LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Oklahoma Top Court: No Preemption Where ERISA Plan Is 'Factual Backdrop'

OKLAHOMA CITY - On remand, a trial court must consider whether a woman's class action claiming that a hospital improperly sought collection from her in violation of its contract with her insurer invokes an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan or whether the plan is merely part of the "factual backdrop" of the case, a divided Oklahoma Supreme Court held June 21 (Elizabeth Cates v. INTEGRIS Health Inc., No. 114314, Okla. Sup., 2017 Okla. LEXIS 53).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer, Insurer Settle $6.2M Breach Of Contract Dispute Over Asbestos Claims

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A reinsurer and insurer have resolved their $6.2 million reinsurance dispute involving a settlement of underlying asbestos claims, according to a June 20 status report filed in a Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co., f/k/a The Aetna Casualty and Surety Co. v. Century Indemnity Co. as successor to Insurance Company of North America, No. 16-cv-170, D. Conn.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Some Third-Party Claims In Suit Over Employment Practices Exclusion

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on June 20 granted an insurance broker's motion to dismiss an insured's third-party fraud and suppression claims but refused to dismiss the breach of contract claim against it in a coverage dispute over a fatal explosion at the insured's Owens, Ala., plant (James River Insurance Co. v. Ultratec Special Effects, Inc., et al., No. 16-00949, N.D. Ala., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94319).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Oklahoma Top Court: No Preemption Where ERISA Plan Is 'Factual Backdrop'

OKLAHOMA CITY - On remand, a trial court must consider whether a woman's class action claiming that a hospital improperly sought collection from her in violation of its contract with her insurer invokes an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan or whether the plan is merely part of the "factual backdrop" of the case, a divided Oklahoma Supreme Court held June 21 (Elizabeth Cates v. INTEGRIS Health Inc., No. 114314, Okla. Sup., 2017 Okla. LEXIS 53).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Majority Reverses Denial Of Summary Judgment In Negligence Suit

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana appellate panel on June 19 found that a trial court erred in denying summary judgment for a group of local government defendants in a negligence suit after the majority found that the defendants did not have a duty to protect a man who died after contracting a deadly, brain-deteriorating disease from swimming in a local pond and remanded the case to the trial court (Daviess-Martin County Joint Parks and Recreation Department, et al., v. The Estate of Waylon W. Abel, by John Abel, et al., No. 19A04-1607-CT-1563, Ind. App., 2017, Ind. App. LEXIS 260).

Mealey's Insurance - Georgia Federal Judge Dismisses 2 Claims Against Broker In Food Contamination Suit

ATLANTA - An insured's breach of contract claim against its insurance broker must be dismissed because the insured, seeking coverage for underlying suits arising out of exposure to hepatitis A from food purchased from the insured, failed to show that a valid contract existed between the parties, a Georgia federal judge said June 16 (Sentinel Insurance Co. Ltd. v. Tropical Smoothie Cafe LLC, et al., No. 16-4162, N.D. Ga.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - California Court Finds Borrower Lacked Standing To Assert UCL Claim

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California appeals court on June 16 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation, finding that he lacked standing and that he was not a party to any contract with the lender (Ronald Ferguson v. Bank of America, N.A., No. E064100, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4124).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - California Court Finds Borrower Lacked Standing To Assert UCL Claim

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California appeals court on June 16 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of a borrower's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation, finding that he lacked standing and that he was not a party to any contract with the lender (Ronald Ferguson v. Bank of America, N.A., No. E064100, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 4124).

Mealey's Insurance - California Federal Judge Orders Insurer To Prove That Parties Are Completely Diverse

LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on June 13 ordered an insurer to show cause as to why an insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit should be litigated in federal court and not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction (Reseda Medical Clinic, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Company, et al., No. 17-3686, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90932).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Panel Affirms Bankruptcy Court Ruling Dismissing UCL Claims Against Lenders

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 15 affirmed a bankruptcy court's ruling in favor of various lenders, finding that borrowers lacked standing to assert claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and that their breach of contract claims failed (In re Rosanna Mac Turner, No. 15-60046, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 10622).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Landlords Seek More Than $1.59M From Verizon For Alleged Property Contamination

HACKENSACK, N.J. - Property owners filed a complaint in the Bergen County Superior Court on June 12 contending that Verizon New Jersey Inc. is liable for $1,591,435 in damages because it failed to remediate contamination on property it leased from the plaintiffs in breach of its rental contract (Joan Rudnick, et al. v. Verizon New Jersey Inc., No. L-4023-17, N.J. Super., Bergen Co.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Former School Employee's Age Discrimination Suit Survives Judgment Motion

ORLANDO, Fla. - A woman who alleges that her age was the motivating factor in a decision to not renew her employment contract has established a prima facie case of age discrimination, a Florida federal judge ruled June 12, finding that genuine issues of fact precluded granting her former employer's motion for summary judgment (Carmel Saxon v. Seminole County Public Schools, No. 6:15-cv-01854, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89663).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Lawsuits Arose Out Of 'Single Scheme'; No Professional Liability Coverage Due

DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on June 12 entered a final judgment in favor of a professional liability insurer after finding that it has no duty to defend or indemnify against an underlying lawsuit alleging that its insured entered into a "kickback contract" to steer additional subcontractor work to city-employee-controlled companies (Ciber, Inc. v. Ace American Insurance Co., No. 16-1189, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89895).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Magistrate Judge Allows Strict Liability Claims Against Component Maker

MILWAUKEE - A federal magistrate judge in Wisconsin on June 9 ruled that plaintiffs can pursue claims for strict products liability against the manufacturer of a component in a hip replacement system after finding that the Wisconsin Supreme Court would not allow the contract specification defense to bar the plaintiffs' claims (Jerome Janusz, et al. v. Symmetry Medical Inc., et al., No. 15-CV-294, E.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88895).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses All But Breach Of Contract Claim In Suit Arising From Flood Damage

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 8 granted an insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings seeking dismissal of an insured's extracontractual claims in a flood coverage dispute, further exercising its discretion to dismiss the insured's declaratory judgment claim (Mike Farhat v. Texas Farmers Insurance Co., No. 16-1175, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87766).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Grants Dismissal, Finds 25-Acre Property Was Exempt From RESPA

DAYTON, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on June 5 dismissed a former property owner's claims against loan servicers for violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), finding that the property was exempt from RESPA requirements because it was more than 25 acres and that the court lacked jurisdiction over his breach of contract claims (Michael Hoy v. Aurora Loan Services LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-502, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85999).

Mealey's Insurance - Insured Failed To Show Cancellation Of Policy Was In Bad Faith, Judge Rules

NEWARK, N.J. - An insured has failed to state any plausible claims to support his contention that his life insurance provider breached its contract or acted in bad faith in canceling his policy without providing proper notification, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled June 5 in granting the insurer's motion to dismiss (David M. Watkins v. Protective Life Insurance Co., No. 17-0734, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85862).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Testimony On Doctor Teaching Contracts Suitable, 7th Circuit Says

CHICAGO - A federal court did not abuse its discretion in determining that a medical expert was qualified to provide testimony on the nature of physician teaching contracts in a podiatric residency program, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held June 5 in affirming the conviction of a doctor for taking kickbacks to refer patients to a Chicago hospital (United States of America v. Shanin Moshiri, No. 16-1126, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9959).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Seeks Production Of Redacted Documents On 'Reserves,' 'Other Reinsurance'

PHILADELPHIA - In a breach of contract dispute, a reinsurer in a June 1 motion asks a Pennsylvania federal court to compel an insurer to produce all documents it redacted or withheld concerning "reserves," "reinsurance," "other reinsurance" and "proprietary" information (R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-cv-01473, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Dismisses Yahoo's Suit Seeking Coverage For TCPA Class Action Claims

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal magistrate on June 2 granted a commercial general liability insurer's motion to dismiss Yahoo! Inc.'s breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for underlying class action allegations that it violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by transmitting unsolicited text messages (Yahoo! Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 17-00447, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85200).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Allows Amendment, Finds Allegations Support Removing Asbestos Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A shipyard may supplement its removal notice with government contracts and affidavits detailing the role the U.S. Navy played in requiring asbestos aboard ships, a Louisiana federal judge held June 2 (Lorita M. Savoie, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 15-1220, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84804).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Allows Amendment, Finds Allegations Support Removing Asbestos Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A shipyard may supplement its removal notice with government contracts and affidavits detailing the role the U.S. Navy played in requiring asbestos aboard ships, a Louisiana federal judge held June 2 (Lorita M. Savoie, et al. v. Huntington Ingalls Inc., et al., No. 15-1220, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84804).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses Insolvent Insurers' Breach Claims In Mortgage Reinsurance Suit

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 1 dismissed breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claims brought by the rehabilitator of two insolvent insurers against a mortgage insurance reinsurer and a bank (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel., Anne Melissa Dowling, Acting Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois, as Rehabilitator for Triad Guaranty Insurance Corporation and Triad Guaranty Assurance Corp. v. AAMBG Reinsurance Inc., No. 16-cv-07477, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84231).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Insolvent Insurers' Breach Claims In Mortgage Reinsurance Suit

CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on June 1 dismissed breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claims brought by the rehabilitator of two insolvent insurers against a mortgage insurance reinsurer and a bank (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel., Anne Melissa Dowling, Acting Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois, as Rehabilitator for Triad Guaranty Insurance Corporation and Triad Guaranty Assurance Corp. v. AAMBG Reinsurance Inc., No. 16-cv-07477, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84231).

Mealey's Insurance - Florida Federal Judge Denies Motion To Dismiss In Defects Coverage Suit

MIAMI - A Florida federal judge on May 26 denied a motion to dismiss after determining that an insurer's suit seeking a coverage declaration for an underlying suit arising out of its insured's alleged defective roofing work presents an appropriate controversy to be decided by the federal court (Atain Specialty Insurance Co., v. Kenneth Russell Roof Contracting LLC, No. 16-23627, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81960).