LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Panel Affirms Abuse-Of-Discretion Standard Proper In Benefits Denial

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 21 affirmed a Texas federal judge's ruling denying coverage for partial hospitalization for mental health treatment, saying that the judge properly reviewed the denial of coverage under an abuse-of-discretion standard (Ariana M. v...

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - 9th Circuit Certifies Question On Interest Rates To California High Court

SAN FRANCISCO - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 21 certified a question to the California Supreme Court on whether high interest rates on consumer loans violated California finance law (Eduardo De La Torre, et al. v. CashCall Inc., Nos. 14-17571, 15-15042, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Awards $15 Million To Widow Of Smoker In Engle Progeny Suit

TAMPA, Fla. - A Florida jury on April 21 awarded the widow of a smoker in a tobacco suit a total of $12 million in punitive damages, bringing the total award against a tobacco company to $15 million (Mary Lima v. R.J. Reynolds, et al., No. 2015CA007140, Fla. Cir., 13th Jud. Cir. Hillsborough Co.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Chinese Drywall MDL Judge Adopts Formula To Calculate Remediation Damages

NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge in Louisiana overseeing litigation stemming from defective drywall manufactured in China on April 21 adopted an expert's formula that states that class members should receive $86 per square foot to remediate damage to their homes' electrical and plumbing systems...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Alabama High Court Reverses Summary Judgment In Slip-And-Fall Suit

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - The Alabama Supreme Court on April 21 found that a company that owns a McDonalds fast food restaurant did not present enough evidence to show that a puddle a woman slipped on was an open and obvious danger and reversed summary judgment granted to the company by the trial court (Andre...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge Rejects Challenge To Causation Testimony In Asbestos Case

NEW YORK - Requiring experts to actually sample and test the release of asbestos fibers from products would be fatal to almost all cases, given the lack of existing products to test and their inherent hazards, a New York justice held in allowing the testimony of three experts in an opinion posted April...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Expert Unqualified To Testify On Dewatering Industry's Standard Practices

OMAHA, Neb. - A proposed expert who planned to testify on the standard of care for dewatering companies in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is unqualified to offer his opinion in support of claims brought by a construction company, a federal judge in Nebraska ruled April 20, finding that the man only worked for...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Iowa Supreme Court Vacates Stay Of Chiropractors' Price-Fixing Class Suit

DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa trial court erred when it stayed a price-fixing class complaint filed by chiropractors against the state's largest health insurer pending resolution of a federal multidistrict litigation in Alabama, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled April 21, vacating the order staying the action...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury's Duty Finding Nixes Third-Party Parts Liability Question, Court Finds

WILMINGTON, Del. - A jury's finding that Ford Motor Co. did not fail to warn about the dangers of asbestos-containing replacement brakes makes the question of liability for third-party parts irrelevant, Delaware's top court held April 21 (In re: Asbestos Litigation Donna F. Walls, et al. v. Ford...

Mealey's Insurance - Government Is Not Required To Make Future Payments After Insurer's Insolvency

WASHINGTON, D.C. - While the U.S. government contracted to purchase annuities to make future, monthly and periodic lump-sum payments under a settlement agreement, the government did not guarantee that it would make the future payments in the event of an insurer's insolvency, a judge in the U.S. Court...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Supreme Court Justices Grapple With Jurisdiction In Plavix State Court Cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on April 25 wrestled with the question of whether California state courts can retain jurisdiction over hundreds of Plavix cases and, if not, in what fora they belong (Bristol-Myers Squibb Company v. Superior Court of California for the County of San Francisco...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 6th Circuit: Local Controversy Exception Not Applicable In Flint Water Crisis Case

CINCINNATI - A panel of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 25 ruled that the local controversy exception to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) did not apply in a putative class action related to the Flint water crisis, and it reversed a district court's decision sending the case back...

Mealey's Insurance - Investment Solicitation Falls Outside Policy's Definition Of 'Professional Services'

PASADENA, Calif. - The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 25 found that an investment solicitation by an insured fell outside a professional liability insurance policy's definition of covered "professional services," affirming a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 1st Xarelto MDL Bellwether Trial Under Way In New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS - The first Xarelto multidistrict litigation bellwether trial got under way April 24 with testimony by plaintiff regulatory expert Dr. David Kessler (In Re: Xarelto Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2592, No. 14-md-2592, Joseph Boudreaux Jr., et al. v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Iowa Top Court Rejects Chiropractors' Unequal Pay Claim Against Insurer

DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa state law does not require insurers to compensate chiropractors at the same rate as other medical professionals and would be preempted by ERISA if it did, the Iowa Supreme Court held April 21 (Lyle H. Abbas, et al. v. Iowa Insurance Division, Wellmark Inc., et al., No. 15-1248...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Jury Finds For Tobacco Company In Engle Progeny Suit

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A jury in Florida on April 24 found for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in a suit in which a woman claimed that the tobacco company was responsible for her husband's laryngeal cancer and subsequent death because it intentionally hid the dangers of smoking from him (Doris Shadd v...

Mealey's IP/Tech - Employee's Profane Facebook Post Protected By NLRA, 2nd Circuit Finds

NEW YORK - Even though a fired employee's Facebook post was vulgar and offensive, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 21 found that it constituted protected, union-related speech under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), leading the panel to grant a petition to enforce by the...

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 10th Circuit Orders Reconsideration Of Personal Liability In Bias Suit

DENVER - A Colorado federal court erred in finding that under the cat's paw theory, an unbiased decisionmaker may be personally liable for an adverse action based on a subordinate supervisor's racially motivated recommendation, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal panel ruled April 21; however...

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit: Board Obviousness, Anticipation Findings Unsupported

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A final ruling by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that deemed various claims of an integrated circuit design patent obvious and anticipated was reversed April 24 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on grounds that the board's findings were not supported by substantial...

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - MDL Judge Says Court Has Jurisdiction Over China-Based Drywall Makers

NEW ORLEANS - The federal judge presiding over lawsuits claiming that drywall manufactured in China and installed in their homes is defective because it causes corroding of copper pipes and electrical wires ruled April 21 that homeowners can pursue claims against companies based in that country because...

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Garlock Lobbies For Approval Of Joint Plan Establishing Asbestos Trust

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The plan of reorganization for Chapter 11 debtor Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC should be confirmed because it meets all federal bankruptcy law requirements and is the best option for asbestos personal injury claimants, 95 percent of whom voted to accept the plan, the debtor says...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - D.C. Circuit Court Remands Tobacco Suit To Rework Preamble Of Smoking Statement

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 25 remanded a suit in which the United States alleged that several tobacco companies misled the public about the harmfulness of cigarettes to a district court with instructions to alter preambles the lower court had...

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Premarital Asbestos Exposure Can't Bar Consortium Claim, Florida Top Court Told

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - An appeals court erred in concluding that because a man's asbestos exposure occurred prior to marriage, his widow cannot pursue a statutory loss of consortium claim, the woman told the Florida Supreme Court April 21 (Janis Kelly, et al. v. Georgia-Pacific LLC, et al., No....

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Company Seeks To Annul Award Issued In Treaty Arbitration With Argentina

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) on April 25 registered an application filed by a German company to partially annul an award issued in an arbitration commenced against the Argentine Republic in a dispute over a concession for the construction of...

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Claimant In Newspaper Seizure Actions Requests Termination Of ICSID Cases

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The former owner of a Chilean newspaper, who asserted claims against the Republic of Chile for damages in the amount of $422 million that were dismissed, on April 21 filed an application to terminate cases in which he requested that the award be interpreted and a case seeking rectification...