PHILADELPHIA - After finding that borrowers failed to state any plausible claims in their complaint against Wells Fargo Bank N.A. and others, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 11 affirmed a district court's decision to dismiss the case (Rance M. Strunk Sr., et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., a/k/a Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and Agents, et al., No. 14-4578, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9751).
LOS ANGELES - A California state court jury on June 12 found that the femoral stem of a Wright Medical Technology Inc. Profemur R hip prosthesis was defectively manufactured and ordered the manufacturer to pay $2.5 million to a patient and his wife for pain, suffering and loss of consortium (Alan Warner, et al. v. Brad L. Penenberg, M.D., et al., No. BC 475958, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
LOS ANGELES - A chrome-plating company sued by the State of California for allegedly contaminating groundwater as a result of its operation of an industrial site on June 10 filed a brief in federal court arguing that the lawsuit is barred by the statute of limitations (California Department of Toxic Substances Control v. J&S Chrome Plating Co., No. 14-02613, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK - Interns suing Warner Music Group Corp. and Atlantic Recording Corp. (collectively, WMG) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for unpaid wages filed a motion June 9 seeking preliminary approval of a $4.23 million settlement (Kyle Grant, et al. v. Warner Music Group Corp., et al., No. 13-4449, Justin Henry, et al. v. Warner Music Group Corp., et al., No. 13-5031, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK - The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico on June 10 stipulated to an order of dismissal without prejudice of some of its claims in against numerous defendants regarding groundwater allegedly contaminated by the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). The commonwealth retains the right to amend its complaint, however, to add claims for a regulatory enforcement action against the companies (In re: Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether [MTBE] Products Liability Litigation, MDL 1358, No. 00-1898, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico v. Shell Oil Co., et al., No. 07 Civ. 10470, S.D. N.Y.).
BOSTON - A group of London market reinsurance syndicates asked a federal court in Massachusetts on June 11 to confirm an arbitration award regarding certain environmental loss claims against a company insured by the syndicates' reinsured (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London v. Transport Insurance Company, No. 15-cv-12313, D. Mass.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on June 10 ordered two commercial general liability insurers to brief the issue of whether any one of the $10,000 self-insured retentions (SIR) in a policy on a "per-home" basis was met regarding the defense of a contractor accused of faulty construction in homes (Evanston Insurance Co. v. North American Capacity Insurance Co., No. 13-01365, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75265).
RICHMOND, Va. - An insurer has a duty to defend allegations that an additional insured's negligence caused a building collapse, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 10, finding that the scope of coverage under an endorsement extends beyond acts or omissions of the named insured for which the additional insured was vicariously liable (Capital City Real Estate LLC v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's London, subscribing to Policy Number: ARTE018240, No. 14-1239, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9662).
PHILADELPHIA - After finding that a bank had good reason to decline the funding of a construction project and to foreclose on a property, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 11 affirmed a summary judgment ruling and dismissal of the borrowers' claims (Lewis Wu, et al. v. Capital One, N.A., et al., No. 14-3719, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9746).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 11 denied the consolidated motion of a group of telecommunications providers (telecoms) to stay the Federal Communications Commission's recently released report and order on "Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet" pending the telecoms' respective petitions seeking review of the order (United States Telecom Association v. Federal Communications Commission, et al., No. 15-1063, D.C. Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 11 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a contractual liability exclusion bars directors and officers liability coverage for underlying claims arising from the insured's contracts for foreign exchange transactions with four banks (PNY Technologies Inc., et al. v. Twin City Fire Ins. Co., No. 14-3624, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9781).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania state court jury on June 11 returned a defense verdict in favor of Pfizer Inc. in the second Zoloft birth defect trial (Mia Robinson, et al. v. Wolters Kluwer Health Inc., et al., No. 110700778, Pa. Comm. Pls., Philadelphia Co.).
