WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 declined to review a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not preempt a New York state anti-subrogation law that prohibits insurers from obtaining reimbursement of medical benefits from participants' tort settlements (The Rawlings Company, et al. v. Megan Wurtz, et al., No. 14-487, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 let stand a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that even though a disability plan's summary plan description (SPD) did not comply with the notice and disclosure requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it described only one level of internal review, a claimant's case was properly dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies because she did not establish that the SPD's deficiencies caused her failure to pursue a second-level internal review (Lucrecia Caprio Holmes v. Colorado Coalition for the Homeless Long Term Disability Plan, No. 14-551, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied writ of certiorari in an appeal over whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is the exclusive remedy for age bias in employment (Anthony Hildebrand v. Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, et al., No. 14-363, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 remanded for further consideration in light of Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' unpublished opinion affirming the dismissal of Employee Retirement Income Security Act breach of fiduciary duty claims by participants in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) sponsored by Delta Air Lines Inc. (Dennis Smith, et al. v. Delta Air Lines Inc., et al., No. 14-696, U.S. Sup.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A majority of the Illinois Supreme Court found Feb. 20 that a professional liability insurance policy was properly rescinded for a material misrepresentation made by an attorney and an appeals court erred when it applied the innocent insured doctrine and partially served the policy to preserve coverage for the attorney's partner (Illinois State Bar Association Mutual Insurance Co. v. Law Office of Tuzzolino and Terpinas et al., No. 117096, Ill. Sup.; 2015 Ill. LEXIS 304).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied review of federal appeals court ruling that nonwarning claims involving the generic heartburn drug metoclopramide are preempted (Mary K. Moretti v. Wyeth, Inc., No. 14-6319, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on Feb. 23 released its decision allowing the World Health Organization (WHO) and the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC, or FCTC) Secretariat to file submissions in a dispute between Philip Morris entities and the Oriental Republic of Uruguay (Philip Morris Brand Sarl [Switzerland], Philip Morris Products S.A. [Switzerland] and Abal Hermanos S.A. [Uruguay] v. Oriental Republic of Uruguay, No. ARB/10/7, ICSID).
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. on Feb. 19 removed to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia a complaint filed by a woman who is seeking damages for injuries she contends were caused by the company's chemical plant, which allegedly released perfluooctanic acid (C8) into her groundwater (Patty Ann Livingston v. E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., No.15-01944, S.D. W.Va.).
TRENTON, N.J. - A spouse lacks standing to assert breach of contract claims against his spouse's former employer regarding an alleged failure to timely send notice for health insurance coverage, a New Jersey federal judge ruled Feb. 18 (John Sacchi v. Katheryn J. Luciani, et al., No. 14-3130, D. N.J.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19002).
PITTSBURGH - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 20 dismissed a subrogated insurer's professional negligence claim against a contractor regarding water damage arising from a fire sprinkler system installed by the contractor (Insurance Company of Greater New York, as subrogee of Five Star Hotels LLC d/b/a Holiday Inn Parkway East v. Fire Fighter Sales & Service Co., No. 11-1078, W.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20531).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied certiorari, leaving stand a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision holding that the Medicare as a Secondary Payer Act (MSP Act) authorizes the government to seek reimbursement from a settlement a plaintiff receives from a tortfeasor because the funds came from a "primary plan" and that the plaintiff cannot invoke a New Jersey state law to avoid her reimbursement obligations (Cecelia A. Taransky v. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 14-758, U.S. Sup.).
