HAMMOND, Ind. - Because a pollution exclusion does not define what constitutes pollution or contamination, the exclusion is ambiguous and cannot be construed as a bar to coverage, an Indiana federal judge determined July 25 in denying the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Old Republic Insurance Co. v. Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority, No. 15-281, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96361).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Cemex Inc. entered into proposed consent decree in Tennessee federal court on July 27 in which it agreed to invest approximately $10 million on technology to cut emissions of nitrogen oxide at five of its cement manufacturing plants to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and pay a $1.6 million civil penalty (United States of America, et al. v. Cemex Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-471, E.D. Tenn.).
NEW YORK - Shareholders on July 25 filed a notice of appeal in a securities class action lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company and its former CEO, seeking Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals review of a federal judge's ruling dismissing the action for failure to plead an actionable misrepresentation, scienter or loss causation (In re Sanofi Securities Litigation, No. 16-2573, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - In a July 25 letter to the judge overseeing the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation, attorneys for the automaker say they will seek review of a recent Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel decision that will allow people who were allegedly injured as a result of defective GM ignition switches in automobiles made before the company's 2009 bankruptcy to sue the company (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254, S.D. N.Y.).
PHILADELPHIA - A couple's lawsuit against the builder of a home they purchased from another couple in 2011 was reinstated by a Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on July 26, after it found that privity was not required for the plaintiffs to bring claims for fraud and violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL) (Christopher Adams, et al. v. Hellings Builders Inc., No. 1407 EDA 2015, Pa. Super.; 2016 Pa. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2720).
PHILADELPHIA - In the second ruling of its kind, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 27 said the Avandia multidistrict litigation court has jurisdiction over common benefit fees and that an Illinois law firm is obligated to pay a 7 percent fee from the settlement of its state court multiplaintiff lawsuit (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-2990, 3rd Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13655).
SEATTLE - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 27 reversed a Washington federal judge's ruling dismissing Indian tribes' claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), finding that a Canadian company's emissions from its smelter cannot be considered a disposal of hazardous waste (Joseph Pakootas, et al. v. Teck Cominco Metals Ltd., No. 15-35228, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13662).
SAN FRANCISCO - A panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 26 affirmed that Dignity Health's pension plan was not subject to the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and did not qualify for ERISA's church-plan exception because it was not established by a church or by a convention or association of churches (Starla Rollins, et al. v. Dignity Health, et al., No. 15-15351, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13574).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Dismissal of claims in a securities class action lawsuit is proper because alleged false and misleading statements made by a quick-service restaurant chain, several of its executive officers and directors and others in a 2015 press release were forward-looking and protected under the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA) or were mere puffery and were nonactionable, a federal judge in California ruled July 25 (Daniel Turocy v. El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc., et al., No. 15-1343, C.D. Calif.).
BOSTON - Federal securities class action filings climbed to higher than historical averages in the first half of 2016, up 27 percent from the semiannual average observed between 1997 and 2015, according to a semiannual report released July 26 by economic and financial consulting firm Cornerstone Research.
SAN FRANCISCO - A district court did not err in assessing a statutory penalty against a disability plan administrator for failing to provide a requested plan document within 30 days, but the district court must recalculate the penalty to assess the penalty based solely on the failure to timely produce the plan document, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said July 25 (Curtis F. Lee v. ING Groep, N.V., et al., No. 14-15848, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13489).
SAN DIEGO - A California federal judge on July 25 denied a motion to decertify a class of workers suing over their employer's rounding practices based on a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Corbin v. Time Warner Entertainment-Advance/Newhouse Partnership (821 F.3d 1069 [9th Cir. 2016]) (Naomi Tapia, et al. v. Zale Delaware Inc., No. 13-1565, S.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96801).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 25 denied a motion to remand a class complaint over the disclosure of employee information to a scammer, finding that the amount in controversy exceeds the minimum necessary for removal pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) (Beverly Porras, et al. v. Sprouts Farmers Market, LLC, et al., No. 16-1005, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96805).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Florida federal jury on July 26 found that Dexter-Hysol Aerospace LLC and Henkel Corp. did not negligently design an adhesive that was a legal cause of loss, injury or damage to an aviation structural mechanic who was allegedly exposed to asbestos-containing products during his career in the U.S. Navy (Marsha K. Dugas, et al. v. 3M Co., et al., No. 14-1096, M.D. Fla.).
BUCHAREST, Romania - Two investors on July 27 said they have sent a notice of investment arbitration to the government of Romania in relation to the seizure of assets of its Romanian subsidiaries by the government.
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on July 26 strengthened the black box warning on fluoroquinolone antibiotics to warn that they are associated with disabling and potentially permanent side effects to the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves and the central nervous system.
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent title insurer and the Texas Title Insurance Guaranty Association (TTIGA) asked a Texas court on July 22 to set a claims-filing deadline and approve their notification and claims-processing procedures (The State of Texas v. Millennium Closing Services LLC d/b/a Millennium Title, No. D-1-GN-16-000360, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A rent-to-own (RTO) franchisee argues in a July 25 brief in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that it was entitled to a defense and indemnity from its insurers in two suits related to its installation of spyware on a couple's computer, asserting that the underlying plaintiffs sufficiently alleged injury from the distribution and publication of private material to trigger coverage (American Economy Insurance Co., et al. v. Aspen Way Enterprises Inc., et al., No. 16-35059, 9th Cir.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on July 25 upheld a patent examiner's determination that a single claim of an electrical fitting patent is not patentable pursuant to 35 U.S. Code Section 103(a) (Bridgeport Fittings Inc. v. Arlington Industries Inc., No. 2015-007896, PTAB).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on July 22 denied an insured's motion to amend her complaint in a Superstorm Sandy coverage dispute (Joan Murphy v. The National Flood Insurance Program, No. 13-6757, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96061).
NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors ignition switch multidistrict litigation on July 22 granted in part and denied in part a motion from the plaintiff in the next bellwether trial seeking to exclude evidence that would show whether the plaintiff was wearing a seat belt when her car crashed (In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 1:14-md-0254; Stephanie Cockram v. General Motors LLC, No. 14-CV-8716, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on July 25 granted a loan-servicing company's motion to dismiss claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA), finding that the servicer provided adequate notice of a transfer of the mortgage to another servicer (Weston Wright, et al. v. Green Tree Servicing LLC, No. 1:14-cv-08493, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96767).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - After finding that Venezuela submitted no new information in its sixth proposal to disqualify and arbitrator, two members of a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on July 26 denied its request to disqualify the arbitrator in the case (ConocoPhillips Petrozuata B.V., et al. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/07/30, ICSID).