LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Former UBS Employee Not A Whistleblower Under Dodd-Frank

    NEWARK, N.J. - A former UBS Financial Services Inc. employee cannot claim that he was retaliated against in violation of the anti-retaliation provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act because the former employee failed to show that he reported UBS's alleged securities law violation to the Securities and Exchange Commission before his termination from the company, a federal judge ruled April 19 in granting UBS's motion to dismiss (Craig D. Price v. UBS Financial Services Inc., No. 17-1882, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66200).

    Mealey's Insurance - Another Suit Filed Over Liability Of W.R. Grace Insurers For Their Own Actions

    WILMINGTON, Del. - Two more people suffering from asbestos disease joined the fray over whether an insurer can be held liable for asbestos claims arising from the mining operations of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. in Libby, Mont., with the claimants filing an adversary complaint April 18 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court seeking a declaration that the protective injunction in the debtor's reorganization plan does not apply to their claims against the insurer (Barbara Hunt, et al. v. Maryland Casualty Company, No.18-50402, D. Del. Bkcy.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court: Federal Officer Defense Frees Navy Insulation Supplier

    SAN FRANCISCO - The government's selection of asbestos-containing insulation is enough for the federal officer defense to bar litigation against an insulation supplier, a California court held April 19 (Paula Tarjani, et al. v. Metalclad Insulation Corp., No. A140577, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2690).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge OKs Copyright Claim Against Copycat Website

    CHICAGO - Allegations by the operator of a trading website that a customer opened an account solely with the intention of copying the plaintiff's business model and associated intellectual property can proceed, an Illinois federal judge ruled April 18 (TopstepTrader LLC v. OneUp Trader LLC, et al., No. 17-4412, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64815).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Refuses To Dismiss, Stay Insurer's Suit Disputing Coverage For Gunshot Injury

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A West Virginia federal judge on April 20 denied a claimant's motion to dismiss or, alternatively, stay a commercial general liability insurer's lawsuit seeking a declaration as to coverage for an underlying gunshot injury that occurred at a bar that was owned by its insured, finding that the claimant's motion to dismiss for lack of proper service is "a ridiculous waste of time and resources" (Capitol Specialty Insurance Corp. v. Tayworsky LLC, et al., No. 16-11340, S. D. W.Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66915).

    Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Carrier, Broker Not Liable To Insurer For $84,511 In Damaged Batteries

    PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17 affirmed a lower federal court's summary judgment ruling that rejected an insurer's lawsuit seeking to recover the $84,511.23 that it paid to its insured after a cargo of batteries that were owned by the insured's customer allegedly incurred damage during transport (New York Marine and General Insurance Co. v. Estes Express Lines, Inc., et al., No. 16-56748, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9667).

    Mealey's Bankruptcy - Another Suit Filed Over Liability Of W.R. Grace Insurers For Their Own Actions

    WILMINGTON, Del. - Two more people suffering from asbestos disease joined the fray over whether an insurer can be held liable for asbestos claims arising from the mining operations of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. in Libby, Mont., with the claimants filing an adversary complaint April 18 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court seeking a declaration that the protective injunction in the debtor's reorganization plan does not apply to their claims against the insurer (Barbara Hunt, et al. v. Maryland Casualty Company, No.18-50402, D. Del. Bkcy.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insurers Fail To Show Number Of 'Occurrences' In Defects Dispute, Judge Says

    LAS VEGAS - A primary insurer and an excess insurer failed to demonstrate the number of proximate causes and the number of occurrences regarding coverage of a construction defects case against their mutual insured, a Nevada federal judge ruled April 18 (AIG Specialty Insurance Co. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 17-01260, D. Nev., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65198).

    Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Former UBS Employee Not A Whistleblower Under Dodd-Frank

    NEWARK, N.J. - A former UBS Financial Services Inc. employee cannot claim that he was retaliated against in violation of the anti-retaliation provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act because the former employee failed to show that he reported UBS's alleged securities law violation to the Securities and Exchange Commission before his termination from the company, a federal judge ruled April 19 in granting UBS's motion to dismiss (Craig D. Price v. UBS Financial Services Inc., No. 17-1882, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66200).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Divided Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Board, Says Privity Not Established

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - When asserting that an inter partes review (IPR) petition is time-barred under Section 315(b) of the America Invents Act (AIA), 35 U.S.C. 315(b), a patent owner must demonstrate that the petitioner had "sufficient control" over prior district court litigation to establish privity, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 20 (Wi-Fi One LLC v. Broadcom Corp., Nos. 15-1944, Fed. Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10024).

    Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Panel Rejects District Court's Scienter Requirement Ruling In Securities Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 20 ruled that pursuant to U.S. Supreme Court precedent, a federal district court improperly determined that a shareholder must plead scienter in making a claim under Section 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 instead of negligence, which is a departure from the holding of five other federal circuit courts that have ruled on the issue (Gary Varjabedian v. Emulex Corp., et al., No. 16-55088, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 10000).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Man Alleges Used-Car Seller, Shell Reinsurer Involved In Fraud Scheme

    FRESNO, Calif. - A California man alleges in an April 17 complaint filed in a California trial court that a used-vehicle seller and its affiliates, including an illegal shell reinsurance company, are involved in three fraudulent schemes in the sale of used vehicles and violated California Business and Professions Code Section 17200 (Alejandra Ochoa-Gonzalez v. Paul Blanco's Good Car Company Fresno Inc., et al., No. 18CECG01311, Calif. Super., Fresno Co.).

