PHILADELPHIA - An emergency medical technician (EMT) for a Pennsylvania-based ambulance service was sentenced March 10 by a federal judge in Pennsylvania to 37 months in prison and ordered to pay $2 million in restitution for his role in a fraudulent billing scheme (United States of America v. Fritzroy Brown, No. 14cr596, E.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK - A biomechanics expert may testify as to the circumstances surrounding a motor vehicle accident, a New York federal judge ruled March 10, finding that the expert relied on the traffic collision report and a plaintiff's medical records to support his opinion (Rene H. Manlapig, et al. v. Jeremy Horace Jupiter, et al., No. 14-235, S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31011).
TAMPA, Fla. - Although a Florida federal judge expressed his doubts as to the ultimate success of a borrower's complaint against her lender under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), he found in a March 9 ruling that, as pleaded, her complaint has facial plausibility that allowed it to mostly survive the lender's motion to dismiss (Matilde Amarchand v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 8:15-cv-02051, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30463).
SAN FRANCISCO - In response to requests for information by a California federal judge, Oracle America Inc. and Google Inc. on March 9 filed supplemental briefs offering their opinions as to what are acceptable uses of Internet searches for information on potential jurors in an upcoming retrial on fair use in a copyright dispute over the Java operating system (Oracle America, Inc. v. Google, Inc., No. 3:10-cv-03561, N.D. Calif.).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A Louisiana federal judge on March 10 affirmed a lower court's ruling that there is no professional liability coverage for federal allegations that a labor staffing company insured violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment on the insured's claims for breach of contract and bad faith (Treo Staffing LLC v. AXIS Surplus Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-332, M.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30764).
BOSTON - Efforts by a licensee of various copyrighted images to intervene in an infringement action filed against one of the licensee's distributors were unsuccessful March 11, when a Massachusetts federal judge deemed the request untimely (Photographic Illustrators Corporation v. Orgill Inc., No. 14-11811, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31548).
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - A Minnesota federal judge on March 10 decertified a class of sales persons who allege that they were forced to work off the clock and granted summary judgment to the employer on the claims brought by the two remaining plaintiffs (Kenneth Lindsay, et al. v. Clear Wireless LLC, et al., No. 13-834, D. Minn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31663).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge did not err in granting two defendants accused of violating the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) summary judgment because the judge properly determined that their use of two plaintiffs' names in a series of domain names required proof of secondary meaning to be actionable under the statute, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded March 9 (Dan Pronman, et al. v. Brian Styles, et al., No. 15-12651, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4402).
ST. LOUIS - An insured on March 9 filed a motion for rehearing in the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, arguing that the appeals panel failed to consider the insured's argument that coverage is owed under its commercial liability insurance policies because it was legally required to remediate mold damage (Busch Properties Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pa., No. 14-3699, 8th Cir.).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal magistrate judge on March 9 determined that a company that purchased a home through a foreclosure is entitled to an entry of judgment for approximately $6,500, which represents the amount of the deficiency stemming from the foreclosure (Rosario Klevisha v. Provident Funding Associates L.P., et al., No. 15-10629, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30137).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A general contractor qualifies and is entitled to additional insured coverage for reimbursement of repair costs arising from water intrusion to an insured subcontractor's work on a construction project, a North Carolina federal judge ruled March 11 (Rodgers Builders, Inc. v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 15-00110, W.D. N.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31563).
RAPID CITY, S.D. - A motorcycle safety instructor may testify on the dynamics and physics of motorcycle collisions, a South Dakota federal judge ruled March 9 (Theodore J. Vore v. Clifford L. Osborn, No. 13-5075, D. S.D.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30009).
NEW YORK - An asbestos personal injury attorney who says a bankruptcy trust breached its fiduciary duties to trust beneficiaries by halting him from filing further claims cannot show that his past claimants are actual trust beneficiaries because he has submitted unreliable evidence to other trusts, the accused trust says in a March 9 brief filed at the request of a New York federal bankruptcy judge (In re Johns-Manville Corporation, et al., No. 82-11656 [Manville Personal Injury Settlement Trust v. Michael J. Mandelbrot and The Mandelbrot Law Firm, No. 15-01296], S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing lawsuits alleging damages caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on March 10 granted BP Exploration & Production Inc.'s motion to dismiss claims brought by individuals who allege that they suffered economic losses as a result of the deepwater drilling moratorium that was issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior following the incident, holding that the plaintiffs failed to state claims under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA) (In re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico on April, 20, 2010, MDL 2179, No. 09-2179, E.D. La.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30818).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - A New York appeals panel on March 9 held that an oil corporation insured's $2.28 million flood loss resulting from Superstorm Sandy did not meet the deductible of its commercial liability insurance policy, reversing a lower court's ruling against the insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit (Castle Oil Corporation v. ACE American Insurance Co., No. 55812/13, N.Y. Sup.; App. Div., 2nd Dept.; 2016 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1623).
NEW ORLEANS - Because the Texas Supreme Court has clarified that no "fraud exception" to attorney immunity exists, a federal district court erred in denying dismissal of related securities lawsuits stemming from the massive R. Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 10 (Proskauer Rose LLP, et al. v. Samuel Troice, et al., No. 15-10500, 5th Cir.).
RICHMOND, Va. - An insurance holding company will pay $219 million to settle claims filed in a Virginia federal court that it issued misrepresentations regarding the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws, according to a press release issued by the company on March 11 (In re Genworth Financial Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-682, E.D. Va.).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - On remand from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a North Carolina federal judge on March 11 concluded that an accounting of profits earned by Bank of America Corp. (BAC) should be determined in the aggregate and not based upon profits earned by BAC with regard to the assets of individual participants in a BAC 401(k) plan (William L. Pender, et al. v. Bank of America Corporation, et al., No. 05-238, W.D. N.C.).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A federal jury in Pennsylvania on March 10 awarded $4.24 million to residents who contended that a hydraulic fracturing company is liable for contaminating their groundwater (Nolen Scott Ely v. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, No. 09-2284, M.D. Pa.).
HARTFORD, Conn. - Because a disability insurer was properly appointed with fiduciary authority under an employer's disability plan to conduct an administrative appeal review of the denial of a disability benefits claim, an arbitrary-and-capricious standard of review must be applied, a Connecticut federal judge said March 9 in granting the plan's motion for partial summary judgment (Jennifer Dwinnell v. Federal Express Long Term Disability Plan, et al., No. 14-1439, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29963).
PHOENIX - A damages expert may testify that, in his opinion, the appropriate formula for calculating any minimum wage shortfalls in a wage dispute lawsuit is the effective hourly rate of pay formula, an Arizona federal judge ruled March 8 (Michael Wagner v. ABW Legacy Corp., Inc., et al. No. 13-2245, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29376).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A damages expert is excluded from referencing license agreements in patent infringement lawsuits to establish royalty rates, a Delaware federal judge ruled March 9 (M2M Solutions LLC v. Enfora, Inc., et al., No. 12-32, D. Del.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29826).
OAKLAND, Calif. - An amended class certification motion was not sufficiently narrowed by consumers who have accused rental car companies of engaging in the practice of selling collision or liability damage waiver policies for vehicle rentals to plaintiffs without providing adequate notice that the coverage might be duplicative of other policies already held by the consumers, a California federal judge ruled March 8 (Sandra McKinnon, et al. v. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., et al., No. 12-4457, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29671).
SALT LAKE CITY - Utah legislators on March 10 sent to the governor legislation requiring asbestos plaintiffs to declare under oath that they investigated all potential claims arising with asbestos bankruptcy trusts and filed relevant claims.