LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Testosterone MDL Judge Denies Late Limitations Defenses In 1st Bellwether Case

    CHICAGO - The Illinois federal judge overseeing the testosterone replacement therapy multidistrict litigation on May 22 struck defendant AbbVie Inc.'s motion for summary judgment in the first bellwether trial after ruling that the defendant waived its statute of limitations and statute of repose defenses by raising them only weeks before the June 5 trial (In Re: Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2545, No. 14-1748, Jeffrey Konrad v. AbbVie, Inc., No. 15-966, N.D. Ill., E. Div.).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit: Some Methods Of Calculating Claims Are Inconsistent With Agreement

    NEW ORLEANS - Four industry specific methodologies (ISMs) for calculating claimant compensation under the Court Supervised Settlement Program for the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Class Action Settlement are inconsistent with the agreement, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 22, finding that the methods allow the claims administrator to remove revenue from the requested compensation period and spread it throughout noncompensation months (In re Deepwater Horizon: Lake Eugene Land & Development, Inc. et al. v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc., et al., No. 15-30377, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8915).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Firms: Circuit Split 'Stark And Wide'; High Court Must Hear Flint Water Lawsuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The engineering firms asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case against residents of Flint, Mich., regarding liability for the lead-contaminated water crisis in that city on May 22 filed their reply brief contending that the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' decision that a plaintiff may obtain remand under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) without evidence of class members' citizenship results in a circuit split that is "stark and wide" (Lockwood Andrews & Newnam P.C. v. Jennifer Mason, No. 16-1092, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - High Court Refuses To Take Up Shingle Maker's Appeal Over Arbitration

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 22 denied a shingle manufacturer's petition for a writ of certiorari seeking review of a Missouri appellate panel's ruling that an arbitration clause was not enforceable because purchasers never agreed to arbitrate their claims with the company when purchasing the product (TAMKO Building Products, Inc. v. Lee Hobbs, et al., No. 15-1318, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Justice Allows Addition Of Improperly Named Company To Maritime Asbestos Suit

    NEW YORK - A man's maritime asbestos suit improperly naming a successor as a defendant put an independent corporation that operates as a subsidiary of the named defendant on notice that it was being sued, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 18 (Joseph J. Crandley v. Farrell Lines Inc., et al., No. 190033/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1836).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - High Court Denies Disability Plan Administrators' Petition For Writ Of Certiorari

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 22 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by disability plan administrators claiming that a district court and the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals failed to follow prior decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in disability insurance cases when determining that a claimant's benefits claim was "deemed denied" (Sun Life and Health Insurance Co., et al. v. Janet Solnin, No. 16-1238, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - 7th Circuit Majority Says Reinstatement Of Disability Benefits Was Reasonable

    CHICAGO - The majority of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 18 affirmed a district court's judgment of more than $580,000 in past disability benefits in favor of a disability claimant after determining that the plan did not specify any type of job the claimant is capable of performing (Cathleen Kennedy v. The Lilly Extended Disability Plan, No. 16-2314, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8738).

    Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Finds Borrower Did Not Allege New Facts To Support Amendment

    FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 18 denied a borrower's motion to amend her complaint in which she alleges that a bank violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws related to a wrongful foreclosure, finding that she failed to allege any facts that would support new claims (Brenda D. Dowling v. Bank of America, et al., No. 1:14-cv-01041, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76063).

    Mealey's Labor & Employment - EEOC Sues Ruby Tuesday, Alleging Age Bias In Failing To Hire Older Man

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 17 sued Ruby Tuesday Inc. in Florida federal court, alleging that it violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by failing to hire a man for a vacant general manager position at its Boca Raton, Fla., location because of his age (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ruby Tuesday Inc., No. 0:17-cv-60970, S.D. N.Y.).

    Mealey's Insurance - Insolvent Insurer's Insured Solely Liable For Collision, Appeals Panel Concludes

    SHREVEPORT, La. - In a lawsuit against a propane gas truck driver and his insolvent insurer, a Louisiana appeals panel on May 17 affirmed partial summary judgment to a postal worker on the issue of liability because the truck driver was 100 percent at fault for a collision with the postal worker, who was free from any comparative fault (Raymond Doyle Chanler Jr. and Pamela Turner Chanler v. Jamestown Insurance Co., et al., No. 51,320-CA, La. App., 2nd Cir., 2017 La. App. LEXIS 858).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Justice Allows Addition Of Improperly Named Company To Maritime Asbestos Suit

    NEW YORK - A man's maritime asbestos suit improperly naming a successor as a defendant put an independent corporation that operates as a subsidiary of the named defendant on notice that it was being sued, a New York justice held in an opinion posted May 18 (Joseph J. Crandley v. Farrell Lines Inc., et al., No. 190033/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 1836).

    Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Finds Borrower Did Not Allege New Facts To Support Amendment

    FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on May 18 denied a borrower's motion to amend her complaint in which she alleges that a bank violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and other laws related to a wrongful foreclosure, finding that she failed to allege any facts that would support new claims (Brenda D. Dowling v. Bank of America, et al., No. 1:14-cv-01041, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76063).

    Mealey's Insurance - 4 Sentenced For Roles In Fraudulently Billing Medicare For Services Not Provided

    CLEVELAND - Four individuals were sentenced by a federal judge in Ohio on May 19 for their roles in an $8 million Medicare fraud scheme that involved forging documents and billing the insurer for medical services that were not provided (United States of America v. Delores L. Knight, et al., No. 15-cr-222, N.D. Ohio).

