MIAMI - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit on April 18 against the owners, operators and managers of SLS Hotel South Beach in Florida federal court on behalf of a class of black Haitian kitchen workers claiming that the defendants fired them because of their national origin, race and/or color (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. SBEEG Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 17-21446, S.D. Fla.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on April 17 granted a motion filed by two insurers to withdraw an insured's adversary proceeding from bankruptcy court because the bankruptcy court does not have the authority to decide the breach of contract and bad faith claims alleged against the insurers in the adversary proceeding (Phillip Michael Scott v. AIG Property Casualty Co., et al., No. 17-1052, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58339).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - An insurer told a federal court in Connecticut on April 18 that a motion for reconsideration of the confirmation of an arbitration award should not be granted because there was no manifest injustice in the confirmation decision (General Re Life Corporation v. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-01860, D. Conn.).
UTICA, N.Y. - Dismissal of an insured's pro se lawsuit seeking coverage for water and mold damages is not appropriate because the insured attempted to timely file the suit within the policy's two-year limitations period, a New York federal judge said April 19 (Edmund Sanderson v. First Liberty Insurance Corp., No. 16-644, N.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59330).
ATLANTA - A fingerprint specialist may testify based on his qualifications and reliable method on the identification of a man charged with the violation of procuring naturalization and citizenship contrary to U.S. law, a Georgia federal judge held April 18 (United States of America v. Olu Kanni Sanyaolu, No. 16-cr-126, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59294).
COVINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on April 17 granted a disability insurer's motion to dismiss the claims alleged against it by a disability claimant after determining that the claimant did not exhaust her administrative remedies because she did not file an administrative appeal within the prescribed 180-day time period (Cheryl Stacy v. Appalachian Regional Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 16-186, E.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57953).
TOLEDO, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on April 19 refused to grant former property owners a temporary restraining order enjoining lenders from evicting them from a property, finding that their claims were already adjudicated in a state court foreclosure action (Barbara Jacobs, et al. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 3:17-CV-0475, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59672).
ORLANDO, Fla. - Waffle House Inc. and WH Capital LLC (together, Waffle House) and other companies violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. 1681, by obtaining and using information from background reports for job applicants without providing proper disclosures to the applicants before taking adverse actions against them by not hiring them, more than a dozen applicants allege in an April 17 class complaint filed in Florida federal court (Alex Holt, et al. v. Waffle House, Inc., et al., No. 17-693, M.D. Fla.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 18 granted a motion filed by an investment advising company to dismiss claims for fraud and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) asserted by a technical services company and a wealth management company in relation to an underlying service agreement, finding that the claims lacked the required facts to support the allegations (SVGRP LLC, et al. v. Sowell Financial Services, LLC, et al., No.5:16-cv-07302, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59271).
NEW YORK - An insurer told a federal court in New York on April 19 that it is appealing the court's decision that vacated a reinsurance arbitration award because of the actions of an arbitrator (Certain Underwriting Members at Lloyd's, London v. Insurance Company of the Americas, No. 16-cv-00323, S.D. N.Y.).
MADISON, Wis. - An infringement plaintiff's motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on a defendant's assertion that two sets of copyrighted illustrations constitute a joint work was denied April 18 by a Wisconsin federal judge (Amy Lee Sullivan v. Flora Inc., No. 15-298, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58774).
ATLANTA - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify a home inspector against allegations that an insufficient inspection failed to discover defective conditions prior to a home sale, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 17, finding that the inspector's negligence did not cause any covered "property damage" (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Ralph Gage Contracting Inc., et al., No. 16-15442, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6528).
BOSTON - A man who contracted E. coli after eating chicken and rice from a restaurant filed suit against the restaurant in a Massachusetts state court on April 18, claiming that the restaurant failed to protect him by serving contaminated food (Trevor Bryant v. Chicken and Rice Guys LLC, No. 1784CV01184, Mass. Super. Suffolk Co.).
OMAHA, Neb. - A request by a plaintiff for summary judgment on its allegations that four defendants infringed the "LaGrange" trademark was granted, in part, by a Nebraska federal judge on April 18 (JDR Industries v. James L. Vance, et al., No. 14-284, D. Neb., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58912).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on April 18 registered a request filed by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to annul a $161.6 million arbitral award issued in favor of investors in two Venezuelan entities (Tenaris S.A. and Talta - Trading e Marketing Sociedade Unipessoal Lda. v. Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, No. ARB/12/23, ICSID).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 17 substantially denied a motion to dismiss filed by defendants in a copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that a company has properly pleaded its claims against a majority of the defendants in the action (Jorgensen & Co. v. Gary Sutherland, et al., No. 15-7373, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59108).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 affirmed a federal judge's grant of summary judgment to the makers of a rifle because the product defect suit against them was time-barred by the Texas Statute of Repose (Edward Burdett v. Remington Arms Company LLC, et al., No. 16-11216, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6745).
TAMPA, Fla - An insured's bad faith claim is based on his insurer's alleged breach of its fiduciary duty to him and is, thus, subject to a four-year statute of limitations, a federal judge in Florida ruled April 18 in granting the insurer' motion to dismiss (Waldermar Baranowski v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 17-301, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5885).
PORTLAND, Ore. - A federal magistrate judge in Oregon on April 18 recommending denying Monsanto Co.'s motion to dismiss product liability claims brought by the Port of Portland, over polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination, finding that the plaintiff does not clearly state when it discovered the injury (Port of Portland v. Monsanto Co., et al., No. 17-15, D. Ore.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on April 18 issued an opinion finding that a class complaint over the legitimacy of a university's online-only program belongs in federal, not state, court and then dismissed the complaint with prejudice, finding that it was time-barred (Brice Bradford, et al. v. The George Washington University, No. 16-858, D. D. C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58590).
NEW YORK - A panel of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 20 ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to decide a case in which a group of residents sued Tronox Inc. contending that they had been harmed as a result of exposure to wood treated with creosote at the company's plant in Pennsylvania (Avoca Plaintiffs v. Kerr-McGee Corporation; In Re: Tronox Inc., No. 16-343, 2nd Cir.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania Superior Court panel on April 19 affirmed a $55 million verdict in a product liability suit in which a man claimed that he became a quadriplegic because the seat belt he was wearing during a car crash did not protect him (American Honda Motor Co., Inc. v. Carlos Martinez, et al., No. 445 EDA 2015, Pa. Super., 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 271).
DENVER - The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 rejected insureds' argument that an insurer acted in bad faith by unreasonably delaying an appraisal and by failing to conduct an adequate claim investigation, affirming a lower federal court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Hayes Family Trust, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty, No. 15-6231, 10th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6713).