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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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.).
BOSTON - An insurer told a federal court in Massachusetts on Oct. 23 that its reinsurer has selected an unqualified party-appointed arbitrator in an arbitration over the reinsurer's alleged rights to raise premiums (John Hancock Life Insurance Company [U.S.A.] v. Employers Reassurance Corporation, No. 15-cv-13626, D. Mass.).
CHICAGO - A Pennsylvania candy company has sufficiently stated its cybersquatting and trademark-related claims against another candy firm, an Illinois federal judge ruled Oct. 22, denying the defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint that had previously been transferred, rather than dismissed, by another federal judge (Mon Aimee Chocolat Inc. v. Tushiya LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-04235, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143549).
LOS ANGELES - A California judge on Oct. 22 granted the liquidator of a group of insolvent insurers' application to distribute more than $19 million to certain states' insurance guaranty associations (Insurance Commissioner of the State of California v. Superior National Insurance Company, No. BS061974, Calif. Super, Los Angeles Co.).
MADISON, Wis. - Efforts by Apple Inc. to undo a $234 million verdict by Wisconsin jurors were unsuccessful on Oct. 26, when a federal judge there denied the software giant's motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation v. Apple Inc., No. 14-62, W.D. Wis.).
CINCINNATI - Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., whose network was compromised by hackers, told the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an Oct. 22 appellee brief that the putative class claims brought against it by two policyholders under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) were properly dismissed because the plaintiffs failed to allege any violations of the act from the theft of their personally identifiable information (PII) in the data breach that was attributable to the insurer (Mohammad S. Galaria, et al. v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-3386 and 15-3387, 6th Cir.).