    Mealey's Insurance - 9th Circuit: Seafood Firm Not Insured For Losses From Spoofed Emails

    SAN FRANCISCO - Even though an employee was tricked into transferring funds to a criminal because of fraudulent, spoofed emails, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 17 found that the direct cause of a seafood company's loss was the authorized employee's action, thus precluding coverage for the loss under the computer fraud provision of a commercial crime insurance policy (Aqua Star [USA] Corp. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 16-35614, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 9660).

    Mealey's Insurance - Claimant Opposes Insurer's Bid For Protection Of Injunction For Asbestos Claims

    WILMINGTON, Del. - A motion by an asbestos liability insurer of former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. to enforce the protective injunction in the debtor's reorganization plan to halt claimants in Montana from pursuing asbestos claims against the insurer should be stayed or dismissed because it is procedurally unsound and untimely, considering that the same issue is about to be decided by the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a claimant told a Delaware federal bankruptcy court on April 17 (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139, D. Del. Bkcy.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Grants Dismissal For Banks, Allows Amendment Of HBOR, UCL Claims

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 20 granted a motion filed by banks to dismiss causes of action asserted against them in relation to a mortgage for failure to state a claim, but granted a borrower leave to amend certain claims for violation of California housing law and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Kevin Crumley v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., No. 5:17-cv-07144, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27124).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New Jersey Jury Hears Expert Testimony On Possibility That Asbestos Tainted Talc

    TRENTON, N.J. - A materials scientist told a New Jersey jury on Feb. 20 that it was his opinion that a man's mesothelioma arose from exposure to asbestos in talc products he used nearly daily for his entire life, but under cross-examination admitted that the government had not found any evidence of asbestos contamination in the product (Stephen Lanzo, et al. v. Cyprus Amex Minerals Co., et al., No. L00738516, N.J. Super., Middlesex Co.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses Bad Faith Claim, Says Insured Failed To Support Claim

    OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma federal judge on Feb. 20 dismissed an insured's bad faith claim against a health insurer after determining that the insured failed to allege facts supporting his claim that the health insurer's denial of coverage for proton beam radiotherapy was unreasonable (Anthony Woska, et al. v. Health Care Service Corp., et al., No. 17-89, W.D. Okla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26711).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Grants Dismissal For Banks, Allows Amendment Of HBOR, UCL Claims

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Feb. 20 granted a motion filed by banks to dismiss causes of action asserted against them in relation to a mortgage for failure to state a claim, but granted a borrower leave to amend certain claims for violation of California housing law and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (Kevin Crumley v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., No. 5:17-cv-07144, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27124).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Fact Issues Preclude Ruling In Coverage Suit On Unfair Competition Claims

    NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Feb. 20 denied an insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings in its lawsuit seeking a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnify its insured against underlying unfair competition claims (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. Becton, Dickinson, and Company, No. 17-691, D. N.J, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27847).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insured Alleges Viable Claim Against Adjuster; Suit Must Be Remanded, Judge Says

    AUSTIN, Texas - An insured's suit seeking coverage for property damages caused by a hail storm must be remanded to Texas state court because complete diversity of citizenship does not exist as the insured states a plausible claim for relief against the insurance adjuster, a Texas federal judge said on Feb. 20 (Melvin Nelson v. State Farm Lloyds et al., No. 17-962, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26547).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Restaurant 'Adequately Alleges' Infringement Threat In Franchise Case, Judge Says

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A federal judge in California on Feb. 20 denied a motion to dismiss a franchise dispute involving two restaurants because the plaintiffs' amended complaint "adequately alleges" a threat of imminent use of a trademark that would constitute infringement (Jgx Inc. v. Jon Handlery, et al., No. 17-cv-00287-BLF, N.D. Calif.; 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27079).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Certification Motion In Racial Bias Suit Over City Sewers Is Deemed Premature

    YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Feb. 20 denied a plaintiff's class certification motion in a lawsuit accusing an Ohio city of providing functioning sewer lines in a racially discriminatory manner, ruling that the motion was premature (Venicee Howell v. The City of Youngstown, Ohio, et al., No. 17-2320, N.D. Ohio, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26864).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Allows Investor To Amend UCL, Fraud Complaint To Add Defendant

    SAN DIEGO - After finding that there was no undue delay by an investor who alleges that the manager of a nightclub development company violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and committed securities fraud by inducing him into investing money for the development of a club, a California federal judge on Feb. 21 granted him leave to amend his complaint to name another manager as a defendant (Matthias Mueller v. San Diego Entertainment Partners LLC, et al., No. 16cv2997, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28013).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - New York Federal Judge Denies Attorney Fee Award In Copyright Case

    NEW YORK - A voluntary dismissal by a copyright infringement plaintiff two months after filing suit did not render a defendant in the action a prevailing party, a New York federal judge ruled Feb. 22 (Matthew McDermott v. Monday Monday LLC, No. 17-9230, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 28664).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - ConocoPhillips, Venezuelan Entities Dispute Effect Of DUFTA Ruling In Crystallex

    WILMINGTON, Del. - Various ConocoPhillips entities and the national oil company of Venezuela on Feb. 20 filed a joint letter in Delaware federal court, submitting arguments over whether a recent appellate court ruling should result in the dismissal of the oil company's claims that the Venezuelan entities violated the Delaware Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (DUFTA) by fraudulently transferring assets in an attempt to avoid paying potential arbitral awards or whether amended complaints should be considered (ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., et al. v. Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., et al., Nos. 16-904 and 17-00028, D. Del.).