal asbestos multidistrict litigation held May 27 (Joseph Schwartz, et al. v. Abex Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 05-2511, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 68074).
NEW YORK - Pennsylvania law allowing employee tort actions where a disease arises outside the window for a workers' compensation action applies to an asbestos action filed in New York and alleging exposure in Pennsylvania, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 27 (Venetia Kontogouris, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products Inc., et al., No. 190397/2014, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1839).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania landowners who sued hydraulic fracturing companies alleging chemical contamination of their drinking water as a result of fracking operations on May 26 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court opposing the company's motion to dismiss, arguing that it has not provided evidence to establish that the residents have willfully failed to commence arbitration or have abandoned any of their meritorious claims (Edwin Bidlack, et al. v. Chesapeake Appalachia LLC, et al., No. 11-00129, M.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - The mother of a 2-year-old boy who died when a bedroom dresser tipped over, crushing him, filed suit May 21 in state court against the Ikea Group, which sold her the dresser, alleging design defect and negligence on the part of the retailer (Jacquelyn Collas, Individually and as Administratrix of the Estate of Curran Collas v. The Ikea Group, et al., No. 150502365, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer's lawsuit regarding coverage for underlying faulty workmanship claims successfully alleges the $75,000 requirement for federal jurisdiction, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 20 (Frederick Mutual Insurance Co. v. KP Construction d/b/a Mark Katona Roofing, et al., No. 15-0764, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66339).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 18 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's ruling in favor of a supplier of automotive products, services and solutions in an insurance coverage dispute over its alleged $88 million in losses caused by the 2011 Thailand flood (Federal-Mogul Corp. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, Nos. 13-2686, 14-1022, 6th Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - A New York man filed suit in Pennsylvania state court May 20, seeking damages for injuries suffered in the May 12 derailment of an Amtrak passenger train in Philadelphia (Trevor Beddoe, et al. v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. [a/k/a Amtrak], et al., No. 150502104, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
PHILADELPHIA - Finding that there is a disputed issue of fact as to whether a public accounting firm's employee had reason to know, before an accountant's professional liability insurance policy became effective, that a claim could be reasonably anticipated, a Pennsylvania federal judge on May 18 concluded that the insurer has a duty to defend but does not have to indemnify the firm against an underlying lawsuit alleging that the firm and its employee breached their professional duty of confidentiality (Navigators Insurance Co. v. Resnick Amsterdam Leshner, et al., No. 14-5158, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64385).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A trial court focused too intently on a decedent's testimony in finding insufficient evidence of exposure from two shipping companies in an asbestos action and applied the wrong causation standard for a Jones Act case, a Pennsylvania appeals panel held May 18 (Timothy Criswell, executor of the estate of Earl J. Criswell v. Atlantic Richfield Co. and Sunoco Inc., No. 2175 EDA 2014, Pa. Super.).