LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Refuses To Bar Testimony On Cause Of Accident In Breach Of Contract Case

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - An Alabama federal judge on Dec. 17 declined to exclude to an expert from testifying regarding the cause of a railcar accident at a terminal in a negligence and breach of contract lawsuit (CSX Transportation, Inc. v. PSL North America, LLC, No. 13-00982, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168677).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Coca-Cola Seeks Protective Order For Trade Secrets PII In Stolen Laptops Case

PHILADELPHIA - In a Dec. 17 protective order motion filed in Pennsylvania federal court, The Coca-Cola Co. seeks to have discovery materials pertaining to its trade secrets and employees' personally identifying information (PII) designated confidential in a breach of contract lawsuit over stolen company laptops that contained PII (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., No. 2:14-cv-06476, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Coca-Cola Seeks Protective Order For Trade Secrets PII In Stolen Laptops Case

PHILADELPHIA - In a Dec. 17 protective order motion filed in Pennsylvania federal court, The Coca-Cola Co. seeks to have discovery materials pertaining to its trade secrets and employees' personally identifying information (PII) designated confidential in a breach of contract lawsuit over stolen company laptops that contained PII (Shane K. Enslin v. The Coca-Cola Co., et al., No. 2:14-cv-06476, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Trial Court Did Not Err In Granting Summary Judgment In Bad Faith Suit

PHOENIX - A trial court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insured failed to show that the insurer did not attempt to honor the insured's claim for automobile insurance benefits, an Arizona Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 15 (Judith E. Indihar, as personal representative of the Estate of James L. Indihar, Jr. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 1 CA-CV 14-0621, Ariz. App., Div. 1; 2015 Ariz. App. LEXIS 1535).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Dismisses UCL And Dating Contract Law Claims Against Grindr

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 15 granted a motion filed by the owner of a dating social media network application to dismiss claims asserted by a user for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Dating Service Contracts Act (DSCA) but permitted him leave to amend the complaint (Mark Howell, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Grindr LLC, No. 15cv1337, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167669).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Remands For Retrial Of Insured's Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims

FRESNO, Calif. - A California appeals panel on Dec. 11 reversed a judge's granting of a directed verdict and remanded for retrial an insured's claims for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing against his insurer for denied coverage of water damage to his rental house, but not the claim for punitive damages (Artyun Vardanyan v. AMCO Insurance Co., No. F069953, Calif. App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8925).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Lowers Noneconomic Damages Award To $925,000 In Bad Faith Suit

DENVER - A senior federal judge in Colorado on Dec. 11 granted an insurer's motion to alter judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, holding that pursuant to the state's noneconomic damages cap, an insured is still entitled to more than $925,000 in damages stemming from the insurer's bad faith failure to provide coverage under an automobile insurance policy (Kimberley Carpenter v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-1986, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166952).

Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Judge Recommends That Bad Faith Action Remain In Federal Court

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal magistrate judge in Ohio issued a report and recommendation in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit on Dec. 14, recommending that an insured's motion to remand the action to state court be denied because insurers have shown that the amount in controversy may exceed statutory limits (Michael D. Crooks v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-2234, S.D. Ohio; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166994).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Dismisses UCL And Dating Contract Law Claims Against Grindr

SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on Dec. 15 granted a motion filed by the owner of a dating social media network application to dismiss claims asserted by a user for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and Dating Service Contracts Act (DSCA) but permitted him leave to amend the complaint (Mark Howell, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Grindr LLC, No. 15cv1337, S.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167669).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Grants Summary Judgment In Insurance Bad Faith Suit

SHERMAN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Dec. 10 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment, accepting a federal magistrate judge's report and recommendation that stated that an insured failed to plead any of his claims except for breach of contract in an insurance bad faith lawsuit (Carlos Paz v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-693, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165144).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Suit For Failure To Plead Subject Matter Jurisdiction

CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey dismissed an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit on Dec. 10, ruling that an insured has failed to properly plead subject matter jurisdiction in making its claims against a title insurance provider and others (Plantation Bay LLC v. Stewart Title Guaranty Co., et al., No. 15-2042, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165753).

