LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Web Host Opposes DOJ's Warrant To Seize User Records From Activist Website

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, a web-hosting firm on Aug. 11 told a District of Columbia court that a U.S. Department of Justice search warrant seeking identifying information for visitors to an anti-Donald Trump website is overbroad and in violation of federal privacy law (In re: the Search of www.disruptj20.org that Is Stored at Premises Owned, Maintained, Controlled,, or Operated by DreamHost, No. 17 CSW 3438, D.C. Super.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Washington Panel Affirms No Coverage Ruling In Intentional Act Dispute

    SEATTLE - A Washington appeals panel on Aug. 14 found that because an insured intentionally struck another person in the face several times and the harm of a broken jaw was reasonably foreseeable, there are no issues of material fact regarding whether the insured's act was intentional (State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. Nikolas Peters, No. 75705-9-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2017 Wash. App. LEXIS 1935).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Celexa/Lexapro MDL Judge Denies Pediatric RICO Class Certification

    BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal judge presiding over the Celexa/Lexapro multidistrict litigation on Aug. 15 denied certification of a class of adolescent users of the antidepressant, saying individual issues will predominate (In Re: Celexa and Lexapro, No. 09-2067, Delana S. Kiossovski, et al. v. Forest Laboratories, Inc., et al., No. 14-13848, D. Mass., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129387).

    Mealey's Health Law - Doctor Sentenced To 39 Months In Prison For Hospice Fraud Scheme

    GREENVILLE, Miss. - The U.S. Department of Justice announced Aug. 10 that a federal judge in Mississippi has sentenced a doctor to 39 months in prison and ordered him to pay $1.9 million in restitution to the Medicare program for referring patients to hospice care when such treatment was not necessary (United States v. Nathaniel Brown, No. 16cr74, N.D. Miss.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Parties Were Properly Aligned In Coverage Dispute, 6th Circuit Affirms

    CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 15 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that parties were properly aligned in a dispute over whether additional coverage is owed to satisfy an underlying $3,736,278 judgment against an insured for breaching its duty to exercise ordinary care to maintain its common areas, affirming the lower court's reinstatement of its judgment in favor of the insurer (Evanston Insurance Co. v. Housing Authority of Somerset, et al., No. 16-6691, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15199).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Magistrate Judge: Expert's Opinion On Bath Mat's Suitability Is Reliable

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A mathematician can provide expert testimony regarding the suitability of a bath mat that allegedly caused a woman to slip and fall after coming out of a shower stall in a condominium, a federal magistrate judge in Tennessee ruled Aug. 11, holding that the expert was qualified and that the methodology underlying his opinion is reliable (Phyllis G. Barnes, et al. v. Greg Malinak, et al., No. 15-cv-556-PLR-HBG, E.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127600).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Subbing Plaintiff Denied 3 Years After Deadline In Frito-Lay Labeling Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 14 denied a motion to substitute the lead plaintiff in a class lawsuit over the labeling on certain Frito-Lay North America Inc. products, finding that the plaintiffs failed to show that there was good cause for allowing the substitution more than three years after the deadline for adding plaintiffs (Markus Wilson, et al. v. Frito-Lay North America, Inc., No. 12-1586, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129053).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Samsung To Federal Circuit: Hot-Spot Patent Properly Deemed Obvious

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an Aug. 11 appellee brief filed with the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and related entities defended the propriety of a December 2016 ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which deemed myriad claims of a wireless hot-spot technology patent obvious under Section 103 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 103 (IXI IP LLC v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., No. 17-1665, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Seeks Clarification On Discovery To Reinsurer In Breach Of Contract Suit

    PHILADELPHIA - In a breach of contract suit, an insurer moved for clarification on Aug. 11 with a Pennsylvania federal court to confirm that it is to produce only unredacted versions of documents previously produced with redactions based on proprietary material, reserves and "other reinsurance" information and additional documents reflecting the date when the insurer provided first notice of asbestos claims to other reinsurers of relevant policies (R&Q Reinsurance Co. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., No. 16-1473, E.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Doctor Sentenced To 39 Months In Prison For Hospice Fraud Scheme

    GREENVILLE, Miss. - The U.S. Department of Justice announced Aug. 10 that a federal judge in Mississippi has sentenced a doctor to 39 months in prison and ordered him to pay $1.9 million in restitution to the Medicare program for referring patients to hospice care when such treatment was not necessary (United States v. Nathaniel Brown, No. 16cr74, N.D. Miss.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Florida Jury Finds For Doctor In Medical Malpractice Suit

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A jury in Florida found that a doctor was not negligent for failing to diagnose an obstruction found during a colonoscopy that was later found to be a tumor indicating colon cancer (Zaven Kazandijan, et al. v. David Vastola, No. 2015CA005637, Fla. 15th Jud. Cir., Palm Beach Co.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Panel Upholds Health Care Liability Claims Against Surgeon

    HOUSTON - A Texas appellate panel on Aug. 15 upheld a lower court's decision to deny a surgeon's motion to dismiss a health care liability suit because the plaintiff's expert showed in his affidavit that there was a standard of care and that standard was breached (Marston Holt, M.D. v. Kirby Holt, No. 01-17-00008-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7732).

    Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Appeals To 2nd Circuit Insurer's $18M Arbitration Award

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A reinsurer on Aug. 14 appealed to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a ruling requiring it to pay up to an additional $18 million in reinsurance proceeds to an insurer pursuant to an arbitration award (General Re Life Corp. v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., No. 17-2496, 2nd Cir.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Fabric Maker's Request To Appeal Denial Of Dismissal Motion Rejected By Judge

    MACON, Ga. - An interlocutory appeal of an order denying a protective fabric maker's motion to dismiss a suit accusing it of violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) would not ultimately advance the litigation, a federal judge in Georgia ruled Aug. 15, finding that discovery is needed to determine if wastewater from the company's facility is being discharged into navigable waterways of the United States (Flint Riverkeeper, Inc. v. Southern Mills Inc., No. 16-CV-435, M.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129430).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 7th Circuit Rejects 1.75 Attorney Fee Multiplier In Sears Moldy Washer Class Suit

    CHICAGO - Despite finding that the average multiplier in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is 1.85, a panel on Aug. 14 rejected a 1.75 multiplier for attorney fees in a settled case over defective and moldy Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Whirlpool Corp. (collectively, Sears) washing machines and remanded with directions to award class counsel $2.7 million in fees (In re Sears, Roebuck and Co. Front-Loading Washer Products Liability Litigation, No. 16-3554, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15034).

    Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurance Executives Say $50M RICO Suit With Insurers Should Be Sent To Arbitration

    NEW YORK - Reinsurance executives argue in an Aug. 14 reply brief that a New York federal court should compel arbitration of insurers' $50 million Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act case or, alternatively, stay the dispute "in the interests of fairness and judicial economy" (Bankers Conseco Life Insurance Co., et al. v. Moshe M. Feuer, et al., No. 16-7646, S.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Georgia Appeals Panel Reverses Summary Judgment In Medical Malpractice Suit

    ATLANTA - A Georgia Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 14 found that a vicarious liability claim against a medical practice in a suit in which family members alleged negligent care led to a woman's death was not added to the suit after the two-year statute of limitations expired because it was not a new claim, but was clarified in the plaintiffs' amended complaint (Heather Oller, et al. v. Rockdale Hospital LLC, et al., No. A17A1208, Ga. App., 2017 Ga. App. LEXIS 383).

    Mealey's Insurance - Florida Majority Reverses Ruling In Bad Faith Suit Over Sinkhole Damage

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A majority of a Florida appeals panel on Aug. 11 held that no Florida statute or case law precludes an insured from filing a civil remedy notice (CRN) while a demand for appraisal is outstanding, reversing and remanding a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer in a bad faith lawsuit arising from the insured's claim for sinkhole damage (Phillip Landers v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co., No. 5D15-4032, Fla. App., 5th Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 11543).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - LinkedIn Enjoined From Blocking Analytics Firm's Access To Data

    SAN FRANCISCO - In an Aug. 14 ruling, a California federal judge enjoined LinkedIn Corp. from denying a data analytics company access to publicly available information on its professional social networking site, finding no support for LinkedIn's argument that the access violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (hiQ Labs Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 3:17-cv-03301, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129088).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Magistrate Judge: Expert's Opinion On Bath Mat's Suitability Is Reliable

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A mathematician can provide expert testimony regarding the suitability of a bath mat that allegedly caused a woman to slip and fall after coming out of a shower stall in a condominium, a federal magistrate judge in Tennessee ruled Aug. 11, holding that the expert was qualified and that the methodology underlying his opinion is reliable (Phyllis G. Barnes, et al. v. Greg Malinak, et al., No. 15-cv-556-PLR-HBG, E.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127600).

    Mealey's Insurance - Owner Of 2 Home Health Companies Found Guilty Of Health Care Fraud

    HOUSTON - A registered nurse who owned two home health care companies was found guilty on Aug. 10 by a federal jury in Texas of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud for her role in a $20 million Medicare fraud scheme (United States v. Evelyn Mokwuah, No. 16cr254, S.D. Texas).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Grants Motion To Dismiss Securities Suit Against Energy Company

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Aug. 11 granted a motion to dismiss a securities class action lawsuit filed against a solar energy company and certain of its executive officers after determining that the plaintiffs failed to adequately allege falsity and scienter (In re SolarCity Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 16-4686, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129137).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Subbing Plaintiff Denied 3 Years After Deadline In Frito-Lay Labeling Class Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Aug. 14 denied a motion to substitute the lead plaintiff in a class lawsuit over the labeling on certain Frito-Lay North America Inc. products, finding that the plaintiffs failed to show that there was good cause for allowing the substitution more than three years after the deadline for adding plaintiffs (Markus Wilson, et al. v. Frito-Lay North America, Inc., No. 12-1586, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129053).

    Mealey's Insurance - Washington Panel Affirms No Coverage Ruling In Intentional Act Dispute

    SEATTLE - A Washington appeals panel on Aug. 14 found that because an insured intentionally struck another person in the face several times and the harm of a broken jaw was reasonably foreseeable, there are no issues of material fact regarding whether the insured's act was intentional (State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. v. Nikolas Peters, No. 75705-9-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2017 Wash. App. LEXIS 1935).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Web Host Opposes DOJ's Warrant To Seize User Records From Activist Website

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Citing concerns under the First and Fourth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, a web-hosting firm on Aug. 11 told a District of Columbia court that a U.S. Department of Justice search warrant seeking identifying information for visitors to an anti-Donald Trump website is overbroad and in violation of federal privacy law (In re: the Search of www.disruptj20.org that Is Stored at Premises Owned, Maintained, Controlled,, or Operated by DreamHost, No. 17 CSW 3438, D.C. Super.).