LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Insurance - Policyholder Is Entitled To Limited Number Of Underwriting Files

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal magistrate judge on Nov. 30 ruled that an insured is entitled to underwriting and claims files for a limited number of its London Market Insurers to determine if nonduplicative documents exists among the policies issued by the London Market Insurers to the insured (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, et al., v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al., No. 14-4717, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165967).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Dismisses Case, Finds Personal Jurisdiction Lacking In Asbestos Action

    NEW ORLEANS - A company's uncontested evidence that it had no contacts in Louisiana overcomes conclusory statements and suffices for a finding that a court lacks personal jurisdiction over it, a federal judge in Louisiana held Nov. 30 (Breck Williams, et al. v. Rust Engineering & Construction Co., et al., No. 16-13136, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165012).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Golden State Warriors Fan Defends Standing To Sue Team Over Eavesdropping App

    SAN FRANCISCO - In a Dec. 1 brief opposing motions to dismiss her putative class action in California federal court against National Basketball Association team the Golden State Warriors, a plaintiff argues that she has sufficiently alleged a concrete injury under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) in the interception of her private communications via the Warriors' smartphone app (LaTisha Satchell v. Sonic Notify Inc. d/b/a Signal360, et al., No.3:16-cv-04961, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Remands Agent Orange Benefits Case, Says Claim May Be Substantiated

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Nov. 30 vacated and remanded a ruling that denied benefits to a veteran's widow for his cancer and subsequent death in connection with exposure to Agent Orange, finding that the Board of Veterans Appeals failed to determine if the veteran's cancer could substantiate a claim for benefits (Anita Gauldock v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 15-2893, Vet. Clms.; 2016 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1846).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Damages Expert Barred From Opining On Certain Damages In Agreement Dispute, Judge Says

    NEW YORK - A damages expert is excluded from testifying on a credit card company's damages for additional issuing and acquiring opportunities from a termination of a deal with MasterCard International Inc., a New York federal judge ruled Nov. 29, also granting summary judgment in part to MasterCard on a breach of contract claim (International Cards Company Ltd. v. MasterCard International Inc., No. 13-2576, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165225).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Expert Testimony, Grants Judgment On Fraud, Breach Of Warranty Claims

    CLEVELAND - Having excluded an expert's testimony on a pest device based on an unreliable methodology, an Ohio federal judge on Nov. 29 granted summary judgment to the device's manufacturers on fraud and breach of warranty claims in a class action lawsuit (Jeanne Steigerwald, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. BHH LLC, et al., No. 15-741, N.D. Ohio; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164308).

    Mealey's Insurance - Evidence Shows Claimant Is Not Disabled From Any Occupation, Panel Affirms

    CINCINNATI - Because six medical experts unanimously agreed that a disability claimant was not disabled from performing any occupation, the disability insurer did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in terminating the claimant's long-term disability (LTD) benefits, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Nov. 29 (Dana Leppert v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 16-3387, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21438).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Plaintiff: Good Cause Exists For Expert Substitution In Oil Rig Explosion Case

    SAN FRANCISCO - Nigerian residents who contend that they have been injured as a result of an oil rig explosion on Nov. 30 filed a brief in California federal court, contending that their motion to substitute a fisheries expert in place of the expert they originally scheduled is based on good cause under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (FRCP) 16 (Natto Iyela Gbarabe v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: Investors Have Had Enough Time To Collect Demand Futility Information

    PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on Nov. 29 denied a motion for an extension to file an amended complaint in a shareholder derivative lawsuit against several current and former officers and directors of a solar panel maker, ruling that investors have had enough time to gather the necessary information for them to plead demand futility (In re First Solar Derivative Litigation, No. 12-0769, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164272).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Missouri Does Not Recognize Bad Faith Refusal To Pay Claim

    ST. LOUIS - Dismissal of a bad faith claim in an insurance dispute is proper because the state does not recognize a claim for bad faith refusal to pay benefits, but an insured has properly stated his claim for breach of contract against the insurer, a federal judge in Missouri ruled Nov. 29 in granting in part and denying in part the insurer's motion to dismiss (Roger L. Smith v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 16-0187, E.D. Mo.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163444).

    Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Institutional Investor Group Appointed Lead Plaintiff In Securities Class Action

    NEW YORK - A group of institutional investors has met all statutory requirements to serve as lead plaintiff in a securities class action against a real estate investment trust and several of its former executive officers and directors, a federal magistrate judge in New York ruled Nov. 29 (Westchester Putnam Counties Heavy & Highway Laborers Local 60 Benefit Funds v. Brixmor Property Group Inc., et al., No. 16-2400, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164682).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Florida Appellate Panel Vacates $20 Million Tobacco Verdict

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Nov. 30 vacated a $20 million verdict awarded to the estate of a woman following a trial in an Engle progeny suit after finding that the damages awarded by the jury were excessive (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Gwendolyn E. Odom, No. 4D14-3867, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 17713).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit: Franchisors Cannot Seek Lost Royalties Under BP Settlement

    NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 1 affirmed a federal judge in Louisiana's ruling that three franchisors that are not based in the Gulf of Mexico cannot seek to obtain lost franchisee royalties during the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, finding that they are not included in the terms of the economic and property damages settlement agreement (Claimant ID 100197593, et al. v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., et al., No. 16-30283, 5th Cir.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Court Erred In Rejecting Concurring Cause Doctrine, Majority Says, Quashes Order