Mealey's Health Law - West Virginia Federal Judge Dismisses Counterclaim In ERISA Preemption Case

WHEELING, W.Va. - A breach of contract counterclaim brought in response to an action seeking a declaration that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts a request for indemnification was dismissed Dec. 10 by a West Virginia federal judge (Ohio Valley Health Services & Education Corporation, et al. v. Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley Inc., et al., No. 15-65, N.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165705).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Drops Breach Of Contract Suit Against Reinsurer

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on Dec. 11 that it is dismissing its suit against its reinsurer without prejudice (The Travelers Indemnity Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, No. 15-cv-01697, D. Conn.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - West Virginia Federal Judge Dismisses Counterclaim In ERISA Preemption Case

WHEELING, W.Va. - A breach of contract counterclaim brought in response to an action seeking a declaration that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts a request for indemnification was dismissed Dec. 10 by a West Virginia federal judge (Ohio Valley Health Services & Education Corporation, et al. v. Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley Inc., et al., No. 15-65, N.D. W.Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165705).

Mealey's Insurance - Carrier Cannot Control Defense; Conflict Of Interest Exists, Federal Judge Says

FORT WAYNE, Ind. - An insurer is not entitled to control the defense of its insured in underlying environmental contamination actions because the insurer has a conflict of interest as its lawsuit against the insured alleges a claim of breach of contract, an Indiana federal judge said Dec. 7 (Valley Forge Insurance Co. v. Hartford Iron & Metal Inc., et al., No. 14-006, N.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163501).

Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Hailstorm Coverage Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 7 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in an insured's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from hailstorm property damage (HM Hotel Properties v. Peerless Indemnity Ins. Co., No. 13-16790, 9th Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Bitcoin Firm Opposes Insurer's Bid To Bifurcate Bad Faith Claim In Coverage Suit

ATLANTA - In a Nov. 24 opposition brief, a bitcoin payment processor told a Georgia federal court that its insurer's motion to bifurcate a bad faith claim from a related breach of contract claim "is an improper waste of judicial resources" that will "dramatically increase the costs of" litigation, in which it seeks coverage for losses from a phishing scam (Bitpay Inc. v. Massachusetts Bay Insurance Co., No. 1:15-cv-03238, N.D. Ga.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Grants Judgment To Insurer On Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims

PHILADELPHIA - Homeowners failed to assert claims for breach of contract and bad faith against their insurer for denied coverage of water damage, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Nov. 25, granting summary judgment to the insurer (Gregory Smith and Jennifer Smith v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 15-670, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159127).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Parties In Asbestos Wire Suit Brief Federal Judge On Reconsideration Motion

PHILADELPHIA - A man who claims that he contracted renal cancer at least in part from asbestos exposure resulting from six months of handling wire told a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 24 that he need not reconsider his decision denying the manufacturer summary judgment (Leroy J. Mortimer and Cheryl Mortimer v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-4169, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Insurance - Notice Of Removal In Bad Faith Lawsuit Was Untimely, Judge Rules

FRESNO, Calif. - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 23, because an insurer's notice of removal was untimely (Todd Stone v. Travelers Property Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-1411, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158119).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Parties In Asbestos Wire Suit Brief Federal Judge On Reconsideration Motion

PHILADELPHIA - A man who claims that he contracted renal cancer at least in part from asbestos exposure resulting from six months of handling wire told a federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 24 that he need not reconsider his decision denying the manufacturer summary judgment (Leroy J. Mortimer and Cheryl Mortimer v. A.O. Smith Corp., et al., No. MDL 875, 13-4169, E.D. Pa.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Federal Judge Finds Stock Options Expired Under Employment Contract

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 20 granted summary judgment for an employer on claims of breach of contract and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that a one-year expiration date provision in a former's employee's contract applied to her stock options (Soonhee Jang v. Dupont E.I. De Nemours & Co., No. 15-cv-03719, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158180).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Finds Stock Options Expired Under Employment Contract

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Nov. 20 granted summary judgment for an employer on claims of breach of contract and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that a one-year expiration date provision in a former's employee's contract applied to her stock options (Soonhee Jang v. Dupont E.I. De Nemours & Co., No. 15-cv-03719, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158180).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insureds Failed To Show Insurer Acted Outside Terms Of Insurance Policy

MCALLEN, Texas - A federal judge granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit on Nov. 24, ruling that insureds failed to show that the insurer did not act in line with the terms of the insurance policy (Armando Martinez, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 14-534, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158245).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Experts Relied On Unverified Secondhand Data To Determine Contract Damages

SCRANTON, Pa. - Experts cannot testify on contract damages in a breach of supply agreement lawsuit between a supermarket chain and a wholesale distributor because the experts relied on unverified secondhand data as a result of the chain's owners previously destroying their accounting records, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Nov. 19 (Michael Bruno, et al. v. Bozzuto's, Inc., No. 09-874, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156339).