LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Remands Mortgage-Related Claims To California Court

    LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on Oct. 26 remanded a borrower's mortgage-related claims against several lenders for violation of state law to a state court, finding that the district court lacked jurisdiction (Manuel H. Lopez Jr. v. NationStar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. 15-03288, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145694).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Residents May Depose Fracking Company's Expert On Issues About Tainted Groundwater

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - The federal judge in Pennsylvania overseeing the groundwater contamination lawsuit brought by a group of residents against hydraulic fracturing company Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. on Oct. 26 partially granted a motion allowing the plaintiffs to depose a water filtration expert that the company had placed on the list of testifying experts, but then removed from that list. The judge said the plaintiffs were permitted to depose him because plaintiffs made "a compelling showing" that the information they sought could not be obtain through other means (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144577).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Defendant Denied Summary Judgment In Oklahoma Copyright Case

    OKLAHOMA CITY - A defendant's request for summary judgment on allegations of copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation was denied Oct. 27 by an Oklahoma federal judge, who cited the existence of disputed issues of material fact (Core Laboratories LP v. Spectrum Tracer Services LLC et al., No. 11-1157, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145382).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 2nd Circuit Finds Keurig Coffee Maker Will Not Cause Losses To Other Company

    NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 26 affirmed a district court's decision in favor of Keurig Green Mountain Inc. to dismiss claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other claims against it, finding a lack of evidence to show that its new coffee maker will cause another manufacturer's business to suffer significant losses (JBR, Inc. v. Keurig Green Mountain Inc., No. 14-3578, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 18625).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Florida Couple Sues Apple Over Data Plan Overages From Wi-Fi Assist Activation

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a putative class action complaint filed in California federal court on Oct. 23, a Florida couple says that the default setting of the "Wi-Fi Assist" application (app) that was included in the most recent iPhone operating system update caused them to be charged for unknowingly going over their phone plans' allotted cellular data allowance (William Scott Phillips, et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 5:15-cv-04879, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New Jersey Appeals Court Finds Evidence Supported Dismissal Of Defects Suit

    TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey trial court judge did not err when dismissing with prejudice a woman's lawsuit accusing her home builder of negligently constructing her home, a state appeals panel ruled Oct. 27, after finding that she did not present evidence to support her claims that improper grading was to blame for water seeping into her basement (Stevonne Wilson v. Woodfields at Princeton Highlands, et al., No. A-0243-13T3, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2453).

    Mealey's Insurance - Claims Adjuster Properly Joined In Bad Faith Action, Federal Judge Rules

    WACO, Texas - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith action to state court is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Oct. 27, because an insured has shown that an insurance adjuster was properly joined in the action (SAI Hotel Group Ltd., d/b/a Americas Best Value Inn, v. Steadfast Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-263, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145637).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Stay Of Insurance Action Under Rooker-Feldman Doctrine Not Proper

    BATON ROUGE, La. - A federal judge in Louisiana on Oct. 26 denied an insurer's motion to stay a third-party insurance action, ruling that the insurer has failed to show that a stay pursuant to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, or a number of other similar abstention doctrines, is proper (Bradley Smith v. Shelter Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-357, M.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144812).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - $15 Billion Class Action Over Facebook's Internet Tracking Activities Dismissed

    SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Oct. 23 dismissed a consolidated, putative class action against Facebook Inc., in which the plaintiffs sought in excess of $15 billion for the social network's purported tracking of their online activities (In re: Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, No. 5:12-md-02314, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145142).

    Mealey's Insurance - No Error In Dismissing Insurer's Coverage Suit Over Defects Claims, Panel Finds

    HOUSTON - A Texas trial court did not err in dismissing a commercial general liability insurer's lawsuit regarding coverage for a construction defects lawsuit on forum non conveniens grounds, a Texas appeals panel affirmed Oct. 27, finding that a South Carolina federal lawsuit was a better venue to resolve the issue (Crum & Forster Specialty Insurance Co. v. Creekstone Builders Inc., et al., No. 01-14-00907-CV, Texas App.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 10983).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - DuPont: C8 Injury Plaintiff Fails To State Claim; Damages Not Warranted

    COLUMBUS, Ohio - E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which is being sued by a group of Ohio residents who contend that the company is liable for personal injuries related to exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (known as C8), on Oct. 23 answered the complaint of one of the plaintiffs, contending that the plaintiff fails to state a claim for recovery (In re E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. C-8 Personal Injury Litigation, MDL No. 2433, No. 13-2433, S.D. Ohio).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judgment In Engle Progeny Suit Affirmed; Taxable Penalties Reversed

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Oct. 26 affirmed a trial court judgment against a tobacco company but reversed the lower court's order that the tobacco company pay an expert witness (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Gloria Clayton, No. 1D14-3946, Fla. App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 15911).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Affirms Judgments On Government Contractor, Lack Of Evidence Grounds

