ABERDEEN, Miss. - A federal judge in Mississippi on Sept. 16 awarded summary judgment to Allstate Indemnity Co., ruling that a man's misrepresentations on his policy application regarding the ownership of a property that sustained fire damage and his failure to inform the company of prior insurance claims warrant voiding the policy (Allstate Indemnity Company v. Terry W. Richey III, et al., No. 15CV00073-NBB-DAS, N.D. Miss.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126385).
SALT LAKE CITY - An insurer did not act in bad faith in denying a claim for coverage under a homeowners insurance policy pursuant to the policy's earth movement exclusion for damage caused by a rockfall, a federal judge in Utah ruled Sept. 15, because the policy was not ambiguous and did not provide coverage for such an event (Western United Insurance Co., d/b/a AAA Insurance Co., v. Janelle Heighton, et al., No. 14-435, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125598).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 15 trimmed claims in a class complaint accusing New Jersey officials of orchestrating a scheme, referred to as "Bridgegate," to cause a traffic jam by closing lanes of the George Washington Bridge (GWB) in September 2013 without prior notice and denied a motion for class certification as premature (Zachary Galicki, et al. v. State of New Jersey, GW Car Service LLC, et al. v. State of New Jersey, et al., No. 14-169, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126076).
SEATTLE - A majority of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that a commercial general liability insurer had a duty to defend its insured against underlying claims that its misleading marketing, wrongful admission to a behavior modification residential program, poor educational services and negligent training contributed to a teen's suicide (Judith Newman v. United Fire & Casualty Co., No. 14-35103, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17013).
PASADENA, Calif. - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 14 affirmed the denial of a woman's motion for a new trial, holding that even though a judge erred in allowing testimony that inculpated the defendant, there was sufficient evidence to support her conviction of mail fraud in connection with a scheme to submit fraudulent insurance bills (United States of America v. Theresa Fisher, No. 15-50306, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16830).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 16 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that there is no coverage for the Tennessee attorney general's lawsuit against the provider of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy because the insured made material misrepresentations on its insurance application (Dan Hale, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 15-6443, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17034).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on Sept. 15 stayed claims asserted by consumers for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), negligent misrepresentation and other causes of action asserted against a seller of snack foods pending the outcome of a decision by the Food and Drug Administration on the use of the word "natural" on product labels (In re: Kind LLC "Health and All Natural" Litigation, Nos. 15-MD-2645 [WHP],15-MC-2645 [WHP], S.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125752).
TRENTON, N.J. - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit in New Jersey federal court separately moved to dismiss the claims against them on Sept. 13, arguing that shareholders failed to plead any actionable misrepresentation, scienter or loss causation in making their federal securities law claims (In re Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 15-7658, D. N.J.).
MINNEAPOLIS - A federal magistrate judge in Minnesota on Sept. 15 consolidated a pair of securities class action lawsuits against Target Corp. and certain of its executive officers and appointed the law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd as lead counsel (In re Target Corp. Securities Litigation, No. 16-1315, D. Minn.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Citing four pieces of allegedly invalidating prior art, Netflix Inc. on Sept. 15 sought inter partes review before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board of a patent relating to the use of one device to select content for playback on another device (Netflix Inc. v. Convergent Media Solutions LLC, No. IPR2016-01812, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Several medical device makers on Sept. 15 took aim at a patent that claims a belt connector for electrically connecting an electrode belt to a biometric device, in a new petition for inter partes review filed with the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Natus Medical Inc., et al., v. Nox Medical EHF, No. IPR2016-01822, PTAB).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - The Patent Trial and Appeal Board on Sept. 14 revealed that it will review a patent covering teleconference technology, at the request of Microsoft Corp. (Microsoft Corp. v. Keith A. Raniere, No. IPR2016-00663, PTAB).
