LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Insurance - Policyholder Is Entitled To Documents Sought In Contamination Dispute

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York federal magistrate judge on Nov. 23 granted an insured's motion to compel the production of documents in an environmental contamination coverage dispute after determining that the insured has shown a need for the requested documents and that the request was not overly burdensome (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, et al., v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al., No. 16-2778, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162783).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Viacom Seeks Judgment On Remanded Intrusion Claim Over Nickelodeon Websites

    NEWARK, N.J. - In a Nov. 22 reply brief in New Jersey federal court, Viacom Inc. argues that it is entitled to summary judgment on the sole remaining intrusion upon seclusion claim in a remanded putative class action over purported collection of personally identifiable information (PII) from minors because the evidence clearly shows that it did not collect any "real-world identifying details" about users of its Nickelodeon websites (In Re: Nickelodeon Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 2:12-cv-07829, D. N.J.).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds UCL Claims Against Diamond Importer Are Preempted Under CUTSA

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 22 dismissed counterclaims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and misappropriation of trade secrets in relation to an Indian diamond importer's use of a confidential customer list, finding that the claims were displaced under California's Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) (Kapu Gems, et al. v. Diamond Imports Inc., et al., No. 15-cv-03531, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162128).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Illinois Wrongful Death Case Sent To Roundup MDL In Northern California

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL) on Nov. 28 issued an order transferring another case to the multidistrict litigation for injuries allegedly caused by exposure to the weed killer Roundup, stating that the wrongful death lawsuit brought against Monsanto Co. by an Illinois man involves questions of fact common to other actions already sent to the MDL (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, No. 2741, JPMDL).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Monsanto: City Of Spokane's PCB Contamination Case Fails To State A Claim

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Monsanto Co. and its affiliates on Nov. 23 filed an answer against the city of Spokane, contending that the city's attempt to collect remediation costs for alleged contamination of its groundwater with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) should be denied because the plaintiff fails to state a claim (City of Spokane v. Monsanto Company, et al., No. 15-00201, E.D. Wash.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Fungal Meningitis Defendant Wants Criminal Trial Continued To Review Evidence

    BOSTON - A defendant facing federal murder charges in connection with the New England Compounding Center (NECC) fungal meningitis outbreak on Nov. 25 asked a Massachusetts federal court to continue his January trial, saying he is at a disadvantage because he only recently got access to discovery from the personal injury multidistrict litigation that is likely to be used against him (United States of America v. Glenn Chin, No. 14-cr-10363, D. Mass.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Illinois Federal Judge Says Discovery Needed Before Duty To Defend Can Be Decided

    CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Nov. 23 granted an insurer's motion seeking discovery in an asbestos coverage dispute after finding that the effect of an underlying settlement agreement on the insurer's duty to defend must first be determined before a decision can be made on the insurer's duty to defend the insured against a number of other underlying asbestos suits (The Hillshire Brands Co. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Co., No. 15-06859, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162386).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 11th Circuit: Federal Jurisdiction Remains Under CAFA Even Without Class

    ATLANTA - A federal trial court erred when it ruled that the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) does not vest a federal court with original jurisdiction over state law claims after the class claims are dismissed, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 22 (Wright Transportation, Inc. v. Pilot Corporation, et al., No. 15-15184, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20937).

    Mealey's Insurance - Louisiana Federal Judge Says Exclusions For Pollution, Silica Do Not Bar Coverage

    NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana federal judge on Nov. 23 denied an insurer's motions for summary judgment on the duty to defend and indemnify an insured and an additional insured against two underlying suits filed by neighboring residents of an insured shipyard after determining that the insurer failed to prove that the policy's exclusions for health hazard, silica or pollution bar coverage for the underlying suits (Hanover Insurance Co. v. Superior Labor Services Inc., et al., No. 11-2375 c/w 14-1930, 14-1933, 16-2490, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162480).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 4th Circuit Finds Judge Erred In Denying Center's Discovery Request

    RICHMOND, Va. - A federal judge in Maryland erred when denying a medical center's request for discovery and awarding summary judgment to a builder accused of concealing construction defects, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 23, finding that the requested discovery could have shown that the builder intentionally withheld information (Civista Health, Inc., et al. v. Gilbane Building Company, et al., No. 15-1975, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21077).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Players Who Approve Of NFL Settlement Say Objectors Misrepresent Class Rep's Death

    WASHINGTON D.C. - Former professional football players who support the settlement between themselves and the National Football League (NFL) tell the U.S. Supreme Court in a Nov. 22 supplemental brief that the players who object to the settlement are misrepresenting the death of one of the class representatives (Scott Gilchrist, et al. v. National Football League, No. 16-283, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Orders Volkswagen To Pay Class Members Despite Attorney Liens

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Nov. 22 ordered Volkswagen Group of America Inc., Volkswagen AG, Audi of America LLC and Audi AG (collectively, Volkswagen) to pay class members in the clean diesel multidistrict litigation their settlement compensation directly, despite notification of liens placed by attorneys on their clients' recovery and invoked his authority under the All Writs Act to enjoin any state court proceedings regarding the attorneys' lien (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, No. 15-2672, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162339).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Minnesota Jury Awards $7.55 Million In E. Coli Suit

    MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota jury on Nov. 22 found that the company that owns a pumpkin patch was liable for the kidney damage a child suffered from contracting E. coli from a petting zoo at the pumpkin patch and awarded her and her family $7.55 million (Stephanie Heidish, et al. v. Dehn's Pumpkins LLC, No. 27-CV-14-17068, Minn. Dist., 4th Jud., Hennepin Co.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiffs In Pinnacle Hip Bellwether Trial Will Seek State Consumer Law Penalties

    DALLAS - Six plaintiffs in an ongoing DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether trial on Nov. 28 told a Texas federal court that after the verdict, they intend to ask the court to determine that defendant DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and to order equitable relief (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 13-3631, 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.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Panel Reverses Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Errors, Omissions Liability Dispute

    HARTFORD, Conn. - A Connecticut appeals court found that an insurer's duty to defend was not barred by a public entity errors and omission liability insurance policy's contract exclusion because an underlying complaint left open the possibility that a negligent misrepresentation claim against the insured did not arise out of a contract, reversing and remanding a lower court in an opinion to be officially released Dec. 6 (Town of Monroe v. Discover Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. AC 38332, Conn. App.; 2016 Conn. App. LEXIS 443).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Finds No Support For Borrower's UCL And Negligence Claims

    SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 23 affirmed a district court's decision to dismiss claims for negligence and violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that a borrower's claims related to the transfer of his mortgage lacked legal or factual support (George M. Kramer v. Quality Loan Servicing Corporation, et al., No. 14-15973, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21096).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - 4th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Breach Of Contract Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 22 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling in favor of an insurer in a lawyer and his consulting firm's lawsuit alleging breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, unauthorized use of name and trademark and copyright infringement (Devil's Advocate LLC, et al. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 15-1048, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 20952).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Calif. Court Upholds Evidence, Instructions On Way To Affirming Asbestos Verdict

    LOS ANGELES - Asbestos plaintiffs themselves introduced irrelevant contract provisions about which they now complain, and any error arising from improper jury instructions regarding an employer's duty did not prejudice them, a California appeals court held Nov. 22 (Kenneth Evans, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. B265222, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Calif. Court Upholds Evidence, Instructions On Way To Affirming Asbestos Verdict

    LOS ANGELES - Asbestos plaintiffs themselves introduced irrelevant contract provisions about which they now complain, and any error arising from improper jury instructions regarding an employer's duty did not prejudice them, a California appeals court held Nov. 22 (Kenneth Evans, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. B265222, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Pennsylvania High Court Dismisses Asbestos Appeal Over Dangerous Product Question

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Nov. 22 dismissed as improvidently granted an appeal challenging whether a judge or jury properly decides if the lack of warnings on a product renders the product unreasonably dangerous (Thomas Amato and Jean Amato v. Bell & Gossett, et al., No. 5 EAP 2016, Charlotte Vinciguerra, et al. v. Bayer Cropscience Inc., et al., No. 4 EAP 2016, Pa. Sup.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Loses Bid For Judgment On Liquidating Trust's Payment Claims

    OAKLAND, Calif. - An asbestos personal injury liquidating trust properly submitted proposals to an insurer regarding the payment of allowed claims that triggered the insurer's policies and did not violate two debtors' plan of reorganization by allocating to the insurer 100 percent of the liquidated value of each approved unpaid claim, a California federal bankruptcy judge held Nov. 21 (In re CFB Liquidating Corporation, f/k/a Chicago Fire Brick Co., et al., No. 01-45483, [Barry A. Chatz, as Trustee for the CFB/WFB Liquidating Trust v. Continental Casualty Company, No. 15-4136] N.D. Calif. Bkcy.; 2016 Bankr. LEXIS 4034).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Patent Board Grants Los Angeles Transportation Authority Petition

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A patent covering a system that discloses the number of occupants in a vehicle traveling in a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane will face inter partes review (IPR), the Patent Trial and Appeal Board announced Nov. 22 (Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority v. Transport Technologies LLC, No. IPR2016-01077, PTAB).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Calif. Court Upholds Evidence, Instructions On Way To Affirming Asbestos Verdict

    LOS ANGELES - Asbestos plaintiffs themselves introduced irrelevant contract provisions about which they now complain, and any error arising from improper jury instructions regarding an employer's duty did not prejudice them, a California appeals court held Nov. 22 (Kenneth Evans, et al. v. American Optical Corp., et al., No. B265222, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Massachusetts Federal Judge Dismisses Contributory Patent Infringement Claims

    BOSTON - Allegations of direct, induced and willful patent infringement will proceed in Massachusetts federal court, but a claim for contributory patent infringement was dismissed Nov. 23 (Sunrise Technologies Inc. v. Cimcon Lighting Inc., No. 15-11545, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162557).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania High Court Dismisses Asbestos Appeal Over Dangerous Product Question

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Nov. 22 dismissed as improvidently granted an appeal challenging whether a judge or jury properly decides if the lack of warnings on a product renders the product unreasonably dangerous (Thomas Amato and Jean Amato v. Bell & Gossett, et al., No. 5 EAP 2016, Charlotte Vinciguerra, et al. v. Bayer Cropscience Inc., et al., No. 4 EAP 2016, Pa. Sup.).