WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's preliminary injunction barring a defendant from infringing two asserted claims of a drilling system patent was partly vacated by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 24 (M-I LLC v. FPUSA LLC, No. 15-1870, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16905).
CINCINNATI - The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 25 affirmed a district court's ruling that found that a property owner waived her right to insurance proceeds in relation to a fire and that the bank that held her mortgage was entitled to the funds (Rafah Dawood v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., et al., No. 15-1242, 6th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 17037).
PHILADELPHIA - A district court did not err in approving a settlement related to two class action lawsuits alleging that a health insurer's use of two claims databases resulted in the underpayment of health care services because the settlement is fair and reasonable, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 23 (Cathleen McDonough, et al. v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, et al., No. 14-3558, 3rd Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16841).
NEWARK, N.J. - A New Jersey federal judge on Sept. 24 denied the federal government's motion to find Bayer Corp. in contempt for violating a 2007 contempt decree by promoting Phillips' Colon Health for treating gastrointestinal problems without having "competent and reliable scientific evidence" to back up its claim (United States of America v. Bayer Corporation, No. 07-1, D. N.J.).
ALAMEDA, Calif. - An Alameda County, Calif., Superior Court judge on Sept. 24 ruled that Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc. violated California Health and Safety Code Section 1367.63 by denying all requests for surgery to remove excess skin following bariatric surgery and that certain procedures should be covered where those "procedures would improve function or address an abnormal structure so as to create a more normal appearance to the extent possible" (Wendy Gallimore, et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., et al., No. RG12616206, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Sept. 22 certified a class of plaintiffs alleging that an amendment to a pension plan is illegal under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it was not enacted in accordance with ERISA's provisions (Juan M. Reyes v. Bakery and Confectionary Union and Industry International Pension Fund, et al., No. 14-05596, N.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126972).
FORT MYERS, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Sept. 22 denied a title insurer's motion to dismiss a professional liability insurer's declaratory judgment claim against it in a dispute arising from allegations that a title company failed to uncover certain defects in the title of a real property (Houston Specialty Insurance Co. v. Titleworks of Southwest Florida Inc., et al., No. 15-219, M.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126780).
MIAMI - A lawyer's expertise in insurance law does not match the type of expertise needed to render an expert opinion on the internal standards for handling an insurance claim, a Florida federal judge ruled Sept. 23, excluding the lawyer's testimony in an insurance bad faith lawsuit (Frank Lopez, as personal representative of the Estate of Giraldo Lopez, and Magaly Nunez Delgado, individually and as assignee of Michelle Soto v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-20654, S.D. Fla.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127495).
DENVER - A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 23 declined to certify for interlocutory appeal an opinion permitting a collective action under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in a suit filed by employees of Chipotle Mexican Grill who allege that when they work the closing shift, they are automatically timed out but sometimes have to continue working (Leah Turner, et al. v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 14-2612, D. Colo.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127705).
HARRISBURG, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 22 dismissed with prejudice a class complaint accusing a family of companies that provide prescription benefit administration services of failing to protect the personal information of employees and customers from being stolen by unknown third parties (Joan Longenecker-Wells, et al. v. Benecard Services, Inc., d/b/a Benecard PBF, et al., No. 15-422, M.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126837).
PHILADELPHIA - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Sept. 22 granted final approval of a $50 million settlement ending an antitrust lawsuit in which consumers accused Comcast Corp. of conspiring with other cable companies to remain the exclusive provider in certain areas (Stanford Glaberson, et al. v. Comcast Corporation, et al., No. 03-6604, E.D. Pa.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127370).
OAKLAND, Calif. - A settlement's general references to unrelated asbestos injuries failed to adequately notify and inform the plaintiff under Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) standards, a California judge held in excluding the agreement Sept. 24 (Emerson v. Allied Packing & Supply Inc., et al., No. RG13 698637, Calif. Super., Alameda Co.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Sept. 23 rejected a "conflicted defense" claim against a commercial general liability insurer, further finding that the policy's Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) exclusion bars coverage for an underlying dispute over the alleged unsolicited transmission of junk fax advertisements (Scottsdale Insurance Co. v. Steve Stergo, et al., No. 13-5015, N.D. Ill.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127268).
NEW YORK - General Motors LLC (New GM) and post-closing ignition switch accident plaintiffs each filed briefs on Sept. 22 in a New York bankruptcy court, disputing whether the plaintiffs should be entitled to punitive damage awards in numerous personal injury lawsuits filed against New GM (In re: Motors Liquidation Company, et al., f/k/a General Motors Corp., et al., No. 09-50026, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court on Sept. 24 denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (RJR), which had sought review of a lower court's decision finding that a smoker suing the company was entitled to inclusion as a member of a class pursuant to the Engle class (R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company v. Ralph Ballard, No. SC15-1025, Fla. Sup.; 2015 Fla. LEXIS 2052).
SAN FRANCISCO - Chevron Corp., which was sued by a group of plaintiffs who contend that the company is liable for damages caused by the explosion of a natural gas rig, filed a brief in California federal court on Sept. 22 opposing the plaintiffs' motion seeking enlargement of time in order to pursue class certification (Foster Ogola, et al. v. Chevron Corporation, No. 14-173, N.D. Calif.).
GRETNA, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel on Sept. 23 affirmed a lower court's judgment that sustained a federal flood insurer's exception of lack of subject matter jurisdiction in a Hurricane Isaac coverage dispute (Louis Rodriguez-Roble And Marisol Soto-Ayala v. American National Property and Casualty Co., No. 14-CA-938, La. App., 5th Cir.; 2015 La. App. LEXIS 1810).
GRETNA, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel on Sept. 23 affirmed a lower court's ruling in favor of a professional liability insurer in a dispute arising from an underlying medical malpractice settlement (Eileen Clare Lynch-Ballard v. LAMMICO Insurance Agency Inc., et al., No. 14-CA-793, La. App., 5th Cir.; 2015 La. App. LEXIS 1827).