PHILADELPHIA - An Avandia settlement fund administrator will have to sue what could amount to hundreds of multidistrict litigation plaintiffs for breach of contract or for indemnity in a dispute over its release of holdback money, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled March 16 (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 1871, No. 07-md-1871, Cynthia Collier v. GlaxoSmithKline, No. 11-480, Jeffie Ezell v. GlaxoSmithKline, No. 11-482, E.D. Pa.).
DENVER - A speech and language pathologist and an optometrist may not testify that an insured experienced mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) as a result of a motor vehicle accident, a Colorado federal judge ruled March 14, granting an insurer's motions to exclude in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (Robin Dillon v. Auto-Owners Insurance Co., No. 14-00246, D. Colo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32371).
NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on March 14 granted an insurer's motions for judgment on the pleadings and for summary judgment in an insured's breach of contract lawsuit arising from Hurricane Katrina property damage (Marion's Cleaners LLC v. National Fire & Indemnity Exchange, No. 11-2259 c/w No. 11-2376, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32389).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 14 partially dismissed an insurance bad faith claim in a breach of contract lawsuit, ruling that a number of claims made by an insured are covered by the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) while others are not (Berkys Urena v. Allstate Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-570, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32562).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on March 10 affirmed a lower court's ruling that there is no professional liability coverage for federal allegations that a labor staffing company insured violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment on the insured's claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Treo Staffing LLC v. AXIS Surplus Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-332, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30764).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York appeals panel on March 9 held that an oil corporation insured's $2.28 million flood loss resulting from Superstorm Sandy did not meet the deductible of its commercial liability insurance policy, reversing a lower court's ruling against the insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit (Castle Oil Corporation v. ACE American Insurance Co., No. 55812/13, N.Y. Sup.; App. Div., 2nd Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1623).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - An international arbitration tribunal on March 8 dismissed the contract claims of a Turkish construction company against Turkmenistan for "lack of merit" (In The Arbitration Proceeding Between Ickale InSaat Limited Sirketi and Turkmenistan, No. ARB/10/24, ICSID).
CINCINNATI - A woman on March 7 filed suit in a federal court in Ohio on behalf of her mother, claiming that her mother contracted listeriosis after eating salad produced by Dole Food Co. Inc., causing her to fall into a coma (Constance C. Georgostathis, Agent for Angeliki S. Christofield, on behalf of Angeliki S. Christofield v. Dole Food Company Inc. No. 1:16-cv-00360, S.D. Ohio).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 3 refused to dismiss an insurer's amended counterclaims for breach of contract and declaratory relief in an environmental contamination dispute because the insurer adequately alleged claims that the insureds misled the insurer regarding the scope of the environmental contamination and deprived the insurer of its subrogation rights (Lennar Mare Island LLC v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 12-2182, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27434).
OWENSBORO, Ky. - A federal judge in Kentucky on March 4 denied an insured's motion to remand in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that a defendant was fraudulently joined and the amount in damages sought exceeds the statutory limit (Holiday Drive-In LLC v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-0147, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27590).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 2 affirmed a lower federal court's dismissal of breach of contract, bad faith and detrimental reliance claims in a dispute over whether an agreement between The City of New Orleans and a municipal bonds insurer obligated the insurer to retain its credit worthiness (New Orleans City v. Ambac Assurance Corp., et al., No. 15-30532, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3960).
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A New Mexico federal judge on March 2 approved an "unprecedented" $940 million settlement of Native American tribes' 25-year-old class claims that the United States government underpaid tribes and tribal contractors to operate Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) programs (Ramah Navajo Chapter, et al. v. Sally Jewell, et al., No. 90-957, D. N.M.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27624).
SAN DIEGO - Whether an insurer timely and reasonably accepted tender of an additional insured's construction defects claim presents a question of fact not properly resolved on a motion to dismiss, a California federal judge ruled March 2, declining to dismiss counterclaims for breach of contract and bad faith (St. Paul Mercury Insurance Co. v. McMillin Homes Construction, Inc., et al., No. 15-1548, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26461).
NEW YORK - A New York appellate court majority on March 3 ruled that a state court judge erred in dismissing the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York's (DASNY) breach of contract claim against an architect accused on negligently overseeing the construction of the foundation of a state-of-the-art forensic biology laboratory, holding that the DASNY sufficiently showed that the City of New York was an intended third-party beneficiary to the contract (Dormitory Authority of the State of New York v. Samson Construction Co., et al., 403436/06, N.Y Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1527).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 29 held that a church insured has failed to adduce evidence of a causal relationship between a March 1, 2011, windstorm and its alleged property damage, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit (Olivet Baptist Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13 C 1625, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25294).
JACKSON, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Feb. 26 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured's refusal to submit to a second examination under oath (EUO) breached the terms of the insurance agreement, allowing the insurer to decline the insured's claim for coverage (Eddie Gray Holt v. Victoria Fire and Casualty Co., No. 15-077, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23744).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Dismissal of counterclaims for insurance breach of contract and bad faith is not proper, a federal judge in California ruled March 1, because insureds have pleaded sufficient allegations to support their claims (Lancer Insurance Co. v. Alpha Dyno Nobel, et al., No. 14-2018, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25450).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 1 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute over an underlying lawsuit seeking damages for $1.9 million in past due premiums pursuant to a contract between an employee-leasing company insured and Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS), noting that the underlying suit is a "run of the mill" breach of contract dispute and does not seek damages for the wrongful diversion of funds (Payroll Management, Inc., et al. v. Lexington Insurance Company, No. 15-10314-EE, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3790).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 26 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a former property owner's claims for breach of contract, violation of Texas law and other claims, finding that a bank properly foreclosed on her property (Zaida Villarreal v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 15-40243, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3481).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding no evidence to support an estate's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), breach of contract and declaratory relief, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 25 affirmed a district court's decision to grant a motion to dismiss the case (Robert Chandler, as representative of the estate of Rosemary S. Chandler, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 14-15069, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3375).
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 26 refused to award summary judgment to the builder of a $5 million home in the Hamptons accused of breach of contract, finding that a conflict between the terms of a limited warranty and a supplemental rider provided to the plaintiff home buyer created a genuine issue of material fact (Gerald Sprayregen v. A. Gugliotta Development Inc., et al., No. 13-cv-5264, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23952).