LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Appeals Panel Affirms Decision To Deny Dismissal Of Premises Liability Suit

    CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A panel of the 13th District Texas Court of Appeals on Jan. 17 affirmed a trial court's decision to deny a motion for jurisdiction in a premises liability suit after finding that a woman who injured herself at a concert on city property showed a question of fact over whether the city knew about the hazard (City of Hidalgo, et al. v. Mary Leah Hodge, No. 13-16-00695-CV, Texas App., 13th Dist., 2018 Tex. App. LEXIS 519).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Refuses To Remand Fraud Suit For Improper Service To Defendant Doctor

    PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Jan. 12 denied a motion to remand filed by Aetna Inc. and Aetna Health Management LLC, finding that their attempt to provide service to a defendant doctor accused of conspiring to submit claims for an opioid-based pain medication for cancer patients was improper because the complaint was not sent to a location with a person who could accept service on his behalf (Aetna Inc., et al. v. Insys Therapeutics Inc., et al., No. 17-4812, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6943).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Allows Philadelphia's FHA Claims Against Wells Fargo To Proceed

    PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 16 refused to dismiss claims for violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), finding that the City of Philadelphia sufficiently pleaded allegations to allow claims that a bank engaged in discriminatory lending practices in minority communities within the city to proceed (City of Philadelphia v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 17-2203, E.D. Pa., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6443).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Strikes Some Expert Testimony In Ticket Sales Patent License Row

    MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal magistrate judge on Jan. 17 granted in part a motion by a patent holder to exclude testimony from a ticket distributor's computer-programming expert in a dispute over a license agreement, ruling that the expert cannot offer opinions about a key term in the agreement because the meaning of the term is a question of law for a jury to determine (CEATS, Inc. v. TicketNetwork, Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-01470, E.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7214).

    Mealey's Insurance - Panel Reverses Ruling, Says Questions Of Fact Exist On Insured's Bad Faith Claim

    ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 16 vacated and remanded a district court's judgment in favor of an insurer on the basis that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether the insurer acted in bad faith by failing to pay the full uninsured motorist (UM) benefit to the insured who was injured in an auto accident (Ethel Cousin v. GEICO General Insurance Co., No. 16-10113, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 1072).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Affirms Obviousness Rejection Of Patent Application

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - An inventor's efforts to patent a portable memory device identification system were unsuccessful Jan. 17, when the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals instead affirmed findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the invention would be obvious to a person of skill in the art (In re: Dominick Theresa, No. 17-1920, Fed. Cir.).

    Mealey's Health Law - United States Says California Abortion Law Governing Licensed Speakers Fails

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Neither pregnancy counseling centers challenging a law requiring that they disclose the availability of abortion services nor the state of California advances the correct standard for analyzing the case, and the law at the heart the case partially fails when properly evaluated, the United States tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a Jan. 16 brief (NIFLA, et al. v. Xavier Becerra, et al., No. 16-1140, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Insurance - North Carolina Panel Affirms Ruling In Insurers' Favor In Superstorm Sandy Suit

    RALEIGH, N.C. - A North Carolina appeals panel on Jan. 16 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of insurers in their declaratory judgment lawsuit challenging coverage for underlying property damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, finding that the insured's interpretation of the examination under oath (EUO) policy provision is unreasonable (North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, Inc., et al. v. Ronnie D. Lilley, Sr., No. COA16-998, N.C. App., 2018 N.C. App. LEXIS 60).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - U.S. Attorney Seeks $611,774 In Forfeiture Against NECC Chief Pharmacist

    BOSTON - The United States on Jan. 16 asked a district court to order former New England Compounding Center (NECC) pharmacist Glenn A. Chin to forfeit $611,744 following his conviction for racketeering, mail fraud and selling adulterated and misbranded drugs (United States of America v. Glenn A. Chin, No. 14-10363, D. Mass.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Aetna Will Pay $17 Million To End Privacy Class Suit By HIV Patients

    PHILADELPHIA - Aetna Inc. and related entities (Aetna, collectively) have agreed to pay $17,161,200 to settle privacy claims by more than 13,400 class members whose HIV status was revealed by the insurer through an indiscreet mailing, according to a motion for preliminary approval of a class action settlement filed Jan. 16 (Andrew Beckett, et al. v. Aetna, Inc., et al., No. 17-3864, E.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Car Dealership Attorney To High Court: 'Service Advisors' Are Salespeople

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The attorney representing a Mercedes-Benz car dealership argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 17 that "service advisors" are "plainly salespeople" who are primarily engaged in "the servicing of automobiles" and are exempt from receiving overtime wages (Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Hector Navarro, et al., No. 16-1362, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Securities Suit Remanded For Proper Application Of Basic Reliance Standard

    NEW YORK - It is unclear whether a federal district court properly applied the correct standard in determining that defendants in a securities class action lawsuit failed to properly rebut the presumption of reliance by a preponderance of the evidence as required pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 12 in vacating and remanding the lower court's grant of class certification (Arkansas Teachers Retirement System, et al. v. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., et al., No. 16-0250, 2nd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 810).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Transfers Noninfringement, UCL Action Against Harley To Wisconsin

