TOPEKA, Kan. - A Kansas federal magistrate judge on July 22 denied a request by two umbrella insurers to deduct $44 million from an insured's $63 million damages claim in a lawsuit over coverage for construction defects in four power plants; however, the magistrate judge ordered the insured to produce more documentation to support its claim (Black & Veatch Corp. v. Aspen Insurance [UK] Ltd., et al., No. 12-2350, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95125).
DALLAS - A promotional firm's failure to seal a summary judgment motion, which contained confidential information, is an example of its "pattern of blatantly violating confidentiality agreements," Yahoo Inc. said in a July 22 motion for sanctions in a contract and trade secrets lawsuit related to an online basketball tournament contest (SCA Promotions Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 3:14-cv-00957, N.D. Texas).
ATLANTA - A district court must reconsider whether an arbitration agreement between a restaurant and its server is enforceable in a wage dispute, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21, finding that a trial court failed to issue an order properly explaining its decision to not enforce the agreement (Marquisha Matthews v, Ultimate Sports Bar, LLC, et al., No. 14-14809, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12549).
SAN DIEGO - Dismissal of an insured's breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit is proper, a California appellate panel held July 20, because an insured failed to file its claim for coverage within the two-year contractual limitation on the right to sue (Thee Sombrero Inc. v. Markel International Insurance Co. Ltd, et al., No. E060705, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 2; 2015 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5112).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts Appeals Court panel on July 22 ruled that a former insurance agent who was convicted on charges of insurance fraud and larceny for submitting motor vehicle insurance policy applications with false information was unable to show that the evidence presented at trial did not support the jury's verdict (Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Virgen Millie Lima, No. 13-P-1746, Mass. App.; 2015 Mass. App. LEXIS 78).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on July 21 granted final approval of a $7.15 million settlement to be paid by Foot Locker Inc. to end a wage-and-hour multidistrict litigation (In Re: Foot Locker, Inc., Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Wage and Hour Litigation, No. 11-MDL-02235, E.D. Pa.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Two petitioners won mandamus on July 22 from a New Jersey federal judge's modified protective order that would allow courts in Korea and Japan access to proprietary information gleaned from an American patent infringement lawsuit, in what the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals deemed a case of first impression (In re: POSCO, No. 15-112, Fed. Cir.).
PHILADELPHIA - Courts must look to the economic realities, not the structure, of the relationship between a business and its workers to determine whether those workers are employees or independent contractors, a split Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 21 (Mikael M. Safarian v. American DG Energy Inc. v. Multiservice Power, Inc., No. 14-2734, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12548).
NEW YORK - The judge overseeing the General Motors Corp. (Old GM) bankruptcy proceedings on July 22 rejected a challenge to his ruling enforcing a sale order and injunction barring hundreds suits against General Motors LLC (New GM) alleging personal injury and economic loss as a result of ignition-switch defects in vehicles manufactured by Old GM (In re: Chapter 11 Motors Liquidation Co., et al., f/k/a General Motors Corp., et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - Putative class claims alleging mitigation charges and possible future identity theft and fraudulent purchases related to a data breach of department store Neiman Marcus Group LLC are not speculative, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found July 20, reversing a trial court's finding that dismissed a negligence complaint against the retailer for failure to establish standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution (Hilary Remijas, et al. v. Neiman Marcus Group LLC, No. 14-3122, 7th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12487).
TORONTO - A Canadian resource company on July 21 announced that it has filed a request for international arbitration against Romania, seeking damages in relation to a silver and gold mining project.
TRENTON, N.J. - Deeming the efforts by several copyright infringement defendants to persuade him to revisit his May 2015 denial of summary judgment "a textbook example of everything a reconsideration motion should not be," U.S. Judge Kevin McNulty of the District of New Jersey on July 21 denied the request (Hanover Architectural Service P.A. v. Christian Testimony-Morris N.P., et al., No. 10-5455, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94916).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The son and daughter of a man who died from mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos at a plant operated by an affiliate of Chapter 11 debtor Energy Future Holdings Corp. (EFH) say a legal representative should be appointed in EFH's bankruptcy case to protect the interests of themselves and thousands of others like them who may one day have asbestos personal injury claims against the debtor, according to a motion filed July 22 in Delaware federal bankruptcy court (In re: Energy Future Holdings Corp., No. 14-10979, D. Del. Bkcy.).
