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Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Insureds Sufficiently Allege Insurer Considered Higher Reinsurance Costs

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Underlying Suit Fails To Trigger Professional Liability Coverage, Federal Judge Says

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insureds Sufficiently Allege Insurer Considered Higher Reinsurance Costs

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Fear Of Future Injury Is Insufficient For GNC Labeling Claims To Proceed

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).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Finding That Bankruptcy Asset Sale Bars Take-Home Asbestos Case Stands

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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - $57.1M Awarded By Pennsylvania State Jury In Ethicon Pelvic Mesh Trial

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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Judge Denies Motion For New Trial In Airplane Crash Suit

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Film Company Tells Court It Will Deliver Revenue To Insurer's Liquidator

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.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Claims Based Solely On Faulty Workmanship Do Not Amount To 'Occurrence'

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).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Appeals Panel: Reinsurer Owes $7.9M To Insurers On Asbestos Claims

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).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Won't Reconsider Ruling In Coke Ex-Employee's Suit Over Stolen Laptops

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Won't Reconsider Ruling In Coke Ex-Employee's Suit Over Stolen Laptops

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Pennsylvania Appeals Panel: Reinsurer Owes $7.9M To Insurers On Asbestos Claims

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).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Dismissing Woman's Claim Over Stucco

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals panel on Aug. 31 affirmed a trial judge's decision awarding summary judgment to a home builder on a woman's claim under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), finding that the plaintiff failed to sufficiently allege that she relied on any representations from the builder about allegedly defective stucco on the home (Karen Zajick v. Cutler Group, Inc., No. 1343 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. 285).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Denies Motion To Compel Nonparty's Medical Records In Negligence Sit

PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 28 denied a couple's motion to compel the medical records of a high-risk baby who was treated on the same day and at the same facility as their child who died because the parents of the deceased child failed to show how the production of those records would demonstrate whether the defendants met the required standard of care (Carissa Peronis, et al. v. United States of America, et al., No. 2:16-CV-1389, W.D. Pa.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Denies Motion To Compel Nonparty's Medical Records In Negligence Suit

PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 28 denied a couple's motion to compel the medical records of a high-risk baby who was treated on the same day and at the same facility as their child who died because the parents of the deceased child failed to show how the production of those records would demonstrate whether the defendants met the required standard of care (Carissa Peronis, et al. v. United States of America, et al., No. 2:16-CV-1389, W.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Agency, Company Reach Deal On Fracking Leak That Tainted Groundwater

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and hydraulic fracturing company Range Resources - Appalachia LLC on Aug. 28 reached a settlement in a lawsuit the agency brought pertaining to a methane leak at one of the company's sites in 2011 that contaminated local water wells. Details of the agreement were not disclosed (Range Resources - Appalachia LLC v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, No. 2015-077-R, Pa. EHB).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Aetna Again Sued For Not Protecting Privacy Of HIV Patients

PHILADELPHIA - A policyholder of Aetna Inc. filed a class complaint against the insurer in Pennsylvania federal court Aug. 28, alleging that in settling two previous lawsuits over purported privacy violations of its insureds that take HIV medications, the insurer again violated their privacy with an indiscreet mailing (Andrew Beckett v. Aetna Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-03864, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Strikes Affirmative Defense In Dispute Over Insurer, Reinsurer Scheme

PHILADELPHIA - In a dispute over an alleged kickback insurance premium scheme involving insurers, reinsurers and lenders, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 24 struck an affirmative defense that homeowners' claims are barred because they paid mortgage insurance rates filed with and approved by state regulators (Nelson White Jr., et al. v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 11-7928, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135743).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Strikes Affirmative Defense In Dispute Over Insurer, Reinsurer Scheme

PHILADELPHIA - In a dispute over an alleged kickback insurance premium scheme involving insurers, reinsurers and lenders, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 24 struck an affirmative defense that homeowners' claims are barred because they paid mortgage insurance rates filed with and approved by state regulators (Nelson White Jr., et al. v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 11-7928, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135743).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Strikes Affirmative Defense In Dispute Over Insurer, Reinsurer Scheme

PHILADELPHIA - In a dispute over an alleged kickback insurance premium scheme involving insurers, reinsurers and lenders, a Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 24 struck an affirmative defense that homeowners' claims are barred because they paid mortgage insurance rates filed with and approved by state regulators (Nelson White Jr., et al. v. The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., et al., No. 11-7928, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135743).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Says Suit Over Sheriff's Sales' Proceeds Doesn't Belong In Court

PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Aug. 23 dismissed a class complaint accusing the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office of violating property owners' procedural due process when distributing unused proceeds following sheriff's sales, finding the lead plaintiff failed to employ the process available under Pennsylvania law to challenge the distribution of proceeds (Joanne Thornton v. City of Philadelphia, et al., No. 16-5554, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134844).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Man Injured In Philadelphia Train Crash Sues Transportation Authority

PHILADELPHIA - A man injured in a train crash in Philadelphia filed suit against a regional transportation authority on Aug. 23 in Pennsylvania state court, claiming that it was negligent and failed to properly inspect the trains for defects (Derrell Robbson v. South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, No. N/A, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Spyware Suit Plaintiffs Oppose Magistrate's Report Against Class Certification

ERIE, Pa. - In an Aug. 18 brief, a Wyoming couple argue that their Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) claims against a retailer that installed spyware on their computer merit class treatment, objecting to a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge's recommendation that class certification be denied "on grounds that individualized issues predominate over common issues to the putative class" (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Spyware Suit Plaintiffs Oppose Magistrate's Report Against Class Certification

ERIE, Pa. - In an Aug. 18 brief, a Wyoming couple argue that their Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) claims against a retailer that installed spyware on their computer merit class treatment, objecting to a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge's recommendation that class certification be denied "on grounds that individualized issues predominate over common issues to the putative class" (Crystal Byrd, et al. v. Aaron's Inc., et al., No. 1:11-cv-00101, W.D. Pa.).