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on June 10 granted a motion to dismiss filed by a bank and servicing company, finding that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) does not apply to the enforcement of nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings (Paul Wagner IV, et al. v. National Default Servicing Corporation, et al., No. 2:15-CV-506, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75096).
TRENTON, N.J. - No coverage is provided for mold growth in a home's attic because the insureds failed to prove that the mold growth was a result of a "fortuitous, direct physical loss," the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division said June 10 (Sheldon and Shirley Kavesh v. Franklin Mutual Insurance Co., No. A-5210-13T1, N.J. Super., App. Div.; 2015 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1378).
MILWAUKEE - The state's statute of repose does not apply to maintenance work and does not exempt a manufacturer who supplied asbestos-containing insulation for that specific project, a federal judge in Wisconsin held June 9 (Marybeth Nuutinen, et al. v. CBS Corp., and John Crane Inc., No. 97-678, E.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75134).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on June 9 transferred two securities class action lawsuits to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and consolidated the actions with four similar actions already filed in the District Court, ruling that the actions meet statutory requirements for pretrial consolidation (In re Alibaba Group Holding Limited Securities Litigation, MDL No. 2631, JPMDL).
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 10 affirmed the conviction and sentencing of man found guilty for his role in a scheme of fraudulently billing Medicare for durable medical equipment (DME), finding that the judge presiding over the case did not err in any of his evidentiary rulings and used the proper guidelines when determining his sentence (United States of America v. Blessing Sydney Iwuala, No. 13-2497, 1st Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 9685).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Delaware Supreme Court on June 10 certified questions to New York's top court about whether all sums or pro rata allocation governs an insurance dispute and how insurance policy exhaustion affects access to excess policies. The long-running dispute involves insurance coverage for asbestos claims against Viking Pump Inc. and Warren Pumps LLC (Viking Pump Inc. v. Century Indemnity Co., et al. Warren Pumps LLC v. Century Indemnity Co., et al., Viking Pump Inc. v. John Crane Inc., Houdaille Industries Inc., No. 518,2014; 523,2014; 525,2014; 528,2014, Del. Sup.; 2015 Del. LEXIS 278).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge presiding over a lawsuit brought by the widow of a man who claims that her husband's death was caused by cancer that he contracted as a result of exposure to benzene while working for Shell Oil Co. at one of the company's gas stations on June 9 ruled that the plaintiff's medical expert was "unreliable" (Yolande Burst v. Shell Oil Company, No. 14-109, E.D. La.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. may transfer several of their cigarette brands to British tobacco company Imperial Tobacco Group (ITG), a federal judge in the District of Columbia held June 8 (United States v. Philip Morris USA Inc., et al., No. 99-2496, D. D.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73464).
INDIANAPOLIS - Finding that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether an accused file-sharer illegally copied six movies, an Indiana federal judge on June 8 denied the copyright holder's motion for summary judgment (Malibu Media LLC v. Michael Harrison, No. 1:12-cv-01117, S.D. Ind.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73447).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A news and entertainment media operator failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, the U.S. Department of State said June 8 in its answer to a complaint by Gawker Media LLC in District of Columbia federal court seeking to compel communications related to Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email account during her tenure as secretary of State under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (Gawker Media LLC, et al. v. Department of State, No. 1:15-cv-00363, D. D.C.).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation stemming from the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico and ensuing oil spill on June 10 held that a man's motion to sever his personal injury claims from those subject to a settlement agreement was not an effective means of opting out of the agreement, explaining that the motion did not mention that he was allegedly exposed to chemicals used to disperse oil or that he was involved in cleanup activities in the gulf (In re Oil Spill by the Oil Rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico, MDL 2179, Case No. 10-md-2179, DuWayne Mason v. Seacor Holdings Inc., et al., No. 11-826, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74996).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal magistrate judge in New York on June 10 ordered that certain discovery material produced in a reinsurance dispute may be designated by the parties as confidential (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-00270, N.D. N.Y.).