DENVER - Because no New Mexico court has addressed the application of the "owned or occupied" exclusion in the context of environmental contamination to sovereign property, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should certify a question regarding the exclusion's application to the New Mexico Supreme Court, an insured maintains in a July 19 motion for certification of a question of state law (Taos Ski Valley Inc. v. Nova Casualty Co., No. 16-2118, 10th Cir.).
CHICAGO - An insurer had no duty to defend an additional insured for construction defects in condominium units because nothing accidental was alleged, an Illinois appeals panel affirmed July 20, finding that the allegations include the additional insured's intentional bad acts or awareness of faulty workmanship (Westfield Insurance Co. v. West Van Buren, LLC and 933 Van Buren Condominium Association, No. 1-14-0862, Ill. App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Ill. App. LEXIS 473).
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on July 18 granted three motions in limine filed by an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, precluding an insured from presenting evidence, damages testimony and other testimony to show that the insurer acted in bad faith in conducting an investigation into a claim for coverage under a commercial property insurance policy (JCKP LLC v. Berkley Regional Specialty Insurance Co, et al., No. 14-0117, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93049).
SAN FRANCISCO - Dismissal of a life insurance policy beneficiary's breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit against an insurer is not proper because the beneficiary has shown that his deceased wife timely completed all necessary paperwork and submitted to her employer as administrator of the policy to port her group life insurance policy into an individual policy, a federal judge in California ruled July 20 (Kent Graham v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 16-3407, N.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94871).
CHICAGO - An art historian may opine that if a signature were authenticated, the market value for a piece of art would be between $6 million and $8 million, an Illinois federal judge ruled July 21, declining to exclude the historian's testimony (Robert Fletcher and Bartlow Gallery Ltd. v. Peter Doig, No. 13-3270, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95081).
ST. LOUIS - A district court erred when it refused to reconsider post-removal evidence filed by the St. Louis Rams LLC and other associated entities (collectively, Rams) before ruling that a class complaint accusing the defendants of violating the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act in connection with the defendants' relocation of their professional football team to Los Angeles belongs in state, not federal, court, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 19, vacating the District Court's order (James Pudlowski, et al. v. The St. Louis Rams, LLC, et al., No. 16-8009, 8th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13147).
CHICAGO - A plaintiff responsible for bringing more than 150 trademark lawsuits across the country was properly rebuffed in its effort to hold a pub and its owner liable for playing unauthorized digital copies of various karaoke tracks, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (Slep-Tone Entertainment Corp., et al. v. Danette Rumsey, et al., No. 15-2844, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13306).
SAN FRANCISCO - Two weeks after the Michigan Supreme Court determined that the lead plaintiff in a putative class action against Pandora Media Inc. did not constitute a customer of Pandora's online streaming service per Michigan's Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA), a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 21 affirmed a lower court's dismissal of the suit (Peter Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc. No. 12-17734, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13333).
PHOENIX - The common-law original tortfeasor rule (OTR) "does not preclude a defendant from alleging and proving, or the trier of fact from considering and finding, fault of a nonparty physician who treated the plaintiff for injuries allegedly sustained from the defendant's tort," the Arizona Supreme Court held July 18 in a personal injury case for which it granted review because it presented "an unsettled legal question that is of statewide interest and likely to recur" (Courtney Rene Cramer v. Hon. Patricia Ann Starr, et al., No. CV-15-0317-PR, Ariz. Sup.; 2016 Ariz. LEXIS 199).
LOS ANGELES - A California appeals panel on July 21 affirmed an $8.3 million verdict in a DePuy ASR XL metal-on-metal hip case (Sheryl R. Kransky, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., No. B249576, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 7).
TRENTON, N.J. - A New Jersey panel affirmed July 20 that commercial general liability coverage for an underlying negligence lawsuit against an engineering firm insured is barred by the policy's professional services exclusion (EIC Group LLC v. The Travelers Indemnity Company of America, No. A-2590-14T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2016 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1683).
