CHICAGO - A cardiologist who pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud for fraudulently billing Medicare and other insurance companies was ordered by a federal judge in Illinois to turn over three retirement funds valued at $300,738.60 after finding that forfeiture of the funds would not result in an overpayment of the $12 million he owes in restitution (United States of America v. Sushil Sheth, No. 09 CR 69-1, N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2281).
ST. LOUIS - Attempts to repair a leaking roof did not toll Arkansas' five-year statute of repose for claims arising from construction defects, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 6 in affirming an award of summary judgment to the manufacturer of allegedly defective roofing materials (Star City School District v. ACI Building Systems LLC, No. 15-3723, 8th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 248).
NEW ORLEANS - A company that received $20,000 from a claimant that received money from the Deepwater Horizon Economic and Property Damages Settlement to repay a loan does not need to return the money to the settlement fund, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 6, holding that the company was not unjustly enriched (In re: Deepwater Horizon, Woodbridge Baric Pre-Settlement Funding LLC v. Louis J. Freeh, No. 15-30599, 5th Cir.).
ATLANTA - A majority of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 9 that an insurer has no duty to pay an insured's $405,989 in pre-tender legal expenses incurred in defending a copyright infringement lawsuit, affirming a lower court's finding that Florida's claims administration statute (CAS) does not control because the insurer relied on an exclusion and not a coverage defense in its refusal to pay the expenses (EmbroidMe.com, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 14-10616, 11th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 368).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Not allowing non-Indians who were injured as a result of a tribal employee's negligence miles away from a reservation a remedy except what the tribe chooses to provide in tribal court "represents an extraordinary and unwarranted expansion of tribal immunity," an attorney for a couple injured by a limousine driver for a Native American casino told the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 9 (Brian Lewis and Michelle Lewis v. William Clarke, No. 15-1500, U.S. Sup.).
RICHMOND, Va. - A Baltimore employee failed to show that the city's requirement that employees submit proof of marriage for their spouses to be eligible for health insurance coverage violates state or federal law, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 4, upholding a trial court's dismissal of an employee's complaint (Adris Abdus-Shahid, et al. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, No. 15-2181, 4th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 118).
MADISON, Wis. - An expert's medical testimony on the standard of reasonable care based on his personal experiences was reliable, the majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Jan. 6, upholding an $885,000 medical malpractice judgment against a doctor (Braylon Seifert, by his Guardian ad litem, Paul J. Scoptur, Kimberly Seifert and David Seifert v. Kay M. Balink, M.D. and Proassurance Wisconsin Insurance Co., No. 2014AP195, Wis. Sup.; 2017 Wisc. LEXIS 2).
CHICAGO - A commercial general liability insurance policy does not cover a roofing subcontractor over faulty work claims that resulted in more than $6.6 million in damages to townhomes, an insurer says in its Jan. 4 complaint to an Illinois federal court (Nautilus Insurance Co. v. Classic Roofing Inc. and Custom Roofing Contracting Ltd., No. 17-45, N.D. Ill.).
SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer told a federal court in New York on Jan. 6 that the issue of whether a workers' compensation claim dispute can be arbitrated and what parties should participate in the arbitration is up to the court and not up to a panel of arbitrators to decide (In the Matter of the Arbitration Between National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-08821, S.D. N.Y.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal judge on Jan. 5 held that a professional liability insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify against an underlying complaint alleging that the insureds misrepresented important data that an insurer used to calculate premiums (Westport Insurance Corp. v. M.L. Sullivan Insurance Agency Inc., d/b/a Sullivan & Associates Insurance and Risk Management, et al., No. 15-7294, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1527).
CLEVELAND - An Ohio federal judge on Jan. 5 granted a mortgage company's motion to dismiss claims for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and other claims related to a foreclosure, finding that the claims were barred by a ruling in a state court case (Kariem Hasan v. Citimortgage Inc., No. 1:16cv2311, N.D. Ohio; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1471).
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Allegations that a school copied a copyrighted educational model without consent were dismissed Jan. 6 by an Indiana federal judge pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) (Angela Brooks-Ngwenya v. National Heritage Academies, No. 16-183, N.D. Ind.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2071).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A former border patrol agent (BPA) failed to show that an arbitrator erred in determining that the agent was properly removed from his position after he exhibited psychotic symptoms, a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 4 (Brendan Corkery v. Department of Homeland Security, No. 2015-3216, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 237).
CHICAGO - In what it deemed a "very unusual case," the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 6 affirmed dismissal of a dispute in which Amazon.com Inc. was accused of permitting third parties to advertise for sale six counterfeit books in violation of the Copyright Act (Reginald Hart v. Amazon.com Inc., No. 16-2793, 7th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 256).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A Kansas federal judge on Jan. 4 excluded in part various testimony offered by a gun manufacturer in a breach of contract dispute with two gun stores because the expert did not meet qualification and reliability standards for some of the testimony (Signature Marketing Inc. d/b/a Signature Manufacturing v. New Frontier Armory LLC and EXTAR LLC, No. 15-7200, D. Kan.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1130).
RICHMOND, Va. - A panel of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Jan. 4 affirmed a district court order dismissing a negligence suit brought against the United States by a sheriff's deputy who was injured on a Navy base after jumping off of a second-story training ship because the United States is shielded from tort liability under the Federal Tort Claim Act (FTCA) (Laurie L. Wood v. United States of America, No. 15-2106, 4th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 106).
PHILADELPHIA - The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 4 affirmed a district court's ruling in favor of a lender, finding that a property owner failed to allege any facts to support a finding that it breached any mortgage agreement with him or intentionally inflicted emotional distress (Ruben Martinez v. Capital One, N.A., No. 16-2753, 3rd Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 89).
SAN FRANCISCO - After finding that a borrower failed to amend her claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL) and declaratory relief, a California federal judge on Jan. 3 granted a motion to dismiss a second amended complaint against lenders in relation to a mortgage (Modesta Jacinto v. Ditech Financial LLC, et al., No. 16-cv-02815, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1012).
GULFPORT, Miss. - An expert may not testify that a nurse "was deliberately indifferent" to an inmate's health care, which led to his wrongful death, but the expert may testify that the nurse breached the relevant standard of care, a Mississippi federal judge ruled Jan. 3, also finding that the expert is not qualified to give medical causation opinions (Dorothy Lee and John Morris Lee III v. Jackson County, Miss., et al., No. 13-441, S.D. Miss.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 295).
WILMINGTON, Del. - A Delaware federal court has jurisdiction to hear a hospital's appeal of a bankruptcy court's refusal to reconsider denial of class certification for asbestos property damage claims against former Chapter 11 debtor W.R. Grace & Co. because the order interpreted W.R. Grace's plan of reorganization, the hospital argues Jan. 4 in response to the company's bid to dismiss the appeal (Anderson Memorial Hospital v. W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 16-799, D. Del.).
BALTIMORE - "Formulaic" allegations of asbestos exposure failing to distinguish between defendants or time periods fall short of pleading standards, but the plaintiff may amend in an effort to cure the deficiencies, a federal judge in Maryland held Jan. 3 (Esther Rhodes, et al. v. MCIC Inc., et al., No. 16-2459, D. Md.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89).