HOUSTON - A health plan beneficiary is owed full coverage for a gastric bypass surgery and a follow-up surgery and care required after she experienced complications, a Texas federal judge ruled Sept. 14, finding that the beneficiary's evidence that she has experienced nausea and vomiting placed her within the health plan's exception to its weight loss surgery exclusion (Karen A. Rittinger v. Health Alliance Life Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-639, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149394).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 14 awarded a disability claimant more than $100,000 in attorney fees after determining that the award was warranted because the claimant achieved "some degree" of success on the merits (Robert Bosley v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., No. 16-00139, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149453).
SAN DIEGO - After finding that a consumer sufficiently pleaded that she relied on various representations regarding the health benefits of coconut oil, a California federal judge on Sept. 18 denied a motion filed by the maker of the product to dismiss the purchaser's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action (Syndi Tracton v. Viva Labs Inc., No. 16-cv-2772, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151178).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A cosmetics company is not entitled to summary judgment on a woman's claim that she contracted a methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA) infection from a makeover at one of the company's stores, an Ohio federal judge held Sept. 15 after finding that the opinions of the woman's causation experts are sufficiently reliable to be admitted at trial (Susan Welch Kelly, et al. v. Bare Escentuals Beauty, Inc., et al., No. 2:14-cv-1359, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150060).
SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a Sept. 15 brief in California federal court, a customer of Google Inc.'s AdWords program argues that he sufficiently alleged unfair competition and false advertising claims based on click fraud charges he incurred due to Google's misrepresentations about the frequency of and protection against fraudulent clicks (Gurminder Singh v. Google Inc., No. 5:16-cv-03734, N.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA - The operator of the conservative-leaning Gab social network claims that Google LLC removed its app from the Google Play Store under false "hate speech" pretenses, asserting that it was purely a move to squelch a potential rival, bringing antitrust claims against the tech giant in Pennsylvania federal court (Gab AI Inc. v. Google LLC, No. 2:17-cv-04115, E.D. Pa.).
NEWARK, N.J. - A firm of pediatric doctors can pursue allegations that a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility violated the False Claims Act, the New Jersey False Claims Act (NJFCA) and the New York False Claims Act (NYFCA) for unlawfully billing Medicare and Medicaid as primary payers rather than a patient's private insurance company, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Sept. 18, finding that the firm sufficiently stated claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (United States of America v. Wanaque Convalescent Center, et al., No. 14-6651, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150566).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 15 reversed a trial court's decertification of a class of consumers suing a supplement maker for allegedly including false claims on the labels of its aphrodisiac supplements, ruling that the trial court abused its discretion when it based its decision on the lead plaintiff's inability to provide restitution damages through the full refund model (Troy Lambert, et al. v. Nutraceutical Corp., No. 15-56423, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17923).
PHILADELPHIA - The operator of the conservative-leaning Gab social network claims that Google LLC removed its app from the Google Play Store under false "hate speech" pretenses, asserting in a Sept. 14 complaint that it was purely a move to squelch a potential rival, bringing antitrust claims against the tech giant in Pennsylvania federal court (Gab AI Inc. v. Google LLC, No. 2:17-cv-04115, E.D. Pa.).
ELGIN, Ill. - A panel of the Second District Illinois Appellate Court in a Sept. 14 unpublished opinion found that a trial court properly dismissed a woman's claim that a doctor and a hospital failed to inform her of the results of a test; however, it said the trial court erred in dismissing a claim that the defendants failed to consult the results of a CT that showed that the plaintiff had a brain tumor (Michelle Tucsek v. Monica Gavran, et al., No. 2-16-1106, Ill. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1882).
CHICAGO - A disability insurer did not breach its contract or act unreasonably by terminating a claimant's total disability benefits because the evidence shows that the claimant was able to undertake a number of mentally and physically demanding activities, an Illinois federal judge said Sept. 14 (Henry G. Fiorentini v. Paul Revere Life Insurance Co., No. 15-3292, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149392).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Sept. 14 denied an unopposed motion by the plaintiff in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) lawsuit to file the motion for class certification under seal, ruling that claims that information in the motion was declared confidential by the defendant is insufficient to overcome the public's right of access (Melanie Glasser, et al. v. Hilton Grand Vacations Company, LLC, No. 16-952, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 149332).
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - After finding that a lender breached the terms of a mortgage, a Rhode Island federal judge on Sept. 15 denied its counterclaim for an order allowing judicial foreclosure and granted summary judgment in favor of the borrowers (Nancy A. Boynton, et al. v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, et al., No. 15-350, D. R.I., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150442).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Assertions by defendant Universal Music Group (UMG) Inc. that a copyright infringement action should be dismissed on jurisdiction grounds or for failure to state a claim were rejected as "legally insufficient" by a New York federal judge on Sept. 17 (Hypefortype Ltd v. Universal Music Group Inc., No. 17-4468, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150500).
SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Sept. 18 adopted a magistrate's report that recommended granting an insurer's motion for summary judgment in a dispute over directors and officers liability coverage for underlying claims that the insured failed to pay overtime and improperly categorized employees as "exempt" under the Fair Labor Standards Act (ADI WorldLink, LLC v. RSUI Indemnity Co., No. 16-665, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150505).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A federal judge in Ohio on Sept. 18 sentenced a couple who owned a home health care company for their roles in an insurance fraud scheme that involved submitting falsified training sheets for nurses and aides and required them to turn over the $1 million home they built with the proceeds of their activities (United States of America v. Riyad Altallaa, et al., No. 16cr128, S.D. Ohio).
DENVER - A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 14 upheld a ruling for a New Mexico County Board of Commissioners being sued for various wage violations by hourly employees, except as to a 911 dispatcher's claims that she should be paid for pre-shift briefings, finding that the briefings are integral and indispensable for incoming dispatchers (Martha S. Jimenez, et al. v. Board of County Commissioners of Hidalgo County, No. 15-2213, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17780).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - A man whose mother died in a Florida nursing home after the air conditioning system broke following Hurricane Irma filed suit on Sept. 15 against the home, its owners and administrative staff, seeking a pure bill of discovery and to preclude the home, its staff and owner from destroying evidence that could lead to who is responsible for his mother's death (Francis L. Lopez v. Rehabilitation Center At Hollywood Hills LLC, et al., No. CACE17016659, Fla. 17th Jud. Cir. Broward Co.).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A panel of the Tennessee Court of Appeals on Sept. 18 reversed a defense verdict and ordered a new trial in a medical malpractice suit after finding that the trial court erred by instructing the jury on the sudden emergency doctrine (Brittany Nicole VanDyke v. Brooke E. Foulk, M.D., et al., No. E2016-00584-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App., 2017 Tenn. App. LEXIS 621)