LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Action Alleges Snapchat Exposes Minors To Adult Content

    LOS ANGELES - In a putative class action filed July 7 in California federal court, a minor user of Snapchat Inc.'s photo messaging application alleges that editorial content on Snapchat's app exposes minors to sexually offensive content in violation of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (John Doe v. Snapchat Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-04955, C.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Former NFL Player Files Product Defect Suit Against Helmet Company

    CHICAGO - A former National Football League (NFL) player sued a helmet maker in Illinois state court on July 7, claiming that the helmet maker led players to believe that their helmets would protect them from head injury (Paul Hornung, et al v. BRG Sports LLC, et al., No. 2016-L-006686, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Class Action Alleges Snapchat Exposes Minors To Adult Content

    LOS ANGELES - In a putative class action filed July 7 in California federal court, a minor user of Snapchat Inc.'s photo messaging application alleges that editorial content on Snapchat's app exposes minors to sexually offensive content in violation of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and California's unfair competition law (UCL) (John Doe v. Snapchat Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-04955, C.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Plaintiffs Oppose Google's Motion To Biometrics Suit Over 'Google Photos' Feature

    CHICAGO - Two plaintiffs that filed putative class complaints alleging that Google Inc. violated Illinois' Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) via facial recognition capability in its "Google Photos" feature, filed a brief on July 1 in Illinois federal court opposing Google's motion to dismiss, arguing that the Internet giant violated the statute by collecting their biometric identifiers without their consent (Lindabeth Rivera v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02714, and Joseph Weiss v. Google Inc., No. 1:16-cv-02870, N.D. Ill.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Says Reinsurer From Different Case Has No Right To See Sealed Documents

    SYRACUSE, N.Y. - An insurer told a federal court in New York on July 5 that a non-party reinsurer involved in a similar asbestos reinsurance dispute does not have the right to see documents sealed in the instant action (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, N.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - United States Asks Court To Force Tobacco Company To Pay Fine With Interest

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The United States on July 5 asked a federal judge in Washington in a motion for summary judgment to force King Mountain Tobacco Co. Inc. to pay $6.3 million in statutory assessments and late payment interest (United States of America v. King Mountain Tobacco Co. Inc., No. 1:14-cv-03162-RMP, E.D. Wash.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Finds Loan Servicer Had No Duty To Borrower

    SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on July 6 granted a loan servicer's motion for summary judgment, finding that it owed no duty to a borrower in relation to a loan modification (Edward D. Mecum v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-1302, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87712).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses Claims Against Servicer Related To Loan Modification

    LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on July 6 granted a loan servicer's motion to dismiss claims filed by property owners in relation to a loan modification, finding that allegations related to foreclosure documentation failed to state a claim under Nevada law (Judith Beebe, et al. v. New Penn Financial, LLC, d/b/a Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing, No. 2:15-CV-2164, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87324).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Judge Rejects Lanham Act Allegations

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A dispute over mineral and land rights was dismissed July 6 by an Alabama federal judge who found that a plaintiff failed to state a claim with regard to allegations that various defendants violated the Lanham Act (Black Diamond Land Management LLC v. Twin Pines Coal Company Inc. et al., No. 14-2333, N.D. Ala.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87022).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Allows Insured's Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims To Proceed

    JACKSON, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on July 1 dismissed an insured's claims for waiver and estoppel and for vicarious liability but allowed breach of contract and bad faith claims to proceed in a homeowners insurance coverage action (Brooke T. Martin v. Shelter Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-675, S.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86112).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insured Can't Maintain Bad Faith Claims After Appraisal Award Paid

    FORT WORTH, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on July 5 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured can no longer bring her claims because the appraisal process has been completed and the insurer timely paid her the appraisal award (Yolanda Aguilar v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 15-565, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87600).

    Mealey's Insurance - Termination Of Benefits Was Reasonable, California Federal Judge Determines

    FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on July 5 determined that a disability claims administrator did not abuse its discretion in terminating a claimant's benefits because the administrator identified two reasonable jobs within the proper zone that could be performed by the claimant (William Barnett v. Southern California Edison Company Long Term Disability Plan, No. 12-130, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86828).

    Mealey's Insurance - Magistrate Judge: Insurer Hasn't Shown That Judicial Estoppel Should Be Invoked

    FRESNO, Calif. - Summary judgment is not warranted in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insurer has failed to show that the doctrine of judicial estoppel should be invoked and has failed to show that no genuine issue of material fact exists related to claims made by insureds in suing the insurer, a federal magistrate judge in California ruled July 5 (Halonda Naff, et al. v. State Farm General Insurance Co., No. 15-0515, E.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86854).