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A majority of the Florida Supreme Court on Dec. 1 held that an appeals court erred in reversing an $8 million judgment against a homeowners insurer in a coverage dispute over alleged property damage caused by construction defects, rain and wind, quashing the lower court's opinion and remanding to apply the concurring cause doctrine (John Robert Sebo v. American Home Assurance Co. Inc., No. 14-897, Fla. Sup.; 2016 Fla. LEXIS 2596).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - $1B Verdict Returned In 6-Plaintiff Pinnacle Hip MDL Bellwether Trial

    DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Dec. 1 returned a verdict of more than $1 billion in favor of six plaintiffs in the second DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether trial (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 13-3631, Rosa Metzler, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 12-2066, Michael Weiser v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3631, Judith Rodriguez v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3938, Linda Standerfer v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1730, Kathleen Davis, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-1767, Marvin Andrews, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-3484, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: New Hampshire C8 Contamination Case Belongs In Federal Court

    CONCORD, N.H. - A federal judge in New Hampshire on Nov. 30 ruled that residents who contend that a company contaminated their drinking water with perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8) did not satisfy the local-exception requirement to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) and therefore were not entitled to have the case remanded to state court (Kevin Brown, et al. v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., et al., Nos. 16-242 and 16-243, D. N.H.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Fact Issue Exists As To Whether Professional Services Exclusion Was In Policy

    JONESBORO, Ark. - Ruling on dueling summary judgment motions, an Arkansas federal judge concluded Nov. 28 that there is a genuine factual dispute concerning whether a professional services exclusion was included in a commercial general liability insurance policy when an underlying injury occurred at a day care (Penn-Star Insurance Co. v. New Edition Early Learning Academy, et al., No. 15-104, E.D. Ark.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163196).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Georgia Top Court: Manufacturer Had No Duty To Warn Of Take-Home Exposures

    ATLANTA - A manufacturer of asbestos-containing pipe had no duty to warn about the potential danger of take-home exposures, Georgia's top court held Nov. 30, while finding that such a duty would be impractical in practice and would unreasonably shift responsibility to the product user (CertainTeed Corp. v. Fletcher, No. S151903, Ga. Sup.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - California High Court Finds Duty To Prevent Household Asbestos Exposures

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California imposes a duty on employers and premises owners to prevent reasonably foreseeable asbestos exposures to household members, the state Supreme Court held Dec. 1 (Johnny Blaine Kesner v. Superior Court of California for the County of Alameda, No. S219534, Haver v. BNSF, No. S219919, Calif. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Lawyer In File-Sharing Case Again Sanctioned For Discovery Violations

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - After an appeals panel partly dismissed sanctions against an attorney as not properly reflecting the harm incurred by a copyright defendant due to the attorney's discovery misconduct and misrepresentations, an Illinois federal judge on Nov. 23 deemed the attorney's actions to be civil contempt and sanctioned him in amount equivalent to the defendant's remaining costs related to the misconduct (Lightspeed Media Corp. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 3:12-cv-00889, S.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162981).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Refuses To Remand Construction Defects Suit, Trims Claims

    LAS VEGAS - A proposed class of Nevada homeowners who are suing the builder and developer of allegedly defective homes must pursue their claims in federal court and cannot seek damages for strict liability and breach of implied warranty under Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 116.4114, a federal judge ruled Nov. 27 (Brittany Lopez, et al. v. U.S. Homes Corporation, et al., No. 16-cv-01754-GMN-CWH, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163571).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Illinois Federal Judge Partially Bars Expert's Opinions In Patent Infringement Lawsuit

    CHICAGO - In a patent infringement lawsuit, an Illinois federal judge on Nov. 28 partially granted in part and denied in part a patent owner's motion to exclude an expert's opinions on whether accused products infringed its patents related to agricultural equipment (Not Dead Yet Manufacturing Inc. d/b/a NDY MFG Inc. v. Pride Solutions LLC and May Wes Manufacturing, No. 13-3418, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163756).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Asbestos Attorney Fights Expert Testimony-Based Sanctions Ruling

    SAN FRANCISCO - A judge conducted only a perfunctory and conclusory investigation before finding that counsel violated court orders in an effort to elicit expert testimony regarding chemotherapy's impact on kidney disease, yet the jury already knew about the connection and no ruling excluded the testimony, a sanctioned attorney told the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Nov. 23 (Barry Kelly and Molly Kelly v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 11-3240, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - ICSID Issues 1st Order In Treaty Dispute Over Mining Project Filed Against Romania

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Nov. 29 issued its first procedural order in an arbitration brought by a Canadian resource company against Romania over a gold and silver project, establishing the procedural rules of the case (Gabriel Resources Ltd. and Gabriel Resources (Jersey) v. Romania, No. ARB/15/31, ICSID).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Federal Judge Partially Grants, Denies Summary Judgment In Tobacco Contract Suit

    RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on Nov. 28 partially granted and partially denied a motion for summary judgment by a hotel, finding that a cigar wholesaler breached a contract it had with a hotel in Las Vegas (Wynn Las Vegas LLC v. Cigar Row LLC, No. 2:15-CV-01079, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163570).