    Mealey's Insurance - Abuse Exclusion Bars Coverage For Wrongful Death Verdict, 9th Circuit Affirms

    PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 17 rejected a doctor and his wife's argument that they were entitled to coverage for an adverse verdict in a wrongful death suit because their homeowners insurance policy's abuse exclusion was not applicable, affirming a lower federal court's summary judgment ruling in favor of the insurer (American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Carlos F. Verdugo, M.D., et al., Nos. 16-15687 and 16-15717, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8828).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Colorado Appeals Court: Setoff Should Be Applied To Verdict Before Limitation

    DENVER - A Colorado appeals panel on May 18 reversed in part a trial court judge's decision to prevent a developer from obtaining a portion of a $9.5 million verdict entered against a grading company accused of breach of contract for providing services that resulted in defectively built homes, finding that the judge should have reduced the amount by first subtracting $592,500 the plaintiff company recovered from other contractors and then subtracting a $550,000 contractual limitation included in an agreement between the developer and the grading subcontractor (Taylor Morrison of Colorado, Inc., f/k/a Morrison Homes of Colorado, Inc. v. Terracon Consultants, Inc., No. 15CA1030, Colo. App., Div. 5., 2017 Colo. App. LEXIS 623).

    Mealey's Insurance - Appeals Panel Says Policy Limits Were Exhausted, No Further Duty To Defend Exists

    LOS ANGELES - The Second District California Court of Appeal on May 18 reversed a trial court's judgment in favor of an insured in a silica coverage case after determining that the insured released its right to assert any bad faith claims against the insurer and after finding that the insurer has no further duty to defend the insured because the insurer's policy limits were exhausted in 2013 (Truck Insurance Exchange v. Moldex Metric Inc., et al., No. B272378, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3485).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Split 9th Circuit Panel Rejects Remand To Narrow Class Definition

    SAN FRANCISCO - Plaintiffs may not seek to narrow a class to escape federal jurisdiction after a complaint has already been properly removed to federal court, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled May 18 (Broadway Grill, Inc. v. Visa Inc., et al., No. 17-15499, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8711).

    Mealey's Insurance - 7th Circuit Majority Says Reinstatement Of Disability Benefits Was Reasonable

    CHICAGO - The majority of a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 18 affirmed a district court's judgment of more than $580,000 in past disability benefits in favor of a disability claimant after determining that the plan did not specify any type of job the claimant is capable of performing (Cathleen Kennedy v. The Lilly Extended Disability Plan, No. 16-2314, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8738).

    Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 11th Circuit Finds Federal Law Does Not Preempt Engle Progeny Claims

    ATLANTA - A majority of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in an en banc decision on May 18 ruled that federal law does not preempt smokers from filing negligence suits against tobacco companies and affirmed a $2.75 million verdict in an Engle progeny suit (Theresa Graham v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., et al., No. 13-14590, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8718).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Partly Reverses Injunction In Equivalents Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although a Texas federal judge erred in barring the manufacture and sale of an accused generic form of the lymph-node-mapping dye isosulfan blue (ISB) with regard to two patents, relief was proper with regard to a third patent, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled May 19 (Mylan Institutional LLC, et al. v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., No. 17-1645, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 8792).

    Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Newspaper's FOIA Suit Over Officers' Mug Shots Denied Certiorari

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - In its May 22 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a newspaper's petition for certiorari over privacy rights connected to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for booking photos, letting stand a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that found an FOIA exemption protecting certain "embarrassing" facts from disclosure (Detroit Free Press Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice, No. 16-706, U.S. Sup., 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3246).

    Mealey's Insurance - High Court Denies Disability Plan Administrators' Petition For Writ Of Certiorari

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on May 22 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by disability plan administrators claiming that a district court and the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals failed to follow prior decisions issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in disability insurance cases when determining that a claimant's benefits claim was "deemed denied" (Sun Life and Health Insurance Co., et al. v. Janet Solnin, No. 16-1238, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Certiorari Granted In Dispute Over Scope Of IPR Final Decisions

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A divided June 2016 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the Patent Trial and Appeal Board need not address in a final written decision the patentability of all claims identified in a petition for inter partes review (IPR) will be reviewed, the U.S. Supreme Court announced May 22 (SAS Institute Inc. v. Michelle K. Lee, Director, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and ComplementSoft LLC, No. 16-969, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's IP/Tech - Supreme Court: 'Reside' In Patent Venue Statute Not Amended By Congress

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Changes by Congress to the general venue statute, 28 U.S.C. 1391(c), did not modify the meaning of the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. 1400(b), as interpreted in Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp., 353 U. S. 222, 226 (1957), to mean that a domestic corporation "resides" only in its state of incorporation, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled May 22 (TC Heartland LLC d/b/a Heartland Food Products Group v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341, U.S. Sup.).

    Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Finds Jurisdiction Lacking In Asbestos Case Against German Auto Maker

    MIAMI - A German automaker's contacts with Florida are insufficient grounds on which to exercise jurisdiction over the company, a Florida appeals court held May 17 (Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft d/b/a Volkswagen AG v. Carol Jones, et al., No. 2D15-5716, Fla. App., 2nd Dist.).