LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's Insurance - Insurance Policy Bars Coverage For Faulty Work, 9th Circuit Upholds

    SAN FRANCISCO - An insurance policy precludes coverage for an insured condominium association's damage caused by faulty workmanship and wind-driven rain, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed April 20 (Siena Del Lago Condominium Association v. American Fire and Casualty Co. and Mt. Hawley Insurance Co., No. 13-36005, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7150).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Stays Remand Of Asbestos Case Pending Appeal

    OAKLAND, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 granted an emergency stay of remand of an asbestos case against an aircraft brake manufacturer (Lorna M. Walek, et al. v. The Boeing Co., et al., No. 16-55431, 9th Cir.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - DOJ Says It No Longer Needs Apple To Unlock IPhone In N.Y. Drug Trafficking Case

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Two weeks after stating that it intended to continue to pursue an order to compel Apple Inc. to help it gain access to a seized, locked iPhone, the U.S. government on April 22 filed a letter in New York federal court stating that it "no longer needs Apple's assistance" because "an individual provided the [device's] passcode" (In re Order Requiring Apple Inc. to Assist in the Execution of a Search Warrant Issued by This Court, No. 1:15-mc-01902, E.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge OKs Insolvent Insurer's Recommendation Regarding Insolvency Fund

    CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on April 21 granted the liquidator of an insolvent workers' compensation insurer's recommendation for the allowance of the state's group workers' compensation pool insolvency fund's $716,283.59 claim (In the Matter of the Liquidation of Illinois Restaurant Risk Management Association, Inc., No. 11-CH-40307, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chancery Div.).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Reverses Jury Verdict In Light Of Error In Allowing Testimony On Medical Costs

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - A trial judge erred in allowing a physician's assistant to testify as an expert on the need and cost for a future surgery, a Florida appeals panel held April 22, reversing a $166,000 jury verdict entered against an insurer and remanding for a new trial on damages (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. William Long, Nos. 5D14-3704 & 5D15-1749, Fla. App., 5th Dist.; 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 6148).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Mortgage Company's Dismissal Motion Denied In Suit Seeking Damages For Failed Sale

    PHOENIX - An Arizona federal judge on April 20 declined to dismiss a lawsuit brought by home sellers accusing a mortgage lender and loan officer of negligence and fraud related the information contained in the lender's pre-qualification information form for a buyer (William Leist, et al. v. Academy Mortgage Corporation, et al., No. 16-314, D. Ariz.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52808).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Manufacturing Company's Motion For Interlocutory Appeal Is Untimely, Judge Rules

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Joslyn Manufacturing Co. cannot seek an interlocutory appeal of a ruling barring the company from raising claim preclusion and statute of limitations defenses in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit, a federal judge in Indiana ruled April 21, finding that the defendant company's motion was untimely (Valbruna Slater Steel Corp., et al. v. Joslyn Manufacturing Company, et al., No. 10-CV-0044-JD, N.D. Ind.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53348).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge To Insurer, Reinsurer: Show Why Arbitration Award Should Stay Sealed

    NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on April 21 granted a motion to confirm an asbestos-related arbitration award and ordered an insurer and reinsurer to justify why the award should remain under seal (Continental Insurance Company v. Fairmont Premier Insurance Company f/k/a Transamerica Premier Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-00655, S.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Graduated Common Benefit Fees Ordered By Kansas Judge In Morcellator MDL

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge overseeing the Ethicon morcellator multidistrict litigation on April 21 approved a revised common benefit fee that eliminates the retroactivity of the original proposal and that gradually raises assessments from 6 percent to 12 percent over the next six months (In Re: Ethicon, Inc., Power Morcellator Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2652, D. Kan.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54017).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Orders Uber Settlement Objectors To File Single Objection

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on April 22 issued an order directing those individuals who object to the proposed $100 million settlement filed a day earlier in a class wage-and-hour dispute filed against Uber Technologies Inc. to file "a single document (instead of multiple filings) discussing all of their concerns and objections to the settlement, which will then be filed on the court docket" (Douglas O'Connor, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 13-3826, Hakan Yucesoy, et al. v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., No. 15-262, N.D. Calif.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Finds Agency's Reports Documenting Investigation Of Oil Spill Are Admissible

    SALT LAKE CITY - Four documents prepared by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) as part of an investigation of a June 2010 oil spill from a pipeline owned by Chevron Pipe Line Co. (CPL) are admissible under Federal Rule of Evidence 803(8) because they are public records, a federal judge in Utah ruled April 22 (Chevron Pipe Line Company v. PacifiCorp, d/b/a Rocky Mountain Power, No. 12-cv-287-TC, D. Utah; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54433).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Finds Doctor Had No Expert Opinion On System's Alleged Defective Design

    ATLANTA - A doctor admitted that he had no expert opinion about why an implanted knee replacement system's design was defective, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 20, affirming summary judgment to the system's manufacturer on strict liability and negligence claims (Sandra Witt v. Stryker Corporation of Michigan and Howmedica Osteonics Corp., No. 15-12243, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7145).

    Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Court Erred By Declining To Exercise Jurisdiction In Warehouse Theft Dispute

    ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held April 20 that a federal district court abused its discretion when it declined to exercise jurisdiction without adequately considering the relevant factors in a commercial general liability coverage dispute arising from theft and vandalism at a Miami warehouse (First Mercury Insurance Co. v. Excellent Computing Distributors Inc., et al., No. 15-10120, 11th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7111).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Upholds Dismissal Of Patent Case On Mootness Grounds

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge properly dismissed as moot a patent infringement action, despite the addition of newly added patent claims following re-examination by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 22 (Target Training International Ltd. v. Extended DISC North America Inc., Nos. 15-1873, -1908, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7292).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - Divided 9th Circuit: Burden Of Proof Improperly Shifted To ERISA Plaintiff

    SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge erred in granting judgment in favor of a pension plan and its administrators in a dispute over a since-deceased plaintiff's entitlement to benefits because the plaintiff was unable to independently provide key information about corporate structures or hours worked needed to substantiate his claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 21 (Estate of Bruce H. Barton v. ADT Security Services Pension Plan, et al., No. 13-56379, 9th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7216).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Salvager Had No Duty To Protect Subcontractors, 6th Circuit Affirms

    CINCINNATI - Subcontractors experienced in electrical work knew the dangers presented by asbestos and had no reason to rely on a salvager's representations regarding safety, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held April 22 in affirming summary judgment (Chris Upton and Leslie D. Jones, et al. v. BNFL Inc., et al., No. 15-5751, 6th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7380).

    Mealey's Insurance - Loss Of Power Constitutes Single Occurrence, Louisiana Panel Says In Reversal

    NEW ORLEANS - A Louisiana appeals panel found April 20 that the loss of power to a hospital's cooling system following Hurricane Katrina is a single occurrence under a commercial general liability insurance policy and that an insured is responsible for only one retained limit of $50,000, reversing a lower court's ruling that the insured owed a separate retained limit for each claim related to the power outage (David Thebault v. American Home Assurance Company, et al., No. 2015-CA-0800, La. App., 4th Cir.; 2016 La. App. LEXIS 764).

    Panel Affirms Judgment For PHL Variable Insurance In Life Insurance Suit

    DENVER - A 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 22 upheld a federal judge in Utah's ruling finding that PHL Variable Insurance Co. was entitled to summary judgment as well as the premiums paid as part of a stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) policy scheme (PHL Variable Insurance Company v. The Sheldon Hathaway Family Insurance Trust, et al., Nos. 15-4028, 15-4029, 10th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7315).

    Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In Crow Tribe Water Compact Dispute

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 25 declined to review a decision by the Montana Supreme Court affirming dismissal of objections lodged by members of the Crow Tribe to the Crow Tribe-Montana Water Rights Compact (Crow Allottees, et al. v. United States of America, et al., No. 15-779, U.S. Sup.).

    High Court Declines Review Of 9th Circuit's Indian Crimes Act Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by the en banc Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals establishing the definition of "Indian" for purposes of the Indian Major Crimes Act will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court on April 25 denied a petition for certiorari filed by a tribal member who faces a 90-year prison sentence for shooting a man at a home on the Ak-Chin Indian Reservation in Arizona (Damien Zepeda v. United States of America, No. 15-675, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Oral Arguments Held In Dispute Over Standard For Fees In Copyright Cases

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its second hearing of a dispute between a former university student and a textbook manufacturer, the U.S. Supreme Court on April 25 took up the question of whether the student is entitled to an award of attorney fees for prevailing on the textbook manufacturer's allegations of copyright infringement (Supap Kirtsaeng, d/b/a Bluechristine99 v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., No. 15-375, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurance Agent Says Court's Dismissal Of Suit Should Stand

    NEW YORK - A reinsurance agent told a federal court in New York on April 21 that the assignee of certain reinsurance receivables has not shown sufficient evidence to justify the court reconsidering its dismissal of the parties' case (NEM Re Receivables LLC v. Fortress Re Inc., No. 15-cv-03875, S.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Former Arizona Cardinals Players Seek Remand Of Concussion Suit

    PHILADELPHIA - Two former professional football players for the Arizona Cardinals Football Club LLC on April 19 asked the judge overseeing the NFL concussion multidistrict litigation to remand their suit to Missouri state court because their second amended complaint makes only state law claims that they say precludes their case from being heard in federal court (In re: National Football League Players' Concussion Injury Litigation, No. 2323, E.D. Pa.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Judge Allows Defendants Accused Of Fraudulent Billing To Amend Some Counterclaims

    CAMDEN, N.J. - A federal judge in New Jersey on April 21 granted a motion filed by the Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) to dismiss counterclaims brought by two physicians and their practices that are accused of engaging in a fraudulent billing scheme but allowed the defendants to amend their allegations that the insurer violated state law when withholding payments on the claims they submitted (Government Employees Insurance Company v. Alfred Tawadrous, et al, No. 14-5742, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53210).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Michigan Panel Affirms Summary Disposition For Hotel In Assault Case

    DETROIT - A Michigan appeals panel on April 19 affirmed summary disposition in favor of a hotel in a premises liability action, finding that the hotel satisfied its limited duty of care to a man who was injured on the premises when a hotel employee called the police to report that the man had been assaulted by a security guard during an event at the hotel (Tamer Alwerfalli v. Livho, Inc., d/b/a/ Holiday Inn Detroit Livonia Conference Center d/b/a Radisson Hotel Detroit Livonia, and Terrill Hicks, No. 324827, Mich. App.; 2016 Mich. App. LEXIS 746).