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02/27/2015
In re Online DVD-Rental Antitrust Litigation, Andrea Resnick, et al. v. Netflix, Inc., Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Walmart.com USA LLC
House of Costs: 9th Circuit clarifies recoverable costs in antitrust litigation filed against Netflix
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

The plaintiffs, individuals representing a class of Netflix subscribers, filed suit against Netlflix and Wal-Mart alleging violations of the Sherman Act.  The subscribers’ cause of action for violations of the Sherman Act arise from a P

Submitted by: Travis A. Prince and Michael Bonasso of Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC. - Posted: 03/02/2015
02/27/2015
Severin Hegel and Stephanie Hegel, v. The First Liberty Insurance Corporation
11th Circuit narrows definition of “structural damage” under Florida’s sinkhole insurance statute
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

The plaintiffs, Severin and Stephanie Hegel, filed suit against First Liberty Insurance Corporation to recover on a homeowner’s insurance policy that insured against “sinkhole loss” as an exception to the policy’s exclusion

Submitted by: Joseph R. Blalock and Michael Bonasso of Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso PLLC. - Posted: 03/02/2015
02/25/2015
PENNZOIL-QUAKER STATE CO. V. MILLER OIL AND GAS OPERATIONS, ET AL
Cost of Removing Infringing Marks Not Enough Undue Prejudice For Acquiescence Trademark Infringement Defense
United States Court Of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Pennzoil had several multi-year agreements with Miller Oil in which it allowed Miller Oil to use its equipment and signage at a quick-stop oil change facility known as Pit Stop in Houston, Texas.  After the agreements expired, Pennzoil propos

Submitted by: Jennifer Johnsen and Nick Farr, Gallivan, White & Boyd, PA - Posted: 02/25/2015
02/25/2015
STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA v. ORTHO-MCNEIL PHARMACEUTICALS, INC.
South Carolina’s Highest Court Reduces Penalty Assessed Against Johnson & Johnson Unit To $136 Million
SUPREME COURT OF SOUTH CAROLINA

Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals (Janssen), a unit of Johnson & Johnson, manufactured the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. South Carolina alleged that Janssen violated its law by willfully failing to disclose known risks and side effects asso

Submitted by: Anthony J. Zarillo, Jr. [Bevan, Mosca, Giuditta & Zarillo, P.C.] - Posted: 03/02/2015
02/25/2015
NORTH CAROLINA STATE BD. OF DENTAL EXAMINERS v. FTC
Supreme Court Rules That State Dental Board Controlled By Dentists Subject To Antitrust Law
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

The issue presented to the Supreme Court was whether a state regulatory board, made up of dentists (and, therefore, market participants, elected by other market participants), is a private actor subject to federal antitrust laws.  In a 6-3 de

Submitted by: Anthony J. Zarillo, Jr. [Bevan, Mosca, Giuditta & Zarillo, P.C.] - Posted: 02/27/2015
02/24/2015
FOX v. LINCOLN FINANCIAL GROUP, ET AL.
New Jersey Appellate Court Rejects Marital Presumption For Payment Of Life Insurance Policy Proceeds
SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY, APPELLATE DIVISION

In a matter involving competing claims to the proceeds of a life insurance policy, a trial court awarded judgment to the sister of the decedent who was designated the beneficiary under the policy.  On appeal, the decedent’s wife argued

Submitted by: Anthony J. Zarillo, Jr. [Bevan, Mosca, Giuditta & Zarillo, P.C.] - Posted: 02/27/2015
02/24/2015
NATIONWIDE MUT. FIRE INS. CO. V. MCDERMOTT
Operation of In-Home Marijuana Factory Constitutes Substantial Change of Use of Residence
United States Court Of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

McDermott lost her home as a result of an accidental fire.  Nationwide, McDermott’s insurer, paid her for the loss.  However, Nationwide subsequently discovered that the fire was started by McDermott’s husband while he was ma

Submitted by: Jennifer Johnsen and Nick Farr, Gallivan, White & Boyd, PA - Posted: 02/25/2015
02/20/2015
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION v. FREEMAN
Fourth Circuit Affirms Exclusion Of Disparate Impact Expert Testimony And Summary Judgment Dismissal Of EEOC Claims
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

