MIAMI - A Florida federal jury on Sept. 29 rejected strict liability and negligence claims in an action alleging that asbestos in John Crane Inc. products led to a man's fatal mesothelioma (Mary Charlene Hays, personal representative of the estate of William Hays v. John Crane Inc., No. 09-81881, S.D. Fla.).
NEW YORK - Allegations that Apple Inc. infringed when it adopted the trademark "iBooks" in connection with its e-book application for the iPad, iPod and iPhone were properly rejected on summary judgment by a New York federal judge, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 29 (J.T. Colby & Company Inc. v. Apple Inc., No. 13-2227, 2nd Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation stemming from damages caused by the use of defective Chinese drywall on Sept. 26 certified a class for plaintiffs in six lawsuits who are seeking damages from Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. and its affiliates, ruling that the class satisfies the requirements of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a) and 23(b)(3) (In re: Chinese Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2407, E.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112890).
CLEVELAND - A judge properly admitted expert testimony linking asbestos exposure and a man's Hodgkin's lymphoma, and sufficient evidence supports the jury's resulting verdict permitting the man to participate in the state's workers' compensation system, an Ohio appeals court held Sept. 25 (Brett H. Walker v. Ford Motor Co., et al., No. 100759, Ohio App., 8th Dist.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A federal judge in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims on Sept. 26 ruled that a hydraulic fracturing company lacked standing to sue the U.S. government for breach of contract regarding a suspension of oil and gas exploration in a section of Wyoming for which the company holds 26 leases (Barlow & Haun Inc. v. The United States, No. 08-847, Fed. Clms.; 2014 U.S. Claims LEXIS 1028).
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The testimony of a plaintiff's expert pertaining to the severity of a police dog bite was properly excluded by a trial court, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Sept. 25, finding that the testimony was vague, undermined by the expert's own words and "indiscernible and uncertain" under Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 702 (Colin A. Edwards v. Bryan C. Shanley, et al., No. 13-14393, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 18397).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Sept. 29 dismissed an appeal in a securities class action lawsuit after receiving letter briefs from the involved parties stating that they would voluntarily dismiss the action if a settlement agreement is approved by a federal judge (Public Employees' Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMac MBS Inc., et al., No. 13-640, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK - A federal judge in New York on Sept. 26 granted an insurer's motion to confirm an interim arbitration award concerning prehearing security (Companion Property And Casualty Insurance Company v. Allied Provident Insurance, Inc., No. 13-cv-07865, S.D. N.Y.).
TRENTON, N.J. - In an unpublished opinion, a federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 24 granted a plaintiff's motion in limine, which will allow her to introduce evidence of noneconomic damages at trial in her case alleging that a health insurer was negligent when it delayed approval of health benefits for her husband, who later died after not receiving timely treatment (Linda S. Skelcy v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 12-1014, D. N.J.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134631).
TOLEDO, Ohio - A Ohio federal judge on Sept. 26 declined to exercise its discretionary declaratory judgment jurisdiction in a lawsuit seeking liability for a $90,834 judgment entered against the claimants' former investment adviser, remanding the case to state court (George and Nancy White v. Richard P. Sandru, et al., No. 3:14 CV 1277, N.D. Ohio, Western Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136560).
PORTLAND, Ore. - One day after insureds agreed to dismiss all of the counterclaims against their homeowners insurer, an Oregon federal judge on Sept. 26 dismissed with prejudice the insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit challenging coverage for underlying claims stemming from alleged cyberbullying and sexting among a group of high school students (Allstate Indemnity Co. v. Kelli Puzey, et al., No. 13-01520, D. Ore.).
NEW YORK - Plaintiffs United States and 17 states and defendants American Express Co. and American Express Travel Related Services Co. Inc. (collectively, Amex) filed their redacted post-trial briefs following the conclusion of the bench trial in federal court in New York on the plaintiffs' claims that Amex's rules preventing merchants from steering customers toward the use of another credit card violate federal antitrust law (United States of America, et al. v. American Express Co., et al., No. 10-cv-4496, E.D. N.Y.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should reject plaintiffs' attempt to transform religious protections from a "shield into a sword" in a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate, the government argued in a Sept. 26 brief (Eternal Word Television Network Inc. and State of Alabama v. Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, et al., No. 14-12696, 11th Cir.).
TOLEDO, Ohio - An Ohio federal judge on Sept. 26 declined to exercise its discretionary declaratory judgment jurisdiction in a lawsuit seeking liability for a $90,834 judgment entered against the claimants' former investment adviser, remanding the case to state court (George and Nancy White v. Richard P. Sandru, et al., No. 3:14 CV 1277, N.D. Ohio, Western Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136560).
BEAUMONT, Texas - A Ninth District Texas Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 25 found that a trial court judge's refusal to allow a developer to identify the contractor who installed stucco on the home a couple purchased as a third-party defendant was prejudicial and warrants holding a new trial (Sun Development L.C. v. Larry Hughes, et al., No. 09-12-00524-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist.; 2014 Texas App. LEXIS 10762).
OAKLAND, Calif. - Homeowners' claims against mortgage lenders, including a claim under California's unfair competition law (UCL), were dismissed with leave to amend on Sept. 24 by a California federal judge (Celedonia Amacker, et al. v. Bank of America, et al., No. 13-3550, N.D. Calif.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134854).
VALDOSTA, Ga. - A commercial general liability insurer did not have a duty to defend or indemnify an insured for repairs made to alleged defective workmanship, a Georgia federal judge ruled Sept. 26, granting summary judgment to the insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Standard Contractors Inc. v. National Trust Insurance Co., No. 14-66, M.D. Ga.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135651).
TOLEDO, Ohio - The Ohio federal judge overseeing the Ortho Evra birth control patch multidistrict litigation on Sept. 26 granted summary judgment in a stroke case, finding that the plaintiff's claims are largely barred by the learned intermediary doctrine or are not well-pleaded (Rachel Giffen v. Ortho McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., et al., No. 12-40001, N.D. Ohio, W. Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136587).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Objections raised by a defendant bank's counsel during depositions in a breach of trust lawsuit were appropriately made in light of the attorney-client privilege, a Florida federal magistrate judge concluded Sept. 24, denying the plaintiffs' motion to compel additional deposition response or to sanction the attorneys (Stacey Sue Berlinger, et al. v. Wells Fargo, N.A., et al., No. 2:11-cv-00459, M.D. Fla.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134643).
NEWTON, Mass. - A nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank on Sept. 25 issued a report that concluded that "the rapid expansion" of hydraulic fracturing will increase mining operations for sand used in the fracking process, which will then release toxic chemicals into drinking water and silica into the air.
SALEM, Ore. - An Oregon Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 25 agreed with a state court judge that a woman's construction defect lawsuit brought against the contractor who built and sold her a home was barred by the state's 10-year statute of repose (Melissa Shell v. The Schollander Companies Inc., et al., No. A150509, Ore. App.; 2014 Ore. App. LEXIS 1314).
LAS VEGAS - A construction defects case potentially alleges property damage caused by an "occurrence" that trigger's an insurer's duty to defend, a Nevada federal judge ruled Sept. 26, finding that the insurers must equitably contribute to another insurer's current defense of the underlying action (Evanston Insurance Co. v. Western Community Insurance Co., No. 13-01268, D. Nev.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136129).