LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Mom Loses Suit Over Son's Death After Police Expert's Opinions Allowed

    TOLEDO, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Oct. 17 awarded summary judgment to the city of Toledo and several of its police officers on a mother's claims that the officers violated her son's civil rights by getting him killed for being a drug informant, after finding that an expert for the city and police was qualified to testify and his methodology was reliable (Marcia Przybysz v. City of Toledo, et al., No. 3:16-cv-0353, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171631).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Final Approval Granted To Class Action Over University Records Theft

    ROME, Ga. - Five months after granting preliminary approval of the settlement of a class action over the theft of student records that a group of alumni said exposed their personally identifiable information (PII), a Georgia federal judge on Oct. 17 granted final approval of the parties' agreement that establishes a $175,000 settlement fund for affected students (Erin Bishop, et al. v. Shorter University Inc., No. 4:15-cv-00033, N.D. Ga.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Bad Faith Suit Over Property Insurance Claim Remanded To State Court

    OXFORD, Miss. - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper because an insured has shown that the amount in controversy in the action will not exceed statutory limits, a federal judge in Mississippi ruled Oct. 17 in granting the insured's motion to remand (Strawberry Missionary Baptist Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Company Foundation Inc., No. 17-155, N.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171545).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Divided Federal Circuit Upholds Patent Ineligibility Findings

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - An Illinois federal judge did not err in declaring four patents ineligible under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. 101, because the invention is directed to the abstract idea of paying for public transportation with a credit card and lacks a sufficiently inventive concept, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 18 (Smart Systems Innovations LLC v. Chicago Transit Authority, et al., No. 16-1233, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20333).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Exclusion Order Barring Importation Of Infringing Products Affirmed

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A limited exclusion order entered by the International Trade Commission (ITC) against Arista Networks Inc. based upon findings that Arista infringed three Cisco Systems Inc. patents was upheld Oct. 18 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, which found no error in the ITC's determination of infringement (Arista Networks Inc. v. International Trade Commission, No. 16-2563, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Florida Panel Reverses Hurricane Wilma Coverage Suit For 2nd Time

    MIAMI - After previously reversing a lower court's ruling in favor of a homeowner in a Hurricane Wilma coverage dispute, a Florida appeals panel on Oct. 18 reversed the lower court's ruling on remand in favor of the insurer, finding that a genuine issue of material fact remains regarding whether a letter from the insurer constituted a denial of coverage (Haim Michel Ifergane, Appellant, vs. Citizens Property Insurance Corp., No. 3D16-1142, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 14745).

    Mealey's Insurance - Disability Insurer Erred In Determining Claimant's Date Of Disability, Panel Says

    ATLANTA - A disability insurer acted arbitrarily and capriciously in determining the date of a claimant's disability, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Oct. 17 in reversing a district court's judgment in favor of the insurer (Greggory B. Owings v. United Of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 16-3128, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20228).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - High Court Removes Securities Suit Oral Arguments From Calendar

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 17 removed from the calendar oral arguments in an appeal of a securities class action ruling regarding Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation S-K Item 303's duty to disclose provision for federal securities law claims and stayed the action after the parties stated that they have reached a settlement (Leidos Inc., v. Indiana Public Retirement System, et al., No. 16-581, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - ADT Agrees To Settle Class Suits Over Wireless Systems' Vulnerabilities For $16M

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 16 granted preliminary approval of a $16 million settlement to be paid by ADT LLC to end several class action suits accusing the home security system company of failing to disclose that its wireless systems are unencrypted and vulnerable to attack (Michael Edenborough v. ADT, LLC, No. 16-2233, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170896).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Washington Federal Court Will Maintain Jurisdiction Over Inventor's UCL Claim

    SEATTLE - Even though a patent infringement case was recently transferred from a California federal court, a Washington federal judge on Oct. 17 found that he would maintain jurisdiction over an inventor's claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and refused to dismiss the claim (Elliot Kremerman v. Open Source Steel, LLC, et al., No. 2:17-cv-953, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171735).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Reinsurance Facultative Certificates Cover Defense Costs In Excess Of Cap

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - Reinsurance facultative certificates covered defense expenses in excess of a liability cap, a Pennsylvania appeals panel ruled Oct. 17, affirming that insurers were entitled to interest on certain proofs of loss for asbestos claims issued before 2013 (Century Indemnity Co. v. OneBeacon Insurance Co., No. 1280 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 806).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Reinsurance Facultative Certificates Cover Defense Costs In Excess Of Cap

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - Reinsurance facultative certificates covered defense expenses in excess of a liability cap, a Pennsylvania appeals panel ruled Oct. 17, affirming that insurers were entitled to interest on certain proofs of loss for asbestos claims issued before 2013 (Century Indemnity Co. v. OneBeacon Insurance Co., No. 1280 EDA 2016, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 806).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Dismisses UCL, Negligence Claims Against 360 Mortgage

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 16 granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss all of a borrower's claims against it for failure to state a claim but granted him leave to amend his claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and negligence (Cristian Alvarado v. 360 Mortgage Group LLC, No. 17-cv-04655, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171042).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Hawaii Federal Judge Partly Grants Sanctions In Copyright Case

