TYLER, Texas - A judge did not err in allowing a physician's testimony that a woman involved in a car accident needed "neurotomies, stem cell injections, and topical cream," a Texas appeals panel held March 15, because it was reliable under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993) (Jeremy Oney and Horizon Cable Service Inc. v. William Crist and Heather Crist, No. 12-16-00045-CV, Texas App., 12th Dist.; 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2216).
ATLANTA - A majority of the Georgia Court of Appeals on March 16 affirmed the grant of summary judgment to a mall where a man was shot and killed because his death was related to a fight he chose to be a part of, a danger of which the mall was not aware (Michael Fair, et al. v. CV Underground LLC, et al., No. A16A1633, Ga. App., 2017 Ga. App. LEXIS 142).
SHREVEPORT, La. - A licensed mechanical and biomedical engineer relied on a sufficient methodology and factual basis to testify in support of proving that an accident scenario "is physically possible," a Louisiana federal judge ruled March 15, declining to exclude the testimony in a personal injury lawsuit against Greyhound Lines Inc. (Yolanda Dennis v. Ernest Collins II, et al., No. 15-2410, W.D. La.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37614).
CLEVELAND - Because a policy's pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage for claims arising out of violations of the Clean Water Act, an Ohio federal judge March 16 granted an insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings and terminated the insured's suit against its insurer (JTO Inc. v. The Travelers Indemnity Company of America, No. 16-648, N.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38033).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A commercial liability insurer had a partial duty to defend one of two insureds in an underlying construction defects case, an Alabama federal judge ruled March 16, granting in part and denying in part summary judgment to the insurer; however, the judge denied summary judgment on the duty-to-indemnify issue without prejudice to the insurer's right to refile (Auto-Owners Insurance Co. v. Wier-Wright Enterprises Inc. d/b/a Doug Wiersig Homes, et al., No. 15-1118, N.D. Ala.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37477).
MADISON, Wis. - A Wisconsin federal judge on March 16 found several state officials not liable for violation of the Stored Communications Act (SCA) in the seizure of an organization's electronic records as part of an investigation, finding the relevant warrants to have been issued in compliance with the statute and deeming the officials entitled to immunity under the act (The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy Inc. v. Francis Schmitz, et al., No. 3:16-cv-00539, W.D. Wis., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36796).
TAMPA, Fla. - A couple claiming that the defective construction of their home allowed for water infiltration and mold growth that led to the death of their daughter can amend their allegations that the home builder violated the Florida Building Code and engaged in fraud, a federal judge in Florida ruled March 17 in granting in part the builder's motion to dismiss (Rohan B. Goldson, et al. v. KB Home, et al., No. 17-cv-340-T-24 AEP, M.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38426).
ATLANTA - A federal court in Georgia on March 20 entered judgment in favor of an insurer on an insured's breach of contract and bad faith claims four days after a judge found that the insured's losses arising from a 2014 hacking incident of its payment-card reloading system did not trigger coverage under the insurance policy's computer fraud provision (InComm Holdings Inc., et al. v. Great American Insurance Co., No. 15-02671, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38132).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Acting on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 17 found that a patent dispute requires a new trial on damages in light of Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., 137 S. Ct. 429 (2016) (Nordock Inc. v. Systems Inc., Nos. 14-1762, -1795, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4732).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A North Carolina federal judge's determination that all claims of a hair growth patent are invalid was reversed March 17 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Allergan Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., et al., Nos. 16-1085, -1160, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4733).
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 17 affirmed dismissal of a complaint filed by a player of a video game, finding that her claims for recovery of money spent in a virtual casino did not constitute money lost under Maryland's loss-recovery statute (Mia Mason v. Machine Zone Inc., No. 15-2469, 4th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 4766).
FRESNO, Calif. - A judge properly admitted expert testimony that every identifiable exposure to asbestos contributes to mesothelioma, a California appeals court held March 17, while also rejecting challenges involving tobacco use and an award of punitive damages (Charity Faith Phillips, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. F070761, Calif. App., 5th Dist.).