LAKELAND, Fla. - A Florida appellate panel on Feb. 20 reversed and remanded a lower court, holding that ordering the state's insurance guarantor to participate in an appraisal of a home's sinkhole damage is at odds with the guarantor's statutory mandate (Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, Inc. v. Donna Frank, No. 2D13-5453, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Fla. App. LEXIS 2352).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 declined to grant certiorari, which left standing an agreement reached in In re Managed Care Litigation that bars several physicians and physician groups from bringing claims against WellPoint Inc. in In re WellPoint, Inc. Out-of-Network "UCR" Rates Litigation under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Sherman Act but not from bringing certain claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Medical Association of Georgia, et al. v. Wellpoint Inc., No. 14-554, U.S. Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - Finding no error in a Louisiana federal judge's decision to grant a prevailing copyright infringement defendant attorney fees, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 20 affirmed (Louisiana Contractors Licensing Service Inc. v. American Contractors Exam Services Inc., No. 14-30932, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2590).
SAN FRANCISCO - In conjunction with a stipulated order filed by the Federal Trade Commission and TracFone Wireless Inc., a California federal judge on Feb. 20 approved a $40 million judgment against the mobile service provider for engaging in "data throttling" practices in violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC Act) (Federal Trade Commission v. TracFone Wireless Inc., No. 3:15-cv-00392, N.D. Calif.).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 20 upheld the rejection of a class complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging that an employer's use of background checks violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after determining that the EEOC's expert testimony was unreliable (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Freeman, No. 13-2365, 4th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 2592).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A practice by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of blocking appellate review of decisions by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Patent Trial and Appeal Board that deny petitions for inter partes review under 35 U.S. Code Sections 312 and 315 may continue, for now, thanks to a Feb. 23 denial of certiorari by the U.S. Supreme Court (ZOLL Lifecor Corporation v. Philips Electronics North America Corp., et al., No. 14-619, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 denied a petition for writ of certiorari, leaving in place a California Supreme Court decision holding that the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) does not preempt a California unfair competition law (UCL) lawsuit filed by the state alleging that a trucking company misclassifies drivers as independent contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes or provide workers' compensation (Pac Anchor Transportation, et al. v. People of the State of California, ex rel. Kamala D. Harris, etc., No. 14-491, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 23 ordered Montana and Wyoming to "carefully consider whether it is appropriate for them to continue invoking the jurisdiction of the Court" after a special master indicated that the fees and expenses in the eight-year-old water litigation "could well exceed any recovery" (State of Montana v. State of Wyoming, et al., No. 137, Original, U.S. Sup.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A Florida judge on Feb. 19 ordered a Nevada-domiciled insurer into an ancillary receivership after the insurer was put into liquidation in its home state (State of Florida, ex rel., the Florida Department of Financial Services v. Sensible Home Warranty, LLC, No. 2015-CA-0273, Fla. Cir., 2nd Cir., Leon Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a letter Feb. 20 levying a fine of $14,000 per day on TK Holdings Inc., parent company of air bag manufacturer Takata Corp. for failure to comply with two special orders requiting the production of documents related to inflators used in air bags in a number of vehicles (In re: PE14-016 Air Bag Inflators, U.S. DOT, NHTSA).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Feb. 20 declined to dismiss antitrust claims in a suit alleging that health insurers conspired with hospitals to drive multiple ambulatory surgical centers out of business (Arapahoe Surgery Center, et al. v. CIGNA Healthcare Inc., et al., No. 13-3422, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20488).
PHILADELPHIA - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Feb. 19 declined to hear an appeal by a denture cream injury plaintiff whose causation experts were excluded (Mark A. Jacoby v. Rite Aid Corporation, et al., No. 126 EAL 2014, Pa. Sup., Eastern Dist.).
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - While the evidence suggests that a man suffered asbestos exposures, insufficient evidence links seven defendants to those exposures, a federal judge in Connecticut held Feb. 19 in granting the defendants judgment (Debra Bray, et al. v. Ingersoll-Rand Co., et al., No. 13-1561, D. Conn.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19523).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge applied Alabama law on Feb. 20 to dismiss breach of contract and bad faith claims against a commercial liability insurer regarding its duty to indemnify a settlement of an underlying construction defects case (MI Windows & Doors LLC f/k/a MI Windows & Doors Inc. and MI Home Products Inc. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-3139, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20544).