WAYCROSS, Ga. - A Georgia federal judge on March 17 remanded an insured's suit seeking a coverage declaration for an underlying suit seeking damages for exposure to toxic chemicals because diversity of citizenship does not exist in the insured's suit (Richard E. Pearson, d/b/a Pearson Service Co. v. Catlin Specialty Insurance Co. Inc., et al., No. 14-60, S.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33046).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Concluding that a plaintiff's liability expert failed to meet any of the standards of Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. (509 U.S. 579 ) to support his theory that defective ammunition caused a rifle to misfire and injure the plaintiff, an Alabama federal judge on March 19 granted the defendant's motions to strike and for summary judgment (Wil A. Vickery v. Remington Arms Company LLC, No. 7:12-cv-03926, N.D. Ala.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34161).
ATLANTA - A photographer need not pay a partly prevailing copyright infringement defendant its attorney fees because the photographer's allegation of removal of copyright management information (CMI) "was not entirely without merit," according to a March 19 ruling by a Georgia federal judge (Iran Watson v. Kappa Map Group LLC, No. 14-100, N.D. Ga.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33852).
MILWAUKEE - A federal judge in Wisconsin on March 17 held that one plaintiff in a class action lawsuit alleging violations of interest rate laws by loans originating on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Reservation must arbitrate his claims but that the arbitration provision in a second plaintiff's loan agreement could not be enforced (Eric Williams, et al. v. CashCall Inc., No. 14-903, E.D. Wis.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32620).
NEW ORLEANS - A general liability insurance policy's breach of contract exclusion precludes coverage for a negligence claim asserted by a parish regarding a project that allegedly suffered from improper work by various subcontractors, a Louisiana federal judge ruled March 19, granting summary judgment to a subcontractor's insurer (Hanover Insurance Co. v. Plaquemines Parish Government, No. 12-1680, E.D. La.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34313).
NEW YORK - Claims by a former union member and his wife that they were defamed in a union newsletter that was printed and also published on a website hosted by GoDaddy.com LLC all fail because the claims against the union are time-barred and the website host is entitled to immunity, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 18 (Peter Ricci, et al. v. Teamsters Union Local 456, et al., No. 14-1732, 2nd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4303).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge properly found that plaintiff Sandshaker Lounge and Package Store LLC had no protectable rights in the "bushwacker" trademark because it is "a generic term for a chocolaty frozen drink containing rum and coffee liqueur," the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 19 (Sandshaker Lounge and Package Store LLC v. Quietwater Entertainment Inc., No. 14-14481, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4419).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - The diagnosis of an asbestos-related injury and not the individual's death triggers the two-year statute of limitations for asbestos wrongful death claims after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down the previous governing law, a state appeals court held March 19 (Elizabeth Wygant, et al. v. General Electric Co., et al., No. 470 WDA 2014, Elizabeth Wygant, et al. v. General Electric Co., et al., No. 471 WDA 2014, Elizabeth Wygant, et al. v. General Electric Co., et al., No. 472, WDA 2014, Pa. Super.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Graco Children's Products Inc. was fined $10 million by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) March 20 for failing to provide timely notification of a defect in more than 4 million child car seats (In re: Graco Children's Products Inc., No. TQ14-004, U.S. DOT, NHTSA)
LAS VEGAS - A Nevada federal judge on March 17 dismissed an insured's counterclaims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and violation of Nevada Revised Statutes Section 686A.310(1)(a) with regard to an insurer's coverage in an underlying construction defects lawsuit (Probuilders Specialty Insurance Co., et al. v. Double M. Construction d/b/a Classic Homes, No. 13-2156, D. Nev.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34039).
OKLAHOMA CITY - A federal judge in Oklahoma on March 18 granted an insured's motion to compel certain information regarding discipline and performance reviews for an insurer's former adjuster, ruling that the information is important in determining whether the insured properly pleaded its insurance bad faith claim (Drew Hardware LLC v. Hartford Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-845, W.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33175).
ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held on March 17 that the burden of funding $1 million of an underlying settlement falls squarely on the primary insurer's shoulders, reversing and remanding a lower federal court's finding that the excess insurer was not entitled to damages in a coverage dispute over a customer's paralyzing injury during an armed bank robbery (Nova Casualty Co. v. OneBeacon America Insurance Co., No. 13-15799, 11th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4205).
MINNEAPOLIS - A transgendered individual may proceed with a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Section 1557 discrimination case because the law creates a singular standard regardless of protected class status, a federal judge in Minnesota held March 16 (Jakob Tiarnan Rumble v. Fairview Health Services d/b/a/ Fairview Southdale Hospital and Emergency Physicians P.A., No. 14-2037, D. Minn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31591).
MINNEAPOLIS - A group of consumer plaintiffs in a consolidated lawsuit over a 2013 data breach experienced by Target Corp., filed a motion for approval in Minnesota federal court on March 18, stating that they had reached a settlement in which the retailer agreed to pay $10 million to settle all of the consumers' claims against it (In re: Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 0:14-md-02522, D. Minn.).
NEW YORK - A widow presents no evidence that a premises owner itself required asbestos-containing products, or that it controlled the work in a way sufficient for liability under New York employment law, a state judge held in denying leave to renew or reargue on March 17 (Phyllis Brown, et al. v. A.O. Smith Water Products, et al., No. 190415/12, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2015 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 734).
TAMPA, Fla. - A federal judge on March 18 granted the government's motion to stay a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate accommodation until the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals weighs in on a closely related case (Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation Inc., et al. v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-580, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12506).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on March 18 signed legislation that proponents hope encourages transparency in asbestos bankruptcy trust filings.
LOS ANGELES - Two female managers employed by Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corp. (BSNC) filed a class complaint in California federal court on March 13, accusing the medical device manufacturer of discriminating against its female employees through assignments, disparate pay and promotion and differential treatment (Denise Fretter, et al. v. Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corporation, No. 15-1988, C.D. Calif.).
TULSA, Okla. - An expert electrician's testimony will be relevant to helping a jury determine a lighting company's liability in its customers' house fire, an Oklahoma federal judge ruled March 17, denying a motion to exclude, while holding that certain portions of the electrician's testimony that were not previously disclosed should be stricken (Great Northern Insurance Co. v. John Watson Landscape Illumination Inc., No. 4:12-cv-00025, N.D. Okla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32511).
WILMINGTON, Del. - Allegations that AOL Advertising Inc. infringed two patents relating to online business transactions were rejected March 18 by a Delaware federal judge (Priceplay.com Inc. v. AOL Advertising Inc., No. 14-92, D. Del.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33151).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia federal judge on March 18 found that a borrower failed to show that a loan-servicing company violated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), granting summary judgment dismissing the claim (Rodney Peters v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 3:14-cv-513, E.D. Va.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33690).