FRESNO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 16 denied an insured's petition to substitute her as the plaintiff in an action in which her husband sought coverage for theft under an insurance policy, finding that she failed to submit sufficient medical evidence to support a finding that he was incompetent to proceed as a plaintiff (Ray Gibson v. Hagerty Insurance Agency, et al., No. 1:16-cv-00677, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38231).
SANTA ANA, Calif. - Lead plaintiffs in a securities class action lawsuit against a drug maker and certain of its executive officers asked a federal judge in California on March 15 to certify a class of investors, arguing that class certification is statutorily appropriate (Hsingching Hsu v. Puma Biotechnology Inc., et al., No. 15-0865, C.D. Calif.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on March 14 approved a liquidator's recommendation of a payment to a class of homeowners that won a construction defect lawsuit against a group of developers insured by an insolvent insurer (In the matter of the liquidation of Legion Indemnity Co., No. 02 CH 06695, Ill. Cir., Cook Co., Chanc. Div.).
NEW YORK - Underwriters Royal Bank of Scotland Securities Inc., Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Wells Fargo Advisors LLC on March 15 agreed to pay a combined $165 million to settle claims that they took part in a fraudulent scheme to misrepresent the underwriting standards they used in the offering documents for a series of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) (New Jersey Health Fund v. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, et al., No. 08-5310, S.D. N.Y.).
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on March 15 substantially dismissed a securities class action complaint against a solar energy products manufacturer and certain of its executive officers, ruling that shareholders failed to plead the requisite elements of a majority of their federal securities laws claims (Kevin T. Know, et al. v. Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd., et al., No. 15-4003, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37223).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. - Shareholders in a securities class action lawsuit against the operator of an online marketplace and certain of its executive officers have failed to show that the defendants issued any material misrepresentations or omission or acted with the requisite scienter, a federal judge in New York ruled March 16 in granting the defendants' motion to dismiss (Saleh Altayyar, et al. v. Etsy Inc., et al., No. 15-2785, E.D. N.Y.).
GRETNA, La. - A Louisiana appeals panel on March 15 reversed a lower court's dismissal of a lawsuit alleging that an insured breached a partnership agreement involving the opening of a new restaurant/bar and nightclub, concluding that the lower court erred in granting motions by the insured and his professional liability insurer to dismiss the case due to abandonment (Marlen Nunez v. Cesar R. Burgos, et al., No. 16-CA-568, La. App., 5th Cir.).
TULSA, Okla. - An Oklahoma federal judge on March 14 excluded testimony from an expert on estimates to repair a master control center (MCC) and electrical costs as a result of insureds' damages caused by a contractor and subcontractor's inadequate design and installation of the concrete columns but allowed other estimates to be admitted (Lexington Insurance Co., et al. v. Newbern Fabricating Inc. and Baucom Concrete Construction Inc. & Newbern Fabricating Inc. v. Doveland Engineering Co., No. 14-0610, N.D. Okla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36133).
TULSA, Okla. - Rendering moot a federal magistrate judge's report and recommendation that a pilot's expert testimony in an aviation negligence and products liability lawsuit should be partially excluded under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993), an Oklahoma federal judge ruled March 14 that the entire testimony should be excluded for the pilot's failure to prepare the report himself (James Rodgers, et al. v. Beechcraft Corp. f/k/a Hawker Beechcraft Corp., et al., No. 15-0129, N.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36131).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - An insurer cannot pursue arbitration against Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC and affiliates for a coverage dispute with a third-party manufacturer but can file a late proof of claim against the debtors without prejudice to its arbitration rights, according to a consent order filed March 16 in North Carolina federal bankruptcy court (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois judge on March 16 approved the rate of compensation for an internal auditor of an insolvent insurer's liquidation proceeding (People of the State of Illinois, ex rel. Andrew Boron, Director of Insurance of the State of Illinois v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., No. 12-24227, Ill. Cir., Cook Co.).
CHICAGO - An Illinois appeals panel on March 14 rejected an insured's assignee's appeal in a coverage dispute arising from unsolicited fax transmissions, finding the assignee's claims barred by the doctrine of res judicata (CE Design Ltd. v. HealthCraft Products, Inc., et al., No. 1-14-3000, Ill. App., 1st Dist., 2nd Div., 2017 Ill. App. Unpub. LEXIS 490).