PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 15 rejected Crane Co.' argument that settlements left it with zero liability for an asbestos verdict, saying precedent permits offsets only for settling parties found liable at trial and that the offsets cannot reduce a verdict below the amount awarded by a jury (Lynn C. Dobrick, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 10-03202, E.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania residents who won a $4.24 million verdict against a hydraulic fracturing company for groundwater contamination on June 14 filed a brief in a district court, opposing the company's motion for judgment as a matter of law, new trial or remittitur on grounds that it is "smarting from a humiliating defeat," and it seeks "to wipe out the reasoned decision" that was handed down against it (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.).
PITTSBURGH - A federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania on June 9 ruled that PPG Industries Inc. can pursue claims for contribution under state law and under the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act (HSCA) from a third party but that it could not pursue claims for cost recovery and indemnification (PennEnvironment, et al. v. PPG Industries Inc., et al., No. 12-342, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75402).
PHILADELPHIA - Comcast Corp., T-Mobile USA Inc. and Google Inc. were ordered by a Pennsylvania federal judge on June 7 to respond to a transportation firm's verified petition seeking pre-action discovery related to learning the identity of an unknown individual that purportedly stole the firm's trade secrets (Estes Forwarding Worldwide LLC v. Comcast Corp., No. 2:16-mc-00132, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania appeals court panel on June 9 affirmed a trial court judge's decision to award summary judgment to a home builder, finding that a woman's sales agreement for the house disclaimed any limited warranty for merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, reasonable workmanship or habitability (Patricia Streiner v. Baker Residential of Pennsylvania LLC, No. 1253 EDA 2015, 2016 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2024).
PITTSBURGH - An insurer must indemnify a homeowner's total recovery of $174,553.04 for the portion of damages to structural insulated panels (SIPs) that could not be recovered under the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), including the homeowner's failure to mitigate damages, a Pennsylvania federal judge held June 9 (Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Jerry Ellis Construction, et al., No. 14-155, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75405).
PHILADELPHIA - Urban Outfitters Inc. and certain of its executive officers will pay $8.5 million to settle claims that they misrepresented the clothing retailer's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, according to a stipulation of settlement filed June 8 in Pennsylvania federal court by the lead plaintiff in the action (In re Urban Outfitters Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-5978, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24915).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurance-purchasing group's motion to dismiss Aspen Specialty Insurance Co.'s suit seeking rescission of policies it issued to the company based on material misrepresentations was denied by a federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 9, after the judge found that the insurer sufficiently stated claims for relief (Aspen Specialty Insurance Company v. Hospitality Supportive Systems LLC, No. 16-1133, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75110).
PHILADELPHIA - Dismissal of a bad faith claim in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because an insured has provided only conclusory allegations in making her claims against the insurer, a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania ruled June 8 (Mary Camp v. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Co., No. 16-1087, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74496).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on June 3 dismissed fraud and indemnification counterclaims filed by an insurer in a lawsuit over a contract payment dispute between a town's wastewater authority and the insurer (Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. The Municipal Authority of the City of McKeesport, No. 15-1319, W.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Superior Court on June 6 vacated a $27.6 million Zimmer knee judgment as excessive and remanded it to the trial court for remittitur (Margo Polett, et al. v. Public Communications, Inc., et al., No. 1865 EDA 2011, Pa. Super.).
PHILADELPHIA - A subsequent opinion undercuts plaintiffs' request that a judge reconsider his bare-metal ruling, three asbestos defendants told a federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 2 (Leroy J. Mortimer and Cheryl Mortimer v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-4169, E.D. Pa.).
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 2 granted a reinsurer's motion to dismiss an asbestos-related dispute because the reinsurer had filed a substantially similar suit a month before the instant action (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-5528, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72136).
PHILADELPHIA - The daughter of a construction worker who was killed by an Amtrak train when it crashed into a backhoe filed suit June 2 in a Pennsylvania court against Amtrak, claiming that the train company's negligence caused his death (Montia Carter v. National Railroad Passenger Corporation a/k/a Amtrak, No. 1690503923, Pa. Cmmn. Pleas, Phila. Co.).
PITTSBURGH - A copyright plaintiff had "at least a colorable basis for believing" that a competitor's software program infringed, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled May 31, denying an award of attorney fees (Clarity Software LLC v. Financial Independence Group LLC, No. 13-795, W.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70602).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on May 26 granted preliminary approval of a settlement of a consolidated complaint accusing Shop-Vac Corp., Lowe's Home Centers Inc. and Lowe's HIW Inc. of misrepresenting certain features of wet/dry vacuums (In Re: Shop-Vac Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 12-2380, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69345).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Although the Pennsylvania Superior Court on May 24 disagreed with a lower court's ruling that a criminal acts policy exclusion bars coverage for an underlying suit alleging that an insured was negligent in failing to ensure the safety of its tanning customers and in failing to secure the premises from a third party's misconduct, it determined that the underlying claims for negligent operation of a business fail to trigger coverage on their own (Penn-America Insurance Co. v. Toni Tomei, et al., No. 480 WDA 2015, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1859).
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on May 25 sentenced a doctor and drug dealer to terms in prison for their roles in a scheme involving prescriptions for oxycodone that were fraudulently billed to Medicare and distributed (United States of America v. John Terry, et al., No. 14cr207, M.D. Pa.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania appeals panel on May 24 affirmed a trial court's series of orders requiring Greyhound Lines Inc. to comply with discovery requests for documents comprising communications with its third-party claims administrator, with the panel finding that the bus line failed to establish that the documents were protected by the attorney-client or work product privileges (Faithlee Brown, et al. v. Greyhound Lines Inc., et al., No. 1167 EDA 2015, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. LEXIS 288).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge properly granted defendant Amazon.com Inc. summary judgment on allegations the online merchant unfairly withheld copyright royalties owed to the author of four self-published books, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 23 (Joseph E. Carlin v. Amazon.com Inc., et al., No. 15-2774, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 9372).