An employer began conducting background checks on its job applicants in 2001.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) alleged that this practice had an unlawful disparate impact on black and male job applicants and u

Submitted by: Anthony J. Zarillo, Jr. [Bevan, Mosca, Giuditta & Zarillo, P.C.] - Posted: 02/24/2015
02/18/2015
AUGUSTINE W. BADIALI V. NEW JERSEY MANUFACTURERS INSURANCE GROUP
New Jersey’s High Court Enforces “Fairly Debatable” Standard To Bar Bad Faith Claim Arising From Carrier’s Rejection Of An Arbitration Award In An Uninsured Motorists Coverage Action
SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

The subject bad faith action arose from an uninsured motorist (“UM”) coverage claim made by the Plaintiff.  The underlying UM claim was arbitrated and resulted in an award in Plaintiff’s favor. Defendant carrier and another

Submitted by: Anthony J. Zarillo, Jr. [Bevan, Mosca, Giuditta & Zarillo, P.C.] - Posted: 02/23/2015
02/18/2015
KWABENA V. N.J. MFRS. INS. CO.
Bad Faith Claim Barred By Res Judicata, But New Jersey Supreme Court Opens The Door To The Recovery Of Attorneys’ Fees in First Party Coverage Actions
SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY

Plaintiff pursued an Uninsured Motorists (“UM”) claim against Defendant carrier and later filed a complaint seeking benefits. Plaintiff’s complaint made no explicit allegations of bad faith or breach of any duties. The matter was

Submitted by: Anthony J. Zarillo, Jr. [Bevan, Mosca, Giuditta & Zarillo, P.C.] - Posted: 02/23/2015
02/18/2015
Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Perez
Railroad employee may seek remedies from multiple railroad labor statutes in some circumstances
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Railroad labor disputes have threatened to cripple interstate commerce for decades, thus, several acts have been passed to encourage the use of non-judicial processes of negotiation and mediation regarding such disputes.  The Federal Railroad

Submitted by: Haley E. Moore, Attorney Christie Law Group, PLLC - Posted: 02/19/2015
02/18/2015
In re: Lloyd’s Register North America, Inc.,
Mandamus Granted for Motion to Dismiss for Forum Non Conveniens
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

In 2006, Pearl Seas agreed that Lloyd’s Register North America, Inc. (LNRA) would be the classification society for its ships. Later in 2006, Pearl Seas entered into a contract with Irving for the construction of ships. LRNA then entered int

Submitted by: Rachel Simes Guttmann, McCranie, Sistrunk, Anzelmo, Hardy, McDaniel & Welch, LLC - Posted: 02/20/2015
02/17/2015
John W. Sullins v. United Parcel Service, Inc., et al.
CT Supreme Court Affirms Defendant Employer Must Pay for Entire Disability Rating, No Apportionment for Preexisting Non-occupational Injuries
Supreme Court of Connecticut

In a decision to be officially released on February 17, 2015, the Connecticut Supreme Court affirmed the Appellate Court’s finding that under the Worker’s Compensation Act the defendants, UPS and it’s insurer Liberty Mutual, are

Submitted by: Alexa Farmer (Howard Kohn Sprague & FitzGerald, LLP) - Posted: 02/11/2015
02/13/2015
Pucci v. Nineteenth District Court
Court employee’s termination unlawful without pre-termination hearing and sufficient non-discriminatory motive
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Plaintiff began as a clerk and typist in the Nineteenth District Court in 1991, and eventually became a deputy court administrator.  Plaintiff became concerned about a judge’s expressions of religious views in the course of performing h

Submitted by: Haley E. Moore, Christie LawGroup - Posted: 02/20/2015
02/13/2015
EEOC v. Allstate Insurance Co.
Allstate Insurance Co. may offer terminated employees alternate employment contract in exchange for release of claims
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Defendant, Allstate Insurance, reorganized its business in 1999 and accordingly terminated the at-will employment contracts of 6,200 of employees.  The terminated employees were offered an opportunity to work as independent contractors, for w

Submitted by: Haley E. Moore, Attorney Christie Law Group, PLLC - Posted: 02/19/2015
02/12/2015
COLONY INSURANCE COMPANY v. MARTY D. PRICE
No duty to defend for defendants as additional insured based on the only logical reading of factual allegations in Petition.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

