PHILADELPHIA - Plaintiffs in two federal asbestos multidistrict cases told the judge on Nov. 19 that changes in the litigation over the last 14 years warrant allowing the imposition of punitive damages (Kenneth McAfee and Shirley McAfee v. 20th Century Glove Corporation of Texas, et al., No. 13-6856, Gerald Morris and Barbara Morris v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 13-6591, E.D. Pa.).
NEW YORK - An asbestos widow sufficiently fulfilled the statutory requirements necessary to sue the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, even though she labeled the notice of claim as one for "personal injury" rather than "wrongful death," the New York Court of Appeals held Nov. 20 (In the Matter of New York City Asbestos Litigation, Mary Andrucki, et al. v. Alcoa Company of America, et al., Port Authority of New York and Jersey, No. 185, N.Y. App.; 2014 N.Y. LEXIS 3216).
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Nov. 18 granted a second extension of discovery in a hydraulic fracturing lawsuit brought by a group of residents who contend that residential water wells were contaminated by hydraulic fracturing chemicals. The order constituted one paragraph and provided no explanation for the judge's decision (Susan Berish, et al. v. Southwestern Energy Production Co., et al., No. 10-1981, M.D. Pa.).
BATON ROUGE, La. - A personal injury plaintiff failed to provide adequate explanations for his belated document discovery requests on an examining physician or his untimely motion to compel, a Louisiana federal magistrate judge held Nov. 19, mostly denying motions to compel and to extend discovery deadlines (Edward D. Dixon v. Greyhounds Lines Inc., et al., No. 3:13-cv-00179, M.D. La.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162234).
CHICAGO - A request by a defendant for leave to file an amended counterclaim adding state law claims of trade disparagement and defamation was granted Nov. 20 by an Illinois federal judge in a trademark infringement dispute (DB Distributors LLC v. 21 Century Smoking Inc., No. 12-50324, N.D. Ill.).
TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida federal judge on Nov. 19 once again granted an insurer's motion to dismiss an insured's lawsuit seeking reimbursement of alleged overpaid flood insurance premiums, finding that the insured's amended complaint sounds in claim handling and not policy procurement (William H. Boyd v. Standard Fire Insurance Co., No. 14-2074, M.D. Fla., Tampa Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162350).
LEXINGTON, Ky. - A Kentucky federal judge on Nov. 18 declined to exclude testimony related to a previous, similar malpractice lawsuit against a defendant physician, stating that extrinsic prior acts testimony may be appropriate "on cross exam if probative of the truthfulness or untruthfulness" (Tonya A. Lindon v. Bahram Kakavand, M.D., et al., No. 5:13-cv-00026, E.D. Ky.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161986).
NEW YORK - After finding that claims asserted by software companies did not relate to two underlying arbitration agreements, a New York federal judge on Nov. 20 refused to compel arbitration pursuant to the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Rules (Microsoft Corporation, et. al. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., No. 14-cv-6039, S.D. N.Y.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162650).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives on Nov. 21 filed suit in the District of Columbia federal court against Sylvia Burwell, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and others over implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (United States House of Representatives v. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, et al., No. 14-1967, D.D.C.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A former employee of the Norfolk Southern Railway Co. (NSRC) on Nov. 18 filed a lawsuit in Ohio federal court alleging that she suffered personal injuries as a result of exposure to hazardous chemicals when a train car imploded in a rail yard (Karalee Carr v. Norfolk Southern Railway Company, No. 14-00883, S.D. Ohio).
HOUSTON - Oil company Hess Corp. on Nov. 19 moved in Texas federal court for dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a hydraulic fracturing company that contends that Hess is liable for negligence and damages connected to alleged contamination of horizontal hydraulic fracturing wells; Hess says the plaintiffs lack standing and the case is barred by the statute of limitations (Texokan Operating Inc., et al. v. Hess Corporation, No. 13-02866, S.D. Texas).
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 18 affirmed a chancellor's $220,374.96 judgment against a roofing supply company after finding that the lower court properly allowed evidence concerning a roof estimate from another company (Centimark Corporation v. Maszera Company LLC, No. E2013-02689-COA-R3-CV, Tenn. App.; 2014 Tenn. App. LEXIS 744).
PITTSBURGH - A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Nov. 20 ruled that dismissal of a personal injury lawsuit is not proper because insureds have properly pleaded their claims for negligence, loss of consortium and bad faith against their insurer at this stage of the litigation (Carl P. Selmek Jr., et al. v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 14-388, W.D. Pa.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162294).
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Nov. 20 granted a reinsurer's motion for partial summary judgment, holding that the reinsurer's liability cannot exceed $5 million on a 1978 certificate and $2.5 million on a 1979 certificate (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Clearwater Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-01178, N.D. N.Y.).
ATLANTA - A Florida federal judge did not err in finding that two defendants lacked rights in the "DRX" trademark, nor in awarding a prevailing infringement plaintiff $1.32 million in lost profit damages, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 18 (Axiom Worldwide Inc. v. Excite Medical Corp. et al., No. 13-13900, 11th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 21851).
ALBANY, N.Y. - A New York state appellate panel on Nov. 20 affirmed a lower court's decision and determined that a landlord being sued for alleged injuries caused by exposure to lead-based paint had the right to compel the discovery of the academic records of the plaintiff's siblings and mother, as well as the discovery of the plaintiff's mother's medical records. The panel said the plaintiff's mother also needed to undergo an IQ test (Jarrod Perez v. Lenore Fleischer, No. 51879, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 3rd Dept.; 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 8060).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California state court did not err in granting summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit because an insurer did not act in bad faith in denying an insured's claim under and underinsured motorist policy, a California appeals panel ruled Nov. 19 (Christina Elliott v. Geico Indemnity Co., No. C072129, Calif. App., 3rd Dist.; 2014 Cal. App. LEXIS 1050).
BALTIMORE - After finding that a property owner who sought insurance coverage for storm damage that led to mold exhausted all of her administrative remedies, a Maryland federal judge on Nov. 19 refused to reconsider a decision allowing her to amend her complaint to add a cause of action for fees (Carvet Carlyle v. The Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co., No. 13-2964, D. Md.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162109).
PHOENIX - A federal judge in Arizona on Nov. 17 dismissed a shareholder class action against a hydraulic fracturing company on grounds that the class failed to show that the fracking company violated any federal securities laws in its operations and earnings statements (In Re: Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 13-01800, D. Ariz.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161814).
MIAMI - A Florida jury on Nov. 18 awarded a widow $5,635,080 for fatal asbestosis a husband contracted during work as a boilermaker at power plants owned by the lone remaining defendant (Magaly Fernandez, et al. v. Florida Power & Light Co., et al., No. 11-17044, Fla. Cir., Miami-Dade Co.).