LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - N.Y. Court Told To Nix Asbestos Punitive Damages, Safeguard Trust Transparency

    NEW YORK - An appeals court should vacate a provision of the new case management order allowing for punitive damages in asbestos cases and vacate or amend a provision governing how asbestos bankruptcy trust claims are handled, an amicus curiae group told the court on Oct. 10 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, All Asbestos Cases., No. 40000/1988 782000/2017, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Baker Botts Opposes Yukos Investor's Motion For Reconsideration

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Oct. 10 issued a minute order granting a request by three investors to extend their time to reply to an opposition filed by a law firm to their motion for reconsideration of a decision that denied a request for discovery to be used in The Netherlands' appeal of a ruling that vacated $50 billion in arbitral awards issued against the Russian Federation (Hulley Enterprises Ltd., et al., v. Baker Botts LLP, No. 17-1466, D. D.C.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Inter Partes Review Of Network Communication Patent Denied By Board

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A challenge of a patent covering a system and method for communication between two or more disparate networks in parallel was turned away on Oct. 10 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which exercised its discretion pursuant to Section 325(d) of the America Invents Act, 35 U.S.C. 325(d) (IPR) (Viptela Inc. v. Fatpipe Networks Private Ltd., No. IPR2017-01126, PTAB).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Winn-Dixie Disputes ADA Application To Websites In 11th Circuit

    ATLANTA - Appealing a lower court's finding that a visually impaired man sufficiently alleged that its website's purported lack of accessibility violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. tells the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Oct. 10 brief that the statute's accessibility requirements apply to physical locations, not websites (Winn-Dixie Stores Inc. v. Juan Carlos Gil, No. 17-13467, 11th Cir.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Appeals Panel Upholds Order Denying Summary Judgment In Premises Liability Suit

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - In an unpublished opinion issued Oct. 10, a panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed a decision to deny summary judgment to a company that owns an apartment complex after finding that a woman who injured herself after falling down a set of stairs raised genuine issues as to whether the owner had a duty to warn and protect her from the danger (Berwind Row LLC v. Tina M. Teeter, No. 1706 WDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3736).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Iowa Appeals Panel Affirms Defense Verdict In Medical Malpractice Suit

    DES MOINES, Iowa - A panel of the Iowa Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 affirmed a defense verdict in a medical malpractice suit after finding that a trial court was right to find that testimony the plaintiff's expert gave was cumulative (V.P., a minor, by Dhiren Patel and Shital Patel, his parents and next friends, v. Dr. Gregg Calderwood, et al., No. 16-1148, Iowa App., 2017 Iowa App. LEXIS 1035).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses UCL Claim, But Rejects Health Insurer's ERISA Preemption Stance

    SAN FRANCISCO - A substance abuse treatment center's three surviving claims involve a provider-insurer relationship outside ERISA's scope, but the provider's unfair competition law (UCL) claims seek relief available through other means and are not among the surviving causes of action, a federal judge in California held Oct. 10 (Summit Estate Inc. v. Cigna Healthcare of California Inc., et al., No. 17-3871, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167462).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Supreme Court Won't Hear Suit Over Liability For Online Sale Of Infringing Goods

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its Oct. 10 order list, the U.S. Supreme denied a petition for certiorari in a children's pillowcase maker's suit against Amazon.com Inc., declining to consider questions regarding an online retailer's liability for the sale of a third party's goods that infringe another's patents or copyrights (Milo & Gabby LLC, et al. v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 17-287, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - High Court Seeks Solicitor General's Input In Apple App Store Antitrust Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - After being fully briefed in a putative class action over alleged anti-competitive behavior by Apple Inc. related to its App Store, the U.S. Supreme Court in its Oct. 10 order list invited the U.S. solicitor general to file a brief expressing the government's views on antitrust standing of direct and indirect purchasers, seeking input in considering Apple's petition for certiorari (Apple Inc. v. Robert Pepper, et al., No. 17-204, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Trade Secrets, Other Claims Not Plausible On Face, Former Business Partner Says

    CHICAGO - A company has failed to show that its trade secrets misappropriation, trademark infringement, breach of contract and other claims against its former business partner are plausible on their face and, thus, dismissal of those claims is warranted, the former business partner argues in an Oct. 10 motion to dismiss filed in Illinois federal court (Mighty Deer Lick Inc., d/b/a Mighty Deer Lick Sweet Apple Inc., v. Morton Salt Inc., No. 17-5875, N.D. Ill.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Panel: Judge Did Not Err In Ordering Installer To Replace, Not Repair, Windows

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania trial court judge did not err in awarding $67,420.25 in damages to a property owner for water intrusion caused by improperly installed windows, a state appeals panel ruled Oct. 10, holding that expert testimony supported the finding that replacing the windows rather than repairing them was the most appropriate remedy (700 EBA, LLC v. Weaver's Glass & Building Specialties, Inc., No. 1868 MDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 3728).

