NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on May 12 partially dismissed an insurance bad faith lawsuit, ruling that although insureds have properly shown that their insurer owed them a fiduciary duty and breached it, other claims are either duplicative or are not permissible due to the parties' involvement in a valid insurance contract (Adolf Senft, et al. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-7805, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61870).
CHICAGO - A couple who sued after being contacted multiple times by their new cell phone service provider following the sale of their contract must arbitrate their claims brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 11 (Ronald and Anna Andermann, et al. v. Sprint Spectrum L.P., No. 14-3478, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7727).
ST. LOUIS - A Missouri federal judge on May 11 declined to strike part of an expert's testimony in a breach of contract and negligence action and delayed ruling on a request to compel the expert to testify about why he left his previous job until conducting an in camera review of a confidentiality agreement with the former employer (Union Electric Co. v. Chicago Bridge & Iron Company, et al., No. 4:14-cv-31, E.D. Mo; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60987).
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on May 8 reversed a trial court judge's ruling that a condominium association's construction defects lawsuit was barred by the state's 10-year statute of repose, finding that the statute begins to run when a contract is completed rather than when construction is finished (Cypress Fairway Condominium Association, et al. v. Bergeron Construction Co. Inc., et al., No. 5D13-4102, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 6841).
AUSTIN, Texas - A farm owner who contracted with a trucking company to haul silage is not a "motor carrier" under Texas law, the state Supreme Court ruled May 8 (Cuahutemoc "Tim" Gonzalez v. Erma Gonzales Ramirez, et al., No. 14-0107, Texas Sup.).
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit is proper because the insureds failed to comply with proof-of-loss policy requirements in their homeowners insurance policy, a federal judge in New York ruled May 6 (Timothy Hogan, et al v. Fidelity National Property & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 13-0009, N.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59084).
TACOMA, Wash. - A federal judge in Washington on May 5 denied a motion to compel production of certain documents in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the documents the insureds seek to obtain are protected (Bret C. Kifer, et al. v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-6085, W.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58905).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 6 found that counsel for a borrower who asserted class action claims related to alleged breaches of contract and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) was entitled to an award of fees incurred during the case (Joseph Mazzei, et al. v. The Money Store, et al., No. 01cv5694, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59397).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on May 4 substantially dismissed an amended complaint filed by insureds in an insurance breach of contract lawsuit, ruling that the insureds' tort claims are time-barred and that they have failed to properly state other claims against their insurer (Bhagubhai Hira, et al. v. New York Life Insurance Co., No. 13-527, E.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57860).
PHILADELPHIA - Although a trial court judge correctly found that the New Jersey Supreme Court's new rule regarding the state's Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warrant and Notice Act (TCCWNA) was not fully retroactive, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 30 ruled that the new rule should apply to the present plaintiffs that had alleged violation of the act by Restaurant.com Inc. in a putative class complaint (Larissa Shelton, et al. v. Restaurant.com Inc., No. 14-3316, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 7145).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A breach of contract case was stayed, in part, on April 28 by a Kentucky federal judge pending re-examination of two patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (Natural Alternatives LLC v. JM Farms, No. 12-333, E.D. Ky.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55271).
ELGIN, Ill. - An Illinois trial court judge's decision to award judgment in favor of a contractor accused of breaching the terms of a construction contract was affirmed by a state appeals panel on April 28 after the panel found that a couple conceded that they prevented the contractor from completing work at the site (William Reid, et al v. Galena Hillside Homes, et al., No. 2-14-0007, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 897).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A federal judge in California on April 24 held that the plaintiff in a trade secrets case failed to establish a predicate breach of contract in support of its state unfair competition law (UCL) claim; therefore, the defendant was entitled to have judgment entered in its favor (Netlist Inc. v. Diablo Technologies, No. 13-5962, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54109).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on April 23 granted in part and denied in part an insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured properly pleaded a number of her claims (Sheela K. O'Donnell v. Financial American Life Insurance Co., No. 14-1071, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53519).
DETROIT - A Michigan federal judge on April 22 granted a motion filed by lenders to dismiss borrowers' claims for breach of contract and other claims, but found that their claims for violation of Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) can proceed (Martin White Jr. et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., AS, et al., No. 2:14-cv-12506, E.D. Mich.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52642).
AUSTIN, Texas - BP Exploration & Production and its affiliates on April 22 filed a motion for rehearing in the Texas Supreme Court, arguing that the court incorrectly limited the additional insured status of BP by incorporating restrictions included in BP's drilling contract with the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig (In re: Deepwater Horizon, No. 13-0670, Texas Sup.).
CINCINNATI - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act bars an employer in an action brought by multiemployer benefit funds to collect delinquent payments under a union contract from asserting the equitable defenses of laches and estoppel, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 20 (Operating Engineers Local 324 Health Care Plan, et al. v. G & W Construction Company, et al., No. 12-1786, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6420).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A contractor cannot allege that its judgment against a subcontractor for faulty work exceeds $2 million, thereby triggering an excess insurer's duty to defend, a California federal judge ruled April 14, granting dismissal of breach of contract and bad faith claims against the excess insurer (Nordby Construction Inc. v. American Safety Indemnity Co., et al., No. 14-04074, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49048).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A federal judge in Tennessee on April 14 ruled that a jury will be instructed that a couple defending against claims from their insurance company that they intentionally set a fire in September 2010 to destroy their home can obtain common-law punitive damages only on their counterclaims for breach of contract, treble damages for their counterclaim under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and a bad faith penalty under Tennessee insurance law if their claim accrued before April 2011 (American National Property & Casualty Company v. Carol Ann Stutte, et al., No. 11-CV-219, E.D. Tenn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48726).