BOSTON - Certain documents pertaining to a grant of federal funds to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England were properly withheld and redacted in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by an anti-abortion organization, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 4, upholding a trial court's judgment (New Hampshire Right to Life v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, No. 14-1011, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1768).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - No coverage is afforded for costs associated with the recall of contaminated ground beef used in an insured's product because the beef was not an "insured product" and the policy at issue does not provide coverage for recall damages, the majority of a Fourth District California Court of Appeal, Division 2, panel said Feb. 6 (Windsor Food Quality Co. Ltd. v. The Underwriters of Lloyds of London, No. E058324, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 881).
NEW ORLEANS - A majority of the Louisiana Supreme Court denied an insured's appeal challenging an appeals court's ruling that an insurer's exception of lis pendens was properly sustainedas to five of the insured's claims, according to a Feb. 6 news release (Lionel Harris Sr., et al. v. Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Co., No. 2014-C -2484, La. Sup.).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 5 upheld the dismissal of a former campus ministry employee's lawsuit, finding that her bias claims are barred by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution's ministerial exception (Alyce T. Conlon v. InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA, et al., No. 14-1549, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1871).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 6 reinstated a racial bias and retaliation lawsuit filed by the former employee of an Illinois shelter after determining that there were questions about when the decision to terminate the worker was made (Linzie J. Ledbetter v. Good Samaritan Ministries, et al., No. 14-2822, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1943).
BOSTON - A federal district court did not err in dismissing a securities class action lawsuit against a medical device manufacturer and certain of its executive officers because lead plaintiffs failed to properly plead scienter, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 6 (Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado, et al. v. Abiomed Inc., et al., No. 14-1502, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1944).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Massachusetts federal judge erred in construing a claim in a semiconductor fabrication patent and in granting judgment on the pleadings that the claim is indefinite, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 9 (Lexington Luminance LLC v. Amazon.com Inc., et al., No. 14-1384, Fed. Cir.).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A report issued Feb. 5 by an environmental group contends that despite a fracking ban in the State of New York, more than 460,000 tons of radioactive fracking waste has been dumped in the state because the governor has allowed fracking companies to dump their waste in New York.
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appeals panel on Feb. 6 reversed and remanded a lower court decision against the state's insurance guaranty association, citing a recent case in which the appellate court determined the guarantor's obligations based on the statutory definition of ``covered claim'' that stood when the insurer at issue became insolvent (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, Inc. v. Darlene Waters, No. 2D13-4455, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 1585).
FRESNO, Calif. - Defendant companies that sold gasoline containing the additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) at two stations in California did not intend to dispose of the chemical, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 4 in dismissing a lawsuit brought by the City of Merced Redevelopment Agency (RDA) against the companies (City of Merced Redevelopment Agency, et al. v. Exxon Mobil Corp., et al., No. 08 Civ. 06306, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California state unfair competition law (UCL) claim will be among those continuing after a California federal judge on Feb. 5 declined to dismiss a class action lawsuit accusing the seller of a variety of bread and muffin mixes as misleading consumers by wrongly labeling the products as ``all natural'' (Edward Musgrave v. ICC/Marie Callender's Gourmet Products Division, No. 14-2006, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14674).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Feb. 5 denied Consolidate Edison Company of New York Inc.'s motion to reconsider a ruling finding that some plaintiff companies can pursue contribution claims against the defendant under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act Section 113(f), holding that Consolidated Edison provided no precedent to support its argument that the plaintiff companies' application to enter into a Brownfield Cleanup Agreement (BCA) with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) did not trigger the statute of limitations (HLP Properties LLC v. Consolidated Edison Company of New York Inc., No. 14 Civ. 01383, S.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14677).
SPOKANE, Wash. - An insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify underlying property damage claims because insureds did not provide prompt notice, a Washington federal judge ruled Feb. 6, granting summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims (HB Development LLC, et al. v. Western Pacific Mutual Insurance, et al., No. 13-5050, E.D. Wash.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14796).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - An insured owes deductible payments made toward resolution of Chinese drywall claims made in a multidistrict litigation, a Florida federal judge held Feb. 6, finding that the case will proceed to determine the amount owed and if any damages exist to an insurer resulting from the insured's failure to pay (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Hansen Homes of South Florida Inc., No. 14-35, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14466).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Michigan federal judge erred in granting a plaintiff a permanent injunction on patent infringement claims because the relief and a related final judgment were premised on an incorrect claim construction, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 6 (FenF LLC v. SmartThingz Inc., No. 14-1490, Fed. Cir.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - After a five-day trial, a Delaware federal jury on Feb. 6 found that antivirus software giant Symantec Corp. infringed two patents, awarding $17 million to an intellectual property holding company plaintiff (Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp., et al., No. 1:10-cv-01067, D. Del.).
NEW YORK - The federal judge overseeing the General Motors LLC ignition-switch cases issued an order on Feb. 6 setting the parameters for the bellwether trial plan in the multidistrict litigation (In re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation, No. 14-md-2543, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - Sufficient evidence exists of a company's predecessors utilizing asbestos-containing products at the World Trade Center (WTC) during a man's time there, a New York appeals court held Feb. 5 (James Augustus Proctor and Joy C. Proctor v. Alcoa Inc., et al., No. 14153 190040/13, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept.; 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 938).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal judge on Feb. 4 declined to dismiss a breach of contract claim but did dismiss claims for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty in a dispute between a home health care company and its billing management company over the preparation and submission of claims (Excellent Home Care Services v. FGA Inc., No. 13-5390, E.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13351).
RENO, Nev. - A commercial general liability insurer has a duty to defend an underlying construction defects case, a Nevada federal judge ruled Feb. 6, finding that a designated work exclusion and a pre-existing damage exclusion do not apply (Gemini Insurance Co. v. North American Capacity Insurance Co., No. 14-00121, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14836).
LOS ANGELES - Following a bench trial, a California judge on Feb. 4 entered judgment in favor of the defendant in a suit accusing a distributor of polyethylene products of falsely advertising that its products meets the Department of Defense's (DOD) specifications and violating, among other things, the state's unfair competition law (UCL) (Caltex Plastics Inc. v. Elkay Plastics Company Inc., No. 12-10033, C.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13442).
NEW YORK - Bankruptcy courts do not have jurisdiction to award compensation to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney and his retained legal accounting professionals out of assets in a 401(k) plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 5 (In the Matter of: Robert Plan Corporation [Kenneth Kirschenbaum v. United States Department of Labor], No. 14-1144, 2nd Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 1807).
PHILADELPHIA - A Delaware federal judge's decision to reject Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production's objections to the sale of six patents was proper, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 5 (In re: DDMG, No. 13-4278, 3rd Cir.).
CHICAGO - The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 4 held that a commercial general liability insurer and its footwear company insured have no duty to indemnify Kmart Corp. for an underlying personal injury lawsuit, reversing a lower federal court's ruling in part (Kmart Corp. v. Footstar Inc., et al., Nos. 14-1242, 14-1356 and 14-1359, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 1775).
ST. LOUIS - A federal judge in Missouri on Feb. 5 asked parties to explain why North Carolina residents' action alleging asbestos exposure largely in North Carolina should not be transferred to that state (Anthony Trezza and Peggy Trezza v. 84 Lumber Co., et al., No. 14-1282, E.D. Mo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13740).