NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A federal judge in Connecticut ordered the disbursement of $573,189.58 from a reinsurance dispute security posting to an insurer on May 9 (Travelers Indemnity Company v. Excalibur Reinsurance Corporation, No. 12-cv-01793, D. Conn.).
LOS ANGELES - A plaintiff's assertion that illness and extensive involvement in other litigation prevented him from following up on patent infringement claims for eight years was rejected May 9 by a California federal judge (Morris Reese v. Sprint Nextel Corporation, No. 13-3811, C.D. Calif.).
SAN DIEGO - A doctor cannot pursue claims under the California Labor Code and unfair competition law (UCL) against his former employer, the U.S. Veterans Health Administration (VA), because the claims are barred by sovereign immunity, a federal judge held May 9 (Walter M. Shaw v. Veterans Health Administration, et al., No. 12-2369, S.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64598).
ASHLAND, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on May 12 dismissed an insurer's lawsuit with regard to an insured's coverage for breach of contract and fraud claims because the underlying state court action involves the same issues and parties (American Fire and Casualty Co. v. CADCO Heating & Cooling Inc., No. 14-5, E.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64903).
LAS VEGAS - A figure in the Nevada propofol/hepatitis scandal on May 13 pleaded guilty to a federal charge of conspiracy to commit health care fraud by allegedly overbilling insurers for anesthesia services (United States of America v. Tonya Rushing, No. 2:11-cr-166, D. Nev.).
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Dolan Co. (TDC), the bankrupt parent company for various entities that provide business and professional services for legal, financial and real estate companies, on May 13 filed a brief in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, seeking approval of a settlement with former executives to reduce $3.8 million potential claims against the bankruptcy estate (In Re: The Dolan Company, No. 14-10614, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).
NEW YORK - A New York federal judge on May 13 granted a motion for court-authorized notice in a class complaint filed by students who worked for a Warner Music Group Corp. (WMG) subsidiary and allege that they were improperly misclassified as unpaid interns (Kyle Grant, et al. v. Warner Music Group Corp., et al., No. 13-4449, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65664).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's decision to deny a petition by an environmental group asking the agency to add coal mines to the list of stationary sources that emit air pollution under the Clean Air Act was affirmed by a panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia May 13, after finding that the EPA provided a reasonable explanation (Wildearth Guardians v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 13-1212, D.C. Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8878).
SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Food and Drug Administration on May 13 said a recently completed study of Pradaxa found that the new anticoagulant has a lower risk of stroke and death compared to warfarin but has a higher risk for major gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding compared to warfarin, an established drug in the same class.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A tribunal for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on May 13 released an order in a dispute over the purchase of bonds between various investors and the Argentine Republic, granting the investors leave to file a letter in relation to alleged breaches of a confidentiality order (Abaclat and others v. The Argentine Republic, No. ARB/07/05, ICSID).
CINCINNATI - A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 13 reversed a ruling and held that the absolute-priority rule applies to individual debtors in Chapter 11 proceedings (Ice House America v. Charles Cardin, No. 13-5764, Chapter 11, 6th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8882).
LOS ANGELES - The widow of a man who was driving a high performance vehicle that crashed and caught fire, killing the driver and his famous passenger, filed a wrongful death action in a California state court on May 12, claiming that car was plagued with dangerous defects (Kristine M. Rodas v. Porsche Cars North America Inc., No. BC545395, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 13 affirmed summary judgment for both brand-name and generic manufacturers of metoclopramide, finding that the plaintiff did not find a way around U.S. Supreme Court preemption rulings (Roy Eckhardt, et al. v. Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, Incorporated, et al., No. 13-40151, 5th Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board properly denied a registration for "STOP The Islamisation of America" on grounds that the trademark contains "matter which may disparage" American Muslims in violation of Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 13 (In re: Pamela Geller and Robert P. Spencer, No. 13-1412, Fed. Cir.).
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on May 9 granted a debt collector's motion to compel arbitration in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuit, ruling that the claims brought are subject to an arbitration agreement between a consumer and AT&T Wireless (Luciena S. Grant-Fletcher v. Collecto Inc., No. 13-3505, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64163).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Surveying more than 100 years of Pennsylvania property law, a unanimous Pennsylvania Superior Court panel ruled May 9 that the heirs of a Centre County, Pa., tract of land have no interest in the subsurface because the purported severance of the subsurface from the surface in 1899 was not reported to the county commissioners or tax assessor as required by an 1806 statute (Herder Spring Hunting Club v, Harry Keller, et al., No. 718 MDA 2013, Pa. Super.; 2014 PA Super 100).
SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 12 denied a petition for permission to appeal a District Court's denial of class certification in a lawsuit alleging privacy violations by Google Inc. related to its Gmail email service (Keith Dunbar, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 14-80044, 9th Cir.).
OKLAHOMA CITY - The government improperly asks a district judge to second-guess religious universities' beliefs, which the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s contraceptive mandate substantially burdens, plaintiffs told the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 12 (Southern Nazarene University, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, et al., No. 14-6026, 10th Cir.).
NEW YORK - A defendant's contention that it ceased producing asbestos-containing sheet gaskets in 1973 does not mean those products did not remain in the market going forward and goes to the weight of testimony regarding exposure to those products, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 12 (Michael Pettinelli and David Pettinelli, et al. v. A.C. and S. Inc., et al., No. 118400/98, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
WILMINGTON, N.C. - The owner of an investment firm cannot subpoena the operators of an online forum to discover the identities of anonymous posters that allegedly made defamatory statements about his business, a North Carolina federal judge ruled May 8, finding that the plaintiff did not sufficiently cite the legal elements of his claim or demonstrate that he had made attempts to contact the defendants without a subpoena (Benjamin Taylor, et al. v. John Does 1-10, No. 4:13-cv-00218, E.D. N.C.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63789).
ELGIN, Ill. - An online statement calling a politician a "Sandusky" constituted an allegation of a criminal act that was not susceptible to an innocent interpretation, an Illinois appeals panel majority found May 8, affirming a trial court's grant of the politician's motion to subpoena a website to obtain identity of the commenter for purpose of pursing a defamation claim (Bill Hadley v. Subscriber Doe a/k/a Fuboy, No. 12-L-24, Ill. App., 2nd Dist.; 2014 Ill. App. LEXIS 303).
BOSTON - In what the court called a matter of first impression, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 9 held that complete preemption does not exist under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA) and order a district court to remand a denial of health benefits case to state court (Raquel Lopez-Munoz, et al. v. Triple-S Salud Inc., No. 13-1417, 1st Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8796).
ST. LOUIS - Because a reasonable person would conclude that a concrete sealant is an irritant and an irritant is considered a pollutant under a contractor's insurance policy, the policy's pollution exclusion is not ambiguous, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal said May 13 in reversing a summary judgment ruling entered against the insurer (United Fire & Casualty Co. v. Titan Contractors Service Inc., No. 13-1307, 8th Cir.).
BOSTON - A Massachusetts federal magistrate judge on May 8 entered an order of dismissal in an asbestos coverage dispute after determining that the federal suit should be dismissed because the insured's suit, pending in Indiana state court, is more comprehensive, and none of the insurer's claims are based in federal law (National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa. v. The Marley-Wylain Co., No. 13-12264, D. Mass.).
NEW YORK - OneBeacon Midwest Insurance Co. did not breach a bank's professional liability insurance policy since claims made by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. against the bank's former directors are not "Interrelated Wrongful Acts," a federal judge in New York ruled May 8 (Donald G. Glascoff Jr., et al., v. OneBeacon Midwest Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-1013, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64858).