DETROIT - An insurer has a duty to defend a negligent construction lawsuit against its insureds and has a possible duty to indemnify that should be determined on remand subject to any exclusions, a Michigan appeals panel ruled July 21 (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Lyle Christopher Kelley and North Arrow Log Homes, Inc. and Steven Prain and Jennafer Prain, No. 319641, Mich. App.; 2015 Mich. App. LEXIS 1425).
OKLAHOMA CITY - The federal judge in Oklahoma presiding over a group of consolidated lawsuits brought by residents who contend that Halliburton Energy Services Inc. (HESI) is liable for personal injuries as a result of the company's release of radioactive materials into the environment on July 22 excluded the residents' expert on grounds that his testimony would not help the trier of fact to understand the evidence (Mitchell L. McCormick v. Halliburton Energy Services Inc., No. 11-01272, W.D. Okla.).
PHILADELPHIA - Three relators can assert false claim allegations that Cephalon Inc. violated a corporate integrity agreement (CIA) by engaging in off-label marketing of the wakefulness drug Provigil and its successor, Nuvigil, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 21 (United States of America, ex rel. Bruce Boise, et al. v. Cephalon, Inc., et al., No. 08-287, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94448).
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina ruled July 21 that Ross Development Corp. must pay $745,898.86 to indemnify PCS Nitrogen Inc. for costs, fees and expenses PCS incurred when defending claims brought by Ashley II of Charleston LLC under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) (Ashley II of Charleston LLC v. PCS Nitrogen Inc., et al., No. 05-2782-MBS, D. S.C.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95355).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 20 affirmed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval of the State of Texas' State Implementation Plan (SIP) that provides flexible permits for minor sources of pollution, after finding that seven environmental groups raised the same arguments the agency initially made against the plan in 2012 (Environmental Integrity Project, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 14-60649, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 12597).
CAMDEN, N.J. - Four of the plaintiffs who sued a group of railroad company defendants seeking damages related to a vinyl chloride spill caused by the derailment of a train crossing the bridge over Mantua Creek filed a brief on July 20 in New Jersey federal court, contending that the report of its expert should be included in the court record because the defendant's argument for excluding it is based on a false claim (In re: Paulsboro Derailment Cases, No. 13-784, D. N.J.).
ROCHESTER, N.Y. - Because there is no evidence that a produce supplier intended or expected its apples to be contaminated and the apples were incorporated into an underlying claimant's baby food, the resulting damage to the baby food arose out of an occurrence and, therefore, an insurer has a duty to defend the produce supplier against the underlying breach of contract and warranty lawsuit, a New York federal judge held July 20 (Thruway Produce Inc. v. Massachusetts Bay Insurance Co., No. 11-6337, W.D. N.Y.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94846).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on July 20 affirmed a lower court decision that the rehabilitation of two insolvent insurers should not be converted to a liquidation process (In re: Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Company in Rehabilitation, No. 94 MAP 2012, Pa. Sup., Middle Dist.; In re: American Network Insurance Company In Rehabilitation, No. 95 MAP 2012, Pa. Sup., Middle Dist.).
LOS ANGELES - A California federal judge on July 21 again denied certification of consumer class actions for purchasers of the antidepressant Cymbalta (Jennifer L. Saavedra, et al. v. Eli Lilly and Company, No. 12-9366, C.D. Calif.).
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. - A federal judge in Illinois on July 17 awarded $20.6 million in fees and $1.6 million in costs and, on July 20, granted final approval to a $62 million settlement of claims by participants in two of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s 401(k) plans that the plans' fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by causing the plans to pay excessive administrative expenses, by investing in a stable-value fund (SVF) that did not result in a rate of return that was sufficient for a retirement asset and by mismanaging the plan's company stock funds (CSFs) (Anthony Abbott, et al. v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al., No. 06-cv-701, S.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93206).
PHILADELPHIA - Under New Jersey law, an insurer did not act in bad faith in the adjusting of payments to settle insureds' repair costs to their property following a water pipe burst, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled July 20 (Aaron Beyer and Francine S. Beyer v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-4887, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94456).
NEW YORK - A state court justice in New York on July 17 granted a motion for summary judgment filed by Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., finding that the insurer sufficiently showed that a woman intended to deceive the company when making material misrepresentations about her health history on her application for a disability income insurance policy (Metropolitan Life Insurance Company v. Olga Levitanskaya, No. 160118/13, N.Y. Sup., New York. Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2537).