WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 declined to review a woman's case involving, among other issues, the proper way to handle external benefit denial appeal after the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s amendments to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (S.M. v. Oxford Health Plans [NY] Inc., et al., No. 15-1540, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 declined review of an appeal of an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel's ruling affirming a state court order in a securities class action lawsuit that determined that a jury instruction improperly stated the law governing a federal securities fraud claim (Richard I. Fried v. Stiefel Laboratories Inc., et al., No. 15-1458, U.S. Sup.).
DALLAS - The third bellwether trial in the DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation got under way on Oct. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, 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.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A majority of the Florida Supreme Court held Sept. 29 that an appellate court misapplied a statutory presumption of correctness and incorrectly found that another statute requires a showing of bad faith for an insured to recover attorney fees, quashing and remanding the appellate court's ruling in a sinkhole coverage dispute (Kathy Johnson v. Omega Insurance Co., No. SC14-2124, Fla. Sup.; 2016 Fla. LEXIS 2148).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 refused to grant certiorari in a case brought by former homeowners who challenged the foreclosure sale and forcible detainer of their home (Nicholas C. Daniels, et ux. v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, No. 16-168, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 5329).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Oct. 3 denied a motion by five plaintiffs in a DePuy Pinnacle hip trial to find the Texas punitive damages cap unconstitutional and to reinstate their $360 million exemplary damages award (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, Margaret Aoki v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 13-1071, Jacqueline Christopher v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-194, Donald Greer v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 12-1672, Susan Klusmann v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 11-2800, Robert Peterson v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 11-1941, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Oct. 3 granted a rare joint plaintiff-defense motion to centralize 42 federal Abilify lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida (In Re: Abilify [Aripiprazole] Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2734, JPMDL).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a jewelry company seeking review of a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel's ruling that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, courts may review whether the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission conducted an investigation, not whether the investigation was sufficient (Sterling Jewelers, Inc. v. EEOC, No. 15-1329, U.S. Sup.; 2016 U.S. LEXIS 4580).
HARTFORD, Conn. - In what is being called "the largest single state settlement in the history of the state of Connecticut," RBS Securities Inc. will pay $120 million to the State of Connecticut to settle claims that it engaged in underwriting of risky residential mortgage-backed securities before the start of the 2008 financial crisis, the state's attorney general and banking commissioner announced Oct. 3.
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Sept. 28 found that a contractor and others that had agreed to indemnify an insurer in liquidation were liable to indemnify the insurer for more than $500,000 of losses the insurer paid when the contractor could not to meet its obligations on a brine storage pond project (Castlepoint National Insurance Company v. Addicks Services, Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-00462, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134761).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 3 denied certiorari for three third-party payers that allege that Sanofi-Aventis U.S. Inc. violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act by fraudulently inducing doctors to prescribe the antibiotic Ketek (Sergeants Benevolent Association Health and Welfare Fund, et al. v. Sanofi-Aventis U.S., Inc., No.15-1525, U.S. Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Sept. 28 dismissed without prejudice a putative class action brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act alleging that Whole Foods Market Inc. breached its fiduciary duty to participants in its 401(k) plan by allowing employees to continue to invest in the company while the company's stock was artificially inflated due to a widespread overpricing scheme (Thomas Martone, et al. v. Whole Foods Market Inc., No. 1:15-CV-877, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133703).
ALBANY, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge on Sept. 30 found that an insured did not satisfy a statutory prerequisite demand requirement by failing to provide sufficient notice of a bad faith claim or litigation to its insurer before filing its initial complaint, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment as to the bad faith claim (Foliar Nutrients Inc., et al. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Co., No. 14-75, M.D. Ga.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135327).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 28 allowed two claims alleging deceptive labeling on one line of Fage Greek yogurt under California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, et seq., and the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) to survive a motion to dismiss (Allan Chang, et al. v. Fage USA Dairy Industry, Inc., No. 14-3826, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133571).
SALEM, Ore. - An Oregon appeals court panel on Sept. 28 held that a construction company and subcontractors accused of construction defects were prevailing parties on appeal and eligible to receive attorney fees, finding that it previously erred when ruling that a homeowners association was the prevailing party on appeal after it was only partially successful in challenging judgments entered in favor of the defendant companies (The Village at North Pointe Condominiums Association v. Bloedel Construction Co., et al., No. A151032, Ore. App.; 2016 Ore. App. LEXIS 1193).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on Sept. 30 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insured's lawsuit seeking indemnification under a financial institution crime bond is time-barred, rejecting the insured's attempt to apply Section 143.1 of Illinois Insurance Code to toll the bond's 24-month filing requirement (Independent Trust Corp. v. Kansas Bankers Surety Company, No. 1-14-3161, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 5th Div.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 670).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Sept. 30 refused to review a mold coverage suit in which a trial court granted an insurer's no-evidence motion for summary judgment because the insureds failed to file a timely and substantive response to the motion (Veronica L. Davis, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds Texas, No. 16-0531, Texas Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims on Sept. 30 partially remanded a ruling that denied a veteran benefits for his alleged exposure to Agent Orange, concluding that the Board of Veterans Appeals must re-evaluate its definition of inland waterways to determine exposure (James R. Johnson v. Robert A. McDonald, No. 15-1101, U.S. App., Vet. Clms.; 2016 U.S. App. Vet. Claims LEXIS 1503).
SAN FRANCISCO - In a pair of appellee briefs filed Sept. 28, Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors LLC say that the plaintiffs in a putative class action alleging the potential of vehicles being hacked and personal information being shared or stolen failed to plead sufficient injury to establish standing, asking the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm a lower court's dismissal of the suit (Helene Cahen, et al. v. Toyota Motor Corp., et al., No. 16-15496, 9th Cir.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on Sept. 29 ordered the liquidation of an insolvent Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace insurer and terminated a previously ordered rehabilitation (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Anne Melissa Dowling, Acting Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois v. Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Company, No. 2016CH09210, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chanc. Div.).
ATLANTA - A commercial general liability insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify a contractor in an underlying lawsuit seeking to recover the costs of repairing and replacing roofing work installed incorrectly by an insured subcontractor because the costs did not constitute "property damage" under the policy, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 28 (Core Construction Services Southeast Inc., et al. v. Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co., No. 16-10030, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17575).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - A psychiatrist may opine on the cause and exacerbation of a young female tennis player's bulimia while she was participating in a residential program, a New York federal judge ruled Sept. 28, declining to grant summary judgment on causation (Natalie O'Loughlin and Julia O'Loughlin v. USTA Player Development Inc., et al., No. 14-2194, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 133586).