    LOS ANGELES - A judge properly granted summary judgment after finding that a company introduced sufficient evidence of reasonably precise specifications from the government concerning the use of asbestos in aircraft, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Oct. 27 (Joni Sequira, successor-in-interest to Paul Olds v. 3M Co. a/k/a Minnesota Mining And Manufacturing Co., et al., No. 13-56921, 14-55383, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 18715).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Finds State Farm Sufficiently Alleged Claims Over Fraudulent Billing

    MINNEAPOLIS - State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. (collectively, State Farm) sufficiently alleged that a chiropractic firm and its owner engaged in a scheme to submit fraudulent bills under Minnesota's No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act (No-Fault Act) for services that were not provided or medically unnecessary, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Oct. 23 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, et al. v. Healthcare Chiropractic Clinic Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-2527, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144573).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania Supreme Court Vacates Appellate Dismissal Of $20.3M Knee Verdict

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - On a 3-2 vote, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Oct. 27 reversed an appeals court's vacating of a $20.3 million knee prosthesis injury verdict and remanded the case to the appeals court to consider if the trial judge properly denied the defendants' motion for a remittitur (Margo Polett, et al. v. Public Communications, Inc., et al., No. 18 EAP 2014, Pa. Sup.).

    Mealey's Insurance - No Coverage Owed To Costco For Product Liability Suit, California Panel Affirms

    LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on Oct. 27 affirmed a lower court's ruling that no coverage is owed to Costco Wholesale Corp. for a product liability lawsuit because it is not an additional insured under a general liability insurance policy that was issued to a tire manufacturer (Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Tokio Marine And Nichido Fire Insurance Company Limited, et. al., No. B250794, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 5).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Oregon Supreme Court Reverses Class Certification Findings In Tobacco Case

    SALEM, Ore. - Siding with a trial court, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled Oct. 22 that a class action is not a superior means for adjudicating allegations by two plaintiffs that Philip Morris Inc. violated Oregon's Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA) when it claimed that Marlboro Light cigarettes deliver less tar and nicotine than regular Marlboros (Marilyn C. Pearson, et al. v. Philip Morris Inc., No. 42, Ore. Sup.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Federal Judge Dismisses Claims Related To Rejection Of Loan Modification

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Oct. 23 granted a motion to dismiss claims for negligence, violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other causes of action against the servicers of a loan, finding that borrowers failed to submit any new facts to support their claims (William Temple, et al. V. Bank of America National Association, et al., No. 5:15cv133, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144460).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 3rd Circuit Affirms Avandia MDL Court's OK Of RICO Suit By Third-Party Payers

    PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 26 said the Avandia multidistrict litigation court did not err when it denied dismissal of a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act class action brought by three third-payer payers (In Re: Avandia Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-1948, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 18633).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Bars Testimony Over Wells Fargo's Loan Servicing Practices

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. - An expert offered by homeowners in their lawsuit against Wells Fargo Bank N.A. for alleged violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act is unqualified to testify about best practices in loan servicing, a Missouri federal judge ruled Oct. 26 (Kenneth D. Wivell, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 12-3457, W.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144615).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Allows Testimony On Insurer's Claims Handling In Bad Faith Lawsuit

    MIAMI - An insurance professional may testify in an insurance bad faith lawsuit on claims regarding personal injury protection (PIP) benefits and an insurer's handling of the claims to the extent that he opines on the applicable law, a Florida federal judge ruled Oct. 26 (Frank Lopez, as personal representative of the Estate of Giraldo Lopez, and Magaly Nunez Delgado, individually and as assignee of Michelle Soto v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-20654, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144823).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - ICSID Issues Order On Confidential Documents In Case Against Peru

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The president of a tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes on Oct. 26 issued an order related to the designation of confidential documents in an arbitration commenced by a mining corporation against the Republic of Peru (Bear Creek Mining Corp. v. Republic of Peru, No. ARB/14/21, ICSID).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Jailed People Sue Pa. Department Of Human Services Over Mental Health Care

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - A group of individuals, referred to only by their initials, filed a class complaint on Oct. 22 in Pennsylvania federal court, accusing officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) of failing to provide mental health care for people found incompetent to stand trial on criminal charges (J.H., et al. v. Theodore Dallas, et al., No. 15-2057, M.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Dismisses All Federal Claims Against Banks, Grants Leave To Amend

    HONOLULU - A Hawaii federal judge on Oct. 23 dismissed numerous federal law claims asserted by a borrower against several banks, but granted him leave to amend his claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) (Jeffrey G. Hagan v. Deutsche Bank, et al., No. 15-00189, D. Hawaii; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144560).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Trademark Cancellation, False Marking Claims Rejected By Federal Judge

    MIAMI - Two trademark and patent infringement plaintiffs on Oct. 26 won dismissal by a Florida federal judge of counterclaims that sought, among other things, cancellation of four trademarks and a declaration that they had engaged in false patent marking (Edge Systems LLC, et al. v. Rafael Newton Aguila, No. 14-24517, S.D. Fla.).