RICHMOND, Va. - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy provider and its CEO have failed to show that the CEO acted with the requisite scienter in misrepresenting to investors that the company had secured a contract renewal with a large customer because they have not shown that he knew his statements were misleading at the time he made them, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 15 in affirming a federal judge's dismissal of the action (Maguire Financial LP, et al. v. PowerSecure International Inc., et al., No. 16-2163, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22968).
SEATTLE - An employer's use of a workweek average to arrive at the appropriate pay rate for employees doesn't violate the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it provides employees with wages that meet the minimum wage, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 15, noting that whether the employees have a contract claim is beyond the scope of the interlocutory appeal (Kristy Douglas, et al. v. Xerox Business Services, LLC, et al., No. 16-35425, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22967).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Nov. 13 dismissed a breach of contract claim brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. against fourth-level excess insurers in a coverage dispute arising from fraudulent mortgage loans, finding that third-level excess insurance has not been exhausted (Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. v. Arch Insurance Company, et al., No.14-0545, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 187224).
RICHMOND, Va. - Allegations that the creator of a cloud computing environment committed computer fraud when it copied and transferred data to former employees of a company it once contracted with are preempted by the Copyright Act, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 13 (OpenRisk LLC v. MicroStrategy Services Corp., No. 16-1852, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22736).
TYLER, Texas - The 12th District Texas Court of Appeals on Nov. 8 determined that a trial court erred in granting an insured's motion to compel because the documents sought by the insured are not relevant to the contract claim and will not be relevant unless and until the extracontractual claims are tried (In re: Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co., No. 12-17-00266, Texas App., 12th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 10428).
CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Supreme Court on Nov. 9 ordered that a medical malpractice suit be remanded to a trial court and that partial summary judgment be ordered in favor of a hospital after finding that the hospital did not waive its immunity by purchasing insurance because the insurance did not cover a doctor who was contracted to work for the hospital (Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County v. Darrell Menapace, No. S-17-0055, Wyo. Sup., 2017 Wyo. LEXIS 137).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 7 extended the deadline for discovery in a hydraulic fracturing contract dispute following a previous ruling in which the judge denied a motion for protective order and a motion to quash that had been filed by a fracking company that sought to prevent inspection of fracking rigs at issue in the litigation (Orion Drilling Company LLC v. EQT Production Company, No. 16-01516, W.D. Pa.).
SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 9 granted insureds' motion for partial summary judgment in their breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from storm damage, finding that the insurer remains liable for any damages caused by pure wind and the combination of wind and flood if such damages are proven by the insureds (Hidden Cove Park and Marina, et al. v. Lexington Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-00193, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186191).
SAN ANTONIO - The Fourth District Texas Court of Appeals on Nov. 8 affirmed a trial court's grant of summary judgment to an insurer on the insured's common-law bad faith claim after determining that the insured failed to offer evidence of an extreme act that caused an injury that was independent of the insured's breach of contract claim (Oscar Ortiz v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 04-17-00252, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 10395).
UTICA, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Nov. 7 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss eight claims alleged by an insured seeking coverage for water and mold damages after determining that the insured plausibly alleged that the insurer breached its contract but failed to prove that the insurer's conduct amounted to any tortious behavior (Edmund G. Sanderson v. First Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 16-644, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 184468).
ABINGDON, Oxfordshire - A United Kingdom maker of photovoltaic (PV) silicon wafers on Nov. 8 announced that the International Court of Arbitration for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has awarded it $39,436,143.11 for breach of a contract in which a customer agreed to purchase wafers over a seven-year period.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a breach of contract lawsuit, a financial services company argues in a Nov. 3 opposition brief to the District of Columbia federal court that it has a right to recover a $26 million arbitration award directly from reinsurers (Vantage Commodities Financial Services I, LLC v. Assured Risk Transfer PCC, LCC, et al., No. 17-01451, D. D.C.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. - A Minnesota federal judge on Nov. 3 granted a plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction and the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) motion to stay in a lawsuit over the DOL's new "best interest contract" prohibited exemption (BIC exemption) (Thrivent Financial for Lutherans v. R. Alexander Acosta, et al., No. 0:16-cv-03289, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182657).
DENVER - A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 6 partially reinstated claims by three terminated temporary teachers, opining that they may proceed with a contract breach claim related to a collective bargaining agreement's (CBA) evaluation provision and a claim that one of the teachers was retaliated against due to her speech regarding a bond issue (Kena Utter, et al. v. Amie Rose Colclazier, et al., No. 17-7002, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 22116).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana federal magistrate judge on Nov. 2 allowed an insured to amend her complaint to adequately allege a flood insurer's citizenship in her breach of contract lawsuit arising from flood damage (Sarah Faye Carrier v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 17-1543, M.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182386).
COLUMBIA, S.C. - In response to negligence and breach of contract claims against a bank for its role as trustee of a reinsurance trust with an insolvent insurer, the bank asserts affirmative defenses in a Nov. 2 answer and counterclaim in South Carolina federal court (Accident Insurance Company Inc. v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., No. 16-2621, D. S.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159628).
NEW YORK - In a Nov. 2 summary order, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found that a breach of contract claim over problems with the website and app of Weight Watchers International Inc. failed because the site was offered on an "as is" basis, affirming a trial court's dismissal of a putative class action (Raymond M. Roberts v. Weight Watchers International Inc., No. 16-3865, 2nd Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 21874).
LOS ANGELES - After finding that the purchaser of allegedly defective pork products failed to show that the seller of the products violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) or breached contracts for the sale and delivery of the products, a California federal judge on Nov. 1 dismissed its counterclaims with leave to amend (Pini USA Inc., et al. v. NB Global Commodities LLC, No. 2:17-CV-04763, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181235).
PHILADELPHIA - An insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith when denying coverage under an automobile insurance policy for an insured who was injured in an automobile accident while traveling in a work vehicle because the accident was subject to a "regular use exception" in the policy, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled Oct. 30 in granting the insurer's summary judgment motion (Douglas Reeves v. The Travelers Companies, No. 16-6448, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179720).
CONCORD, N.H. - A commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend an insured in an underlying breach of contract lawsuit seeking damages only for uncovered defective workmanship, a New Hampshire federal judge ruled Oct. 24 (Patriot Insurance Co. v. Holmes Carpet Center LLC, et al., No. 17-73, D. N.H., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175643).
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal agency did not act in breach of contract or misrepresent itself to a reinsured agricultural business by declining to divulge information about an investigation against a federal crop insurer before the farm signed a settlement that led to criminal charges, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 23 (POCO LLC v. Farmer's Crop Insurance Alliance Inc., No. 16-35310, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20853).