    MILWAUKEE - A California federal judge on Jan. 11 transferred an aftermarket motorcycle part company's action in which it seeks a declaration of noninfringement and asserts a claim for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) against a motorcycle maker to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, noting that an underlying cease-and-desist letter originated in Wisconsin (Cobra Engineering Inc. v. H-D USA Llc, et al., No. 2:18cv71, E.D. Wis.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Parties Agree To $110M Accounting Fraud Class Action Settlement

    NEW YORK - A data and metrics provider for the media, advertising and marketing industries will pay $110 million to settle claims that it and certain of its current and former officers and directors violated federal securities law by engaging in a massive accounting fraud, lead plaintiffs claim in a motion for preliminary approval of settlement and stipulation of settlement filed Jan. 12 in New York federal court (Fresno County Employees' Retirement Association, et al. v. comScore Inc., et al., No. 16-1820, S.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Earnings Call Statements Not Protected By Safe Harbor Provision, Judge Rules

    NEWARK, N.J. - Statements made by defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a pet food company and certain of its executive officers in 2015 investor earnings calls were not forward-looking or protected by the safe harbor provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA), and the lead plaintiff has shown that the defendants knew that their statements were false when they made them, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Jan. 12 in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss (Gary Curran v. Freshpet Inc., et al., No. 16-2263, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5833).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Insurer Says Reinsurer Breached Contract With Regard To Asbestos Claims

    BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - A reinsurer breached its contract by refusing to pay its share of losses arising out of the settlement of asbestos claims, an insurer says in a Jan. 16 complaint filed in the Connecticut federal court (Travelers Casualty and Surety Co. v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-00087, D. Conn.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Exclusionary Language 'Undeniably Captures' Alleged Conduct, 11th Circuit Affirms

    ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 12 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a liquor liability insurance policy's assault and battery exclusion relieves the insurer of its duty to defend against an underlying lawsuit that resulted in a $3.5 million consent judgment against its bar owner insured (Jane Doe v. Hudson Specialty Insurance Company, No. 17-11642, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 784).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Speculative Opinion Pared From Expert Testimony In Medical Malpractice Action

    ST. LOUIS - An expert witness for a minor asserting medical malpractice claims cannot offer an opinion that injuries to the minor limit the youth's ability to stand or walk to "perhaps as much as a maximum of four hours per day" because it is only speculation, though the expert's other testimony is admissible, a Missouri federal judge ruled Jan. 12 (J.B. v. Missouri Baptist Hospital of Sullivan, et al., No. 4:16-cv-01394, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5785).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Domino's Franchisor Hit With Class Suit By Delivery Driver For Reimbursements

    DENVER - A Domino's Pizza franchisor employs a flawed method to determine its per-trip reimbursement rate for its delivery drivers, causing their wages to fall below minimum wage during some or all workweeks, a former driver alleges in her class complaint filed Jan. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (Kaylee Wilson, et al. v. DFL Pizza, LLC, No. 18-109, D. Colo.).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Ogletree Attorney Seeks More Than $300 Million In Equal Pay Act Class Lawsuit

    SAN FRANCISCO - Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart favors men in pay, promotions and other opportunities, and leadership fosters an environment where women are marginalized and demeaned, one female attorney and nonequity shareholder of the firm alleges in her class and collective action complaint seeking more than $300 million, filed Jan. 12 in a California federal court (Dawn Knepper, et al. v. Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., No. 18-303, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Rail Car Pipe Insulation Asbestos Claims Survive Preemption, Federal Judge Says

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Claims of asbestos exposure from pipe insulation aboard railway passenger cars do not clearly implicate federal statutes governing locomotives or safety appliances and avoid preemption, a federal judge in Kansas held Jan. 12 (Nancy Little, et al. v. The Budd Co., No. 16-4170, D. Kan., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5794).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Partially Grants, Denies Motion For Summary Judgment In Slip-And-Fall Suit

    DETROIT - A federal judge in Michigan on Jan. 12 partially granted and partially denied a pet store's motion for summary judgment in a suit where a woman claimed that she was injured after slipping in the store because she showed that the store had notice of the hazard (Jeanne Taylor v. PetSmart Inc., No. 17-cv-10151, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5763).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - In Covered Business Method Review, Patent Board Finds 5 Claims Ineligible

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board in a Jan. 16 final written decision sided with a petitioner for covered business method (CBM) review, agreeing that five claims of a method for communicating information from remote sites to a central location are directed to the abstract idea of "establishing a communications route between two points to relay information" (Emerson Electric Company v. Sipco LLC, No. CBM2016-00095, PTAB).

    Mealey's Insurance - Hurricane Irene Claim For Additional Damage Is Untimely, Federal Judge Says

    ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. - A North Carolina federal judge on Jan. 11 found that insureds' claim for additional damage was made well beyond the Federal Emergency Management Agency deadline for Hurricane Irene-related claims, further concluding that the subrogation provision in a Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) provides no basis for the relief that the insureds' seek (Robert Shearer, et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, et al., No. 17-31, E.D. N.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6298).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - California Court Won't Revisit Asbestos Deposition Testimony Ruling

    OAKLAND, Calif. - A California appeals court on Jan. 12 denied a petition for rehearing, refusing to again visit its conclusion that a judge erred in excluding deposition testimony in the apparent belief that the witness needed to testify to directly witnessing asbestos exposures, according to the court's docket (Keith Turley and Joy Ann Turley v. Familian Corp., No. A149752, Calif. App., 1st Dist.).