NEW YORK - The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 21 acknowledged a stipulation and ended the appeal of a judgment debtor that opposed a $7.8 million lower court ruling against it (AmTrust North America, Inc. and Technology Insurance Company, Inc., as judgment creditors of Pacific Re, Inc. on behalf of its protected cell Pac Re 5-AT v. Safebuilt Insurance Services Inc., No. 16-4070, 2nd Cir.).
NEW YORK - A New York appeals panel on Feb. 21 found that an insurer failed to demonstrate prima facie that all of its restaurant insured's claimed losses were caused by flood waters resulting from Superstorm Sandy (Pastabar Cafe Corporation v 343 East 8th Street Associates, LLC, et al. No. 2899, 652078/13, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1285).
PHILADELPHIA - All or parts of six claims involving the Essure birth control device on Feb. 21 survived dismissal the second time around while defendant Bayer Corp. picked up dismissals of other counts or parts of them (Helen McLaughlin v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 14-7315, Ruth Ruble v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 14-7316, Melda Strimel v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 14-7317, Susan Stelzer v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 14-7318, Heather Walsh v. Bayer Corporation, et al., No. 15-384, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24378).
AUGUSTA, Ga. - A federal judge in Georgia on Feb. 22 dismissed without prejudice a proposed class action suit accusing Daikin Industries Ltd. (DIL), Daikin Applied Americas Inc. (DAA) and Daikin North Americas LLC (DNA) of making and selling air conditioning units with faulty evaporator coils, ruling that a building owner lacks personal jurisdiction to assert claims against DIL and failed to state claims against DAA and DNA (Paws Holdings, LLC v. Daikin Industries, Ltd., et al., No. 16-58, S.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24684).
PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 21 reversed and remanded a lower federal court's ruling in a dispute over excess coverage for a settlement demand in an underlying racial discrimination lawsuit against the city of Montebello, Calif. (Security National Insurance Co. v. City of Montebello, Nos. 15-56199 and 15-56263, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2965).
SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 21 stayed an appeal in a Cymbalta withdrawal class action pending a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case with a similar issue (Melissa Strafford, et al. v. Eli Lilly and Company, No. 15-56808, 9th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 21 denied review of a circuit court ruling that a plaintiffs law firm is obligated to pay a 7 percent common benefit fee from the settlement of its state court multiplaintiff lawsuit to attorneys who ran a federal multidistrict litigation (Law Offices of Steven M. Johnson, P.C., et al. v. Plaintiffs' Advisory Committee, No. 16-804, U.S. Sup.).
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Supreme Court on Feb. 16 upheld a circuit court's certification of a class of city workers suing for breach of contract after mandated raises ended (City of Conway, an Arkansas Municipality v. Richard Shumate, Jr., et al., No. CV-16-284, Ark. Sup., 2017 Ark. LEXIS 41).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California appellate panel on Feb. 17 affirmed a ruling in favor of various lenders, finding that property owners failed to show that they had standing to challenge a foreclosure under a pooling and services agreement (Hanneke C. Gary R. Lohse, v. Nationstar Mortgage LLC, et al., No. A142814, Calif. App., 1st App., Div. 4, 2017 Cal. App. Unpub LEXIS 1210).
SAN FRANCISCO - Monsanto Co. on Feb. 21 filed an answer in California federal court, arguing that the personal injury case brought against it related to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, contending that the allegations against the company are "vague and conclusory and comprise attorney characterizations" about a product that "repeatedly has been found to be safe to humans and the environment by regulators in the United States and around the world" (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 21 denied a petition for writ of certiorari in a stock-drop case arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Alex E. Rinehart, et al. v. John F. Akers, et al., No. 16-562, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 21 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in a case in which the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said a district court did not err in determining that a disability plan did not wrongfully terminate a claimant's long-term disability benefits (Elizabeth Jenkins v. Grant Thornton LLP, et al., No. 16-682, U.S. Sup.).
BALTIMORE - A Maryland federal judge on Feb. 17 found that coverage for an underlying lawsuit alleging that an insured was negligent in the provision of settlement services for the sale of a home is barred by a professional liability insurance policy's exclusion for "insufficiency in the amount of the proceeds" (Resource Real Estate Services, LLC v. Evanston Insurance Co., No. 16-168, D. Md., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22920).
CINCINNATI - After finding that a former marketing director's claims for coverage against a medical review company were completely preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 affirmed dismissal of the claims and found that a previous lawsuit filed against a plan administrator was the proper recourse (James Hackney v. Allmed Healthcare Management Inc., No. 16-5651, 6th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2877).
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut on Feb. 17 held that a couple could pursue claims that allegedly improper installation of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation in their home resulted in property damage requiring remediation but that they failed to provide causation evidence to show that they suffered respiratory problems after being exposed to volatile organic compound (VOC) vapors from the products (Richard Beyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23434).
NEWARK, N.J. - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper because a third-party's claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a federal magistrate judge in New Jersey ruled Feb. 17 (North Jersey Brain & Spine Center v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-1544, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22710).
NEW ORLEANS - Plaintiffs in an asbestos exposure case are entitled to further discovery in an attempt to muster the difficult support they need to overcome jurisdictional issues against one defendant and must amend their complaint to allege more specifics against a second company, a federal judge in Louisiana held Feb. 16 (Robin Murphy, et al. v. Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc., et al., No. 15-5566, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21979).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Testimony that a man worked with gaskets during an engine overhaul lacks any reference to who manufactured the gaskets or whether they contained asbestos, a federal magistrate judge in Delaware held Feb. 16 in recommending summary judgment based on the lack of triable issues (In re: Asbestos Litigation, Charlevoix, et al. v. CBS Corp., et al., No. 15-726, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22590).
BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Citing privacy and free speech concerns, Amazon.com Inc. in a Feb. 17 motion in Arkansas court seeks to quash a police department warrant ordering production of sound recordings and transcripts associated with an Amazon Echo device belonging to the defendant in a murder case (State of Arkansas v. James A. Bates, No. CR-2016-370-2, Benton Co., Ark. Cir. Ct.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Feb. 21 denied a motion filed by 30 property owners to remand their claims related to a bank's denial of their requests for loan modifications, finding that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 (Abelardo Alonso, et al. v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 8:17-cv-238, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23580).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 21 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by a union representing newspaper deliverers that asked the high court to reverse a ruling that it committed unfair labor practices by entering into collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) with employers that unlawfully encouraged union membership (Newspaper and Mail Deliverers' Union of New York and Vicinity v. National Labor Relations Board, No. 16-279, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 1241).
SAN FRANCISCO - California's insurance commissioner asked one of his state's courts on Feb. 17 to declare an insurer insolvent and order its liquidation (Dave Jones, Insurance Commissioner of the State of California v. CastlePoint National Insurance Company, and DOES 1-50, No. CPF-16-515183, Calif. Super., San Francisco Co.).