    Mealey's Insurance - New Jersey Panel Says Continuous Trigger Applies In Defects Coverage Dispute

    TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey appeals panel on Oct. 10 agreed with a subcontractor that the continuous trigger theory applies to a dispute over whether coverage is owed by one of its insurers but remanded to the trial court the issue of when the manifestation began (Air Master & Cooling Inc. v. Selective Insurance Company of America, et al., No. A-5415-15T3, N.J. Super, App. Div., 2017 N.J. Super. LEXIS 144).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appeals Panel Affirms $34.6 Million Tobacco Verdict

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A panel of the First District Florida Court of Appeal on Oct. 11 affirmed a judge's decision to read a jury instruction in a tobacco trial after finding that there was not enough evidence to show that the instruction prejudiced a tobacco company (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Colette S. O'Hara, No. 1D15-5764, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 14233).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds Fact Issues Exist Over Knowledge Of Claim Under Performance Bond

    CHICAGO - Material fact issues remain as to when a contractor knew of a construction defects claim under a performance bond, an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 10, denying summary judgment on a surety's statute of limitations defense (James McHugh Construction Co. v. International Fidelity Insurance Co., No. 14-02399, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166729).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Upholds PTO Decision To Exclude Attorney From Practice

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A determination by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) - later upheld by a Virginia federal judge - that an attorney should be excluded from practicing before the PTO in light of his disbarment in North Carolina was itself upheld on Oct. 12 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Richard Polidi v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, No. 16-1997, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - 11th Circuit Finds No Existence Of Loan Modification, Affirms Dismissal

    ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 10 affirmed a district court's dismissal of claims for discrimination and breach of contract asserted by a borrower in relation to an alleged loan modification, finding that a lender and loan servicer never offered a modification (Angela Molina v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-17401, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19744).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - 11th Circuit Says Plan Did Not Have Actual Knowledge Of Employee's Incompetence

    ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 10 affirmed a district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of a retirement plan administrator after determining that the administrator's refusal to reinstate an employee's retirement benefits, based on the fact that the employee was found to incompetent and had a court-appointed conservator, was reasonable because the administrator did not have actual knowledge of the employee's incompetence (Michael E. Bauman, by and through Michael E. Sumner, conservator, v. Publix Super Markets, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan et al., No. 17-11709, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19760).

    Mealey's Insurance - 11th Circuit Says Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Handling Of Auto Claim

    ATLANTA - An insurer did not act in bad faith in its handling of settlement negotiations because no reasonable jury could conclude that the insurer's potential negligence caused a failure to settle a claim arising out of an auto accident, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Oct. 10 (Dennis Lee Kemp v. USAA Casualty Insurance Co., et al., Nos. 16-15087, 16-15169, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19753).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 1st Circuit Affirms: Copyrights Conveyed To Gripe Website

    BOSTON - The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 11 upheld findings by a Massachusetts federal judge that a disgruntled civil litigant conveyed a nonexclusive license to the "Ripoff Report" website when he clicked a box acknowledging that a user who posts on the site agrees to give the site's owner an "irrevocable right" to display the posting (Small Justice LLC, et al. v. Xcentric Ventures LLC, Nos. 15-1506, 16-1085, 1st Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 19866).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - N.Y. Court Told To Nix Asbestos Punitive Damages, Safeguard Trust Transparency

    NEW YORK - An appeals court should vacate a provision of the new case management order allowing for punitive damages in asbestos cases and vacate or amend a provision governing how asbestos bankruptcy trust claims are handled, an amicus curiae group told the court on Oct. 10 (In re: New York City Asbestos Litigation, All Asbestos Cases., No. 40000/1988 782000/2017, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.).

    Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge Grants Preliminary Approval Of $28.5M Settlement In IPO Suit

    NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Oct. 11 granted preliminary approval of a $28.5 million securities class action settlement between shareholders and a global eCommerce company and others, ruling that the proposed settlement offer is fair, reasonable and adequate (In re Cnova N.V. Securities Litigation, No. 16-444, S.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Monsanto: Roundup MDL Cases Fail For Lack Of Causation Between Cancer, Glyphosate

    SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. on Oct. 6 moved in California federal court for dismissal of the multidistrict litigation related to the herbicide Roundup on grounds that the plaintiffs have not satisfied their burden to present expert testimony that is "scientifically reliable and relevant" and that is sufficient to prove general causation concerning whether glyphosate - the active ingredient in Roundup - is capable of causing cancer (In re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741 MDL, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Florida Top Court Asked To Review Cumulative Asbestos Exposure Opinion

    MIAMI - The Florida Supreme Court should resolve a conflict in the state's appellate courts and firmly reject the discredited "cumulative exposure" asbestos causation theory, a shipyard argues in an Oct. 9 petition (Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., et al. v. Rosa-Maria Britt, et al., No. SC17-1780, Fla. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Board Institutes Review Of Remote Measurement System Patent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - In an Oct. 10 ruling, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed to institute inter partes review (IPR) of a patented system for measuring data remotely (Unified Patents Inc. v. Kamatani Cloud LLC, No. IPR2017-01370, PTAB).

    Mealey's Insurance - Ohio Federal Judge Dismisses Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim In Disability Benefits Suit

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Oct. 10 dismissed a claim for breach of fiduciary duty alleged against a disability insurer because the same equitable relief sought by the disability claimant can be obtained if the claimant prevails on his claim seeking recovery of disability benefits (Edward Osborn Sr. v. Principal Life Insurance Co., No. 17-329, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166877).