    Mealey's Insurance - Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Survive Summary Judgment, Dismissal Motions

    SEATTLE - A federal judge in Washington on July 5 denied an insurer's motions for summary judgment and to dismiss in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insureds have sufficiently pleaded their claims for relief against their health insurance provider (Lori Patnode, et al. v. HCC Life Insurance Co., d/b/a HCC Medical Insurance Services LLC, No. 15-0824, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86872).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Magistrate Judge Finds Plaintiffs' Expert's Additional Report Was Not Supplemental

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal magistrate judge in Connecticut on July 6 granted defendants' motion to strike the additional report of a doctor who examined a couple who claim that they sustained injuries as a result of exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by spray polyurethane foam (SPF), finding that the expert's opinions did not supplement his original report (Richard Breyer, et al. v. Anchor Insulation Co. Inc., et al., No. 13 CV 1576, D. Conn.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Union Pacific's 3rd Attempt To Stay Contamination Case Denied By Federal Judge

    TACOMA, Wash. - A federal judge in Washington on July 6 denied Union Pacific Railroad Co.'s third motion to stay a lawsuit brought by a local municipality over remediation of contamination at the Lake River Industrial site, finding that the defendant company could simultaneously litigate the Port of Ridgefield's claim for contribution and negotiate a consent decree with the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) (Port of Ridgefield v. Union Pacific Railroad Company, No. 14-CV-6024, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87619).

    Mealey's Insurance - Fact Issues Remain On Cause Of Insureds' Water Damage, Federal Judge Says

    HARRISBURG, Pa. - Finding that genuine issues of fact remain as to the cause of homeowners' water damage, a Pennsylvania federal judge on July 7 declined to grant summary judgment to an insurer based on exclusions for defective construction, seepage, neglect or known loss doctrine (The Cincinnati Insurance Co. v. Jonathan Drenocky and Deborah Drenocky, No. 15-762, M.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87711).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Affirms Injunction, Wait Period To Market Biosimilar Drug

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Florida federal judge properly awarded Amgen Inc. a preliminary injunction barring Apotex Inc. from entering the market for 180 days after receiving a requested license from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a biosimilar product, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 5 (Amgen Inc. v. Apotex Inc., No. 16-1308, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12353).

    Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Subrogated Insurer's Rights To Recovery Were Not Waived Under Bylaws

    BOSTON - A subrogated insurer's rights to recover insurance proceeds paid for a condominium unit's water damage were not waived based on a clause in the bylaws of the insured's condominium trust that unit owners "shall carry insurance" and that "all such policies shall contain waivers of subrogation," the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held July 5 (Pacific Indemnity Co. v. John Deming, No. 15-2386, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12374).

    Mealey's Insurance - 6th Circuit: Claims Based On Pastor's Sexual Acts; No Coverage For $4.35M Award

    CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 5 affirmed a lower federal court's finding that because underlying claims were based on an associate pastor's sexual acts, the victims and their parents cannot recover a $4.35 million award against the pastor from his church's insurer because the policy does not cover an individual's sexual misconduct and because Ohio public policy prohibits insurance for the sexual abuse of a minor (Jacquin Clifford, et al. v. Church Mutual Insurance Co., No. 15-4154, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 12541).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Divided S.C. High Court Finds Builder's Arbitration Clause Unenforceable

    COLUMBIA, S.C. - A 3-2 panel of the South Carolina Supreme Court on July 6 affirmed an appellate court's decision to sustain a trial court's ruling denying D.R. Horton Inc.'s motion to compel arbitration on a construction defects lawsuit, after agreeing that an arbitration clause was unenforceable because its terms were unconscionable (Gregory W. Smith v. D.R. Horton Inc., et al., No. 27645, S.C. Sup.; 2016 S.C. LEXIS 155).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Michigan Supreme Court: Pandora User Not Renter, Borrower Under Privacy Law

    LANSING, Mich. - Responding to a question certified by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Michigan Supreme Court on July 6 unanimously concluded that a user of Pandora Media Inc.'s online streaming service did not constitute a "customer" because he did not "rent" or "borrow" the service under the state's Video Rental Privacy Act (VRPA) (In Re Certified Question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Peter Deacon v. Pandora Media Inc., No. 151104, Mich. Sup.; 2016 Mich. LEXIS 1385).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Volkswagen To Pay Additional $86M To California Over Emissions Defeat Devices

    SAN FRANCISCO - Volkswagen AG agreed on July 7 to pay an additional $86 million in civil penalties to the state of California to resolve allegations that the car manufacturer installed "defeat devices" in its 2.0- and 3.0-liter diesel vehicles to evade emissions, according to an unopposed motion to enter a partial consent decree filed in California federal court (In re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2672, Case No. 15-md-2672, People of the State of California v. Volkswagen AG, et al., No. 16-cv-3620, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Insurance - 5th Circuit Affirms Ruling In Insurer's Favor In Hurricane Ike Coverage Dispute

    NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 7 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of a commercial property insurer in a breach of contract and bad faith dispute arising from Hurricane Ike damage to the insured's daycare center and warehouse (Steve Quibodeaux and the Kids Safari Inc., d/b/a Wee Care Childcare and Preschool v. Nautilus Insurance Co., No. 15-40567, 5th Cir.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Certifies Class For California Homeowners With Allegedly Defective Roof Tiles

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. - In an order entered July 5, a California federal judge certified a class for consumers whose homes have roofing tiles that were made by Dura-Loc Roofing Systems Limited that are allegedly defective because they are not UV resistant, finding that common evidence and proof can determine if the shingles are defective, if the shingles did not comply with the limited warranty and if Metals USA Inc., the successor to Dura-Loc, can be liable for damages (James Wilson, et al. v. Metals USA Inc., No. 12-CV-0568-KJM-CKD, E.D. Calif.).