LOS ANGELES - A drug maker will pay $95 million to settle claims that it misrepresented certain safety concerns with two of its products in violation of federal securities laws, according to a motion for preliminary approval of settlement filed July 21 in California federal court (In re Amgen Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 07-2536, C.D. Calif.).
DENVER - A federal judge in Kansas did not err when vacating a jury's verdict awarding $185,000 to a woman accused a company that builds premanufactured homes of fraud by omission and negligent misrepresentation, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 20, holding that the cost of repairs rather than the home's value is a proper measure for determining damages (Leona Feldt v. Heritage Homes of Nebraska Inc., et al., No. 15-3109, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13356).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 21 rejected an insurer's argument that its owes nothing to the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association (USMAA) for tornado damage to a building it leases from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) because others paid for USMAA's loss (Southern Insurance Co. v. Affiliated FM Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-60472, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13350).
CHICAGO - In a July 19 ruling, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed discovery sanctions against an attorney in a "porno-trolling collective" for what it called egregious and obstructive behavior in failing to comply with a trial court's sanctions awards against it in the wake of a dismissed file-sharing lawsuit (Lightspeed Media Corp., et al. v. Anthony Smith, et al., No. 15-2440, 7th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13195).
WARREN, Ohio - A trial court did not err in allowing expert testimony as to causation for an injury to the femoral nerve in a medical malpractice lawsuit, a majority of an Ohio appeals panel ruled July 18 (Jane L. Gordon v. Trumbull Memorial Hospital c/o National Registered Agents, Inc., et al., No. 2015-T-0080, Ohio App., 11th Dist.; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 2802).
DENVER - A trial court properly allowed expert testimony on causation in an insurance coverage dispute over injuries suffered in an auto collision, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held July 19, affirming that the insured presented evidence that a reasonable jury could find that his claim for benefits was fairly debatable (Donald L. Etherton v. Owners Insurance Co., No. 14-1164, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13156).
PHILADELPHIA - After finding that a borrower's claims for violation of the Homeowners Protection Act (HPA) were not preempted and that she sufficiently pleaded her claims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment in relation to her private mortgage insurance (PMI), a Pennsylvania federal judge on July 20 denied a loan servicer's motion to dismiss the complaint (Sue Song, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated v. Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc., No. 16-006, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94362).
MIAMI - A disability insurer's decision to terminate a claimant's long-term disability benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the insurer reasonably concluded that the claimant was not precluded from working in "any occupation," a Florida federal judge said July 19 (Armando Mercado v. Federal Express Corp., et al., No. 15-21472, S.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93786).
CAMDEN, N.J. - A couple that had its lawsuit against a group of railroad companies consolidated with other New Jersey residents filed a notice in New Jersey federal court on July 19 that it was appealing to the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals the district court's rulings that granted the defendants' motions in limine to exclude the couple's experts. The experts had sought to testify on injury causation related to exposure to vinyl chloride caused by the derailment of a train carrying the chemical over a bridge (In Re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
SALT LAKE CITY - An insurer did not act in bad faith in denying coverage for an allegedly stolen skid loader because ample evidence exists to support the insurer's denial of the claim, a federal judge in Utah ruled July 18 in an insurance bad faith and breach of contract lawsuit (Naser Awadh, et al. v. Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co., No. 13-0145, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93369).
NEWARK, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on July 19 granted an insurer's motion to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured failed to show that the district court has subject matter jurisdiction over the action (Florence Hanson v. Allstate New Jersey Insurance Co., No. 15-8882, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93444).
HOUSTON - An insurance policy's "your work" exclusion precludes damages awarded in arbitration to homeowners because the insured contractor's work caused the damages, which did not include damages to the pool or work performed by other subcontractors, a Texas federal judge ruled July 19 (Grier Patton and Camille Patton and David A. Fettner v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 15-1371, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93568).