    HONOLULU - Although refusing to dismiss a copyright infringement case outright as a sanction for providing insufficient discovery responses, a Hawaii federal judge on Oct. 17 ordered a plaintiff to supplement the discovery responses, attend a status conference and be deposed, as well as pay all court reporter fees associated with the deposition (Keoni Payton v. Defend Inc., et al., No. 15-238, D. Hawaii, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171877).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Bon Secours Health Will Pay $98M To 7 Plans To Settle Underfunding Claims

    BALTIMORE - Bon Secours Health System Inc. (BSHSI) will contribute $14 million annually for the next seven years, for a total of $98 million, to seven defined-benefit plans operating as "church plans" to settle claims that it improperly operated the plans as exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and underfunded them, a class of participants claim in their motion for final approval of the settlement agreement and certification of settlement class filed Oct. 13 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Arlene Hodges, et al. v. Bon Secours Health System, Inc., et al., No. 16-1079, D. Md.).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - SEC Investigation Does Not Trigger Coverage For $3M In Legal Costs, Panel Affirms

    DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 17 affirmed a lower federal court's entry of summary judgment in favor of an insurer, rejecting the insured's argument that an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is a claim under its directors and officers liability policy that warrants coverage for all of its $3 million in legal fees (MusclePharm Corporation v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Inc., No. 16-1462, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 20233).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Woman: Class's Claims Against Home Sellers, Contractor Identical To State Suit

    BEAUFORT, S.C. - A woman seeking to represent a proposed class of homeowners claiming that a general contractor, Del Webb Communities Inc., and Pulte Homes Inc. are liable for damages stemming from improperly installed stucco says in an Oct. 13 motion filed in South Carolina federal court that her class should be certified because it is identical to a class that was certified in state court (Jacqueline L. Craft v. South Carolina State Plastering, LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-5080-PMD, D. S.C.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Kentucky Panel Upholds Exclusion Of Expert Testimony In Suit Against Nursing Home

    FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Oct. 13 shot down all of an estate's challenges to a jury's verdict in favor of a nursing home on the estate's wrongful death claims, including the estate's argument that the trial court abused its discretion by limiting testimony from the estate's expert witness (Jerry Stamper v. Berea Area Development, LLC, d/b/a The Terrace Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility, No. 2014-CA-000690-MR, Ky. App., 2017 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 764).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Venezuelan Ministry Says Crystallex Cannot Obtain Trust Assets To Satisfy Award

    NEW YORK - The Ministry of Defense of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on Oct. 16 moved a New York federal court to dismiss a petition filed by a Canadian company that seeks to obtain payment from a trust held by a bank to satisfy a $1.2 billion arbitral award, arguing that the requested assets are immune from execution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) (Crystallex International Corp. v. The Bank of New York Mellon, No. 1:17-cv-07024, S.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Washington Appeals Panel Affirms Judgment In Premises Liability Suit

    SEATTLE - A panel of the Division I Washington Court of Appeals on Oct. 16 affirmed a trial court's decision to grant a city's motion for summary judgment in a premises liability suit after finding that a man who sprained his ankle walking in a lake did not show that a city knew about the hazard on which the man injured himself (Gregory Corwin v. The City of Kent, No. 75659-1-I, Wash. App., Div. 1, 2017 Wash. App. LEXIS 2393).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insured's Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suit Remanded To Pennsylvania State Court

    PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Oct. 12 remanded an insured's suit alleging claims for breach of contract and bad faith against an auto insurer and the insured's insurance agent after determining that the agent was not fraudulently joined to defeat jurisdiction (Melinda Bradley-Williams v. Agency Insurance Company of Maryland Inc., et al., No. 17-3755, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169264).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Rejects Breach Of Fiduciary Claims Based On Freezing Of Retirement Plan

    SANTA ANA, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 13 held that there are no genuine issues of material fact regarding whether the record keeper of a retirement plan breached a fiduciary duty when it followed a retirement committee's instruction to freeze the assets in a tax savings retirement plan account, granting the record keeper's motion for summary judgment (Dr. Sujata Vyas v. Bhaskar Vyas, et al., No. 15-02152, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170029).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Finds Transactions Could Have Caused Breaches Of Fiduciary Duty Under ERISA

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - An Iowa federal judge on Oct. 13 found that a participant in an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) had standing to assert claims against the plan's trustee for violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, partially dismissing certain causes of action but allowing a claim that the trustee allegedly violated a fiduciary duty when it completed a transaction to proceed (Deborah Innis v. Bankers Trust Company of South Dakota, No. 4:16-cv-00650, S.D. Iowa).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses UCL, Negligence Claims Against 360 Mortgage

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 16 granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss all of a borrower's claims against it for failure to state a claim but granted him leave to amend his claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and negligence (Cristian Alvarado v. 360 Mortgage Group LLC, No. 17-cv-04655, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171042).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Washington Federal Court Will Maintain Jurisdiction Over Inventor's UCL Claim

    SEATTLE - Even though a patent infringement case was recently transferred from a California federal court, a Washington federal judge on Oct. 17 found that he would maintain jurisdiction over an inventor's claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and refused to dismiss the claim (Elliot Kremerman v. Open Source Steel, LLC, et al., No. 2:17-cv-953, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171735).