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - In an unpublished opinion, a California federal judge on Sept. 14 remanded claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and wrongful foreclosure to state court, finding that a borrower failed to show that diversity jurisdiction existed because both the borrower and a law firm named as defendant were citizens of California (Jin Ju Sung v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 16-1797, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125198).
DETROIT - A federal magistrate judge did not err in recommending that a defendant's motion for summary judgment be granted because the available medical evidence supports the denial of a disability claimant's long-term disability claim, a Michigan federal judge said Sept. 13 in adopting the magistrate judge's report and overruling the claimant's objections to the report (Scott M. Bennetts v. AT&T Umbrella Plan No. 1, No. 15-10087, E.D. Mich.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123583).
JACKSON, Miss. - Finding that material facts are in dispute in a professional liability coverage action, a Mississippi federal judge on Sept. 13 denied the insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings and to dismiss counterclaims and allowed parties to conduct discovery and move for summary judgment (Twin City Fire Insurance Co. v. Joseph B. Moffett, No. 15-111, S.D. Miss., Western Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123952).
NEW ORLEANS - Former gasket and insulation distributor Eagle Inc. filed a Chapter 11 plan of reorganization and disclosure statement Sept. 13 in Louisiana federal bankruptcy court, a day after one of its insurers sought to have the debtor's case dismissed, saying the bankruptcy petition was filed in bad faith and Eagle has no reasonable chance of being rehabilitated (In re: Eagle, Inc., No. 15-12437, E.D. La. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 14 denied New York City and New York state's motion to impose sanctions on the attorneys representing United Parcel Service Inc. in a tobacco trafficking suit because the judge found that the city and state's failure to produce certain pieces of evidence during discovery was accidental (The State of New York, et al. v. United Parcel Service Inc., No. 15-cv-1136, S.D. N.Y.).
WASHINGTON D.C. - A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Sept. 15 partially granted and partially denied motions to dismiss filed by the companies accused of negligently hiring the man who killed seven people and injured two in the 2013 Navy Yard shooting, allowing only negligent retention and supervision claims to proceed to the discovery phase of the nine separate suits over the same shooting (James B. Frasier Jr, et al. v. HP Enterprise Services LLC, No. 15-1492, Patricia Delorenzo v. HP Enterprise Servs., LLC, No. 1:15-cv-0216-RMC, John Proctor v. HP Enterprise Servs., LLC, No. 1:15-cv-1494-RMC, Priscilla Halmon-Daniels v. The Experts, Inc., No. 1:15-cv-1501-RMC, Michelle Kohler v. HP Enterprise Servs., LLC, No. 1:15-cv-1636-RMC, Tracy Ridgell v. HP Enterprise Servs., LLC, No. 1:15-cv-1637-RMC, Erin Zagami v. HP Enterprise Servs., LLC, No. 1:15-cv-1638-RMC, Jane Mae McCullough v. HP Enterprise Servs., LLC, No. 1:15-cv-1639-RMC, Jennifer Jacobs v. The Experts, Inc., No. 1:15-cv-2242-RMC, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125231).
BOSTON - A First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 13 affirmed that an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan participant's beneficiaries were not entitled to a guaranteed single-life annuity because he died before the beginning of the annuity payments (Brian O'Shea, et al. v. UPS Retirement Plan, et al., No. 15-1923, 1st Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16734).
ATLANTA - An 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 15 affirmed an Alabama federal judge's rejection of a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission accusing an employer of racial discrimination when it enforced a grooming policy that barred dreadlocks (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Catastrophe Management Solutions, No. 14-13482, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16918).
TUCSON, Ariz. - The State of Arizona has not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that a jury would have convicted a defendant of second-degree murder even had it heard expert testimony criticizing the methods used by firearms examiners to match a gun to a crime, an Arizona appeals panel majority held Sept. 13, reversing the conviction (The State of Arizona v. Joseph Javier Romero, No. 2 CA-CR 2012-0378, Ariz. App., Div. 2; 2016 Ariz. App. LEXIS 217).