Plaintiff Insurer filed a suit seeking a declaratory judgment that it had no duty to defend.  The Defendants argued that they were employees of the named insured and were additional insureds “for acts within the scope of their employmen

Submitted by: Céleste D. Elliott of Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard - Posted: 02/17/2015
02/10/2015
Donna Corbello v. Frankie Valli
Ain’t That a Shame – “Jersey Boys” Possibly Infringing on Copyrights
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

In 1988, Rex Woodward ghostwrote an autobiography about Thomas DeVito, one of the original members of the band the Four Seasons. Woodward succumbed to lung cancer in 1991 but, four months before his death, DeVito registered the copyright to the au

Submitted by: Rachel Simes Guttmann, McCranie, Sistrunk, Anzelmo, Hardy, McDaniel & Welch, LLC - Posted: 02/19/2015
02/10/2015
Sykes v. Mel S. Harris and Associates LLC
Debt collecting victims certified as a class in federal class action lawsuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Plaintiffs were individuals who had been sued by defendants in debt collection actions commenced in New York City Civil Court between 2006 and 2010.  Defendants were a company that purchases consumer debts, a law firm that practices debt-coll

Submitted by: Haley E. Moore, Christie LawGroup - Posted: 02/20/2015
02/10/2015
Dolores Wilson v. Maefair Health Care Centers Et. Al.
Connecticut Appellate Court upholds Workers’ Comp. decision holding subsequent insurer solely liable for expenses & disability despite prior injuries.
Connecticut Appellate Court

In a battle between two insurers, the Appellate Court upheld a Workers’ Compensation Review Board’s decision affirming the findings of the Workers’ Compensation Commissioner that a second insurer was solely liable for the plainti

Submitted by: Stephen P. Sobin, Esq. of Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald, LLP (Hartford, CT) - Posted: 02/11/2015
02/06/2015
WACKENHUT CORPORATION V. GUTIERREZ
Supreme Court of Texas holds a litigant preserved error regarding a spoliation jury instruction and finds the spoliation instruction was reversible error under its recent decision in Brookshire Brothers, Ltd. v. Aldridge
Supreme Court of Texas

Wackenhut owned and operated a bus that collided with a car driven by Gutierrez. The bus was equipped with video cameras but after seven days of recording the videos automatically looped over and erased previous recordings. Two days after the acci

Submitted by: Carlos del Carpio of Carroll, McNulty & Kull, LLP - Posted: 02/09/2015
02/06/2015
CATLIN (SYNDICATE 2003) v. SAN JUAN TOWING
Marine insurance principle of utmost good faith rendered insurance policy voidable.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIRST CIRCUIT

  Plaintiff Insurer issued a hull policy for the Insured Defendant's drydock in the same amount as another policy issued by a different insurer four years earlier.  Defendant knew and failed to disclose that the condition of the

Submitted by: Céleste D. Elliott of Lugenbuhl, Wheaton, Peck, Rankin & Hubbard - Posted: 02/12/2015
02/05/2015
In the Matter of Dwyer-Jones
The Massachusetts Appeals Court Holds No Hearing Is Needed If the Issue of Suspension from Law Practice Was Fairly Adjudicated In a Sister State
Massachusetts Appeals Court

The appellant was admitted to practice in both Maine and Massachusetts.  The Maine Supreme Court suspended her from practice of law for one year because of substance abuse and a mental health condition that rendered her incapable of practicin

Submitted by: Lilia Hrekul. of Howard, Kohn, Sprague & FitzGerald, LLP (Hartford, CT) - Posted: 02/11/2015
02/05/2015
BNSF Railway Co. v. Alstom Transportation, Inc.
Fifth Circuit Instructs District Court to Reinstate Arbitration Panel’s Award
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

BNSF hired Alstom to implement and manage a new maintenance program for BNSF’s locomotives. Their relationship was governed by a contract with an arbitration clause. The district court compelled arbitration, and the arbitration panel awarded

Submitted by: John W. Sinnott of Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore LLC - Posted: 02/06/2015
02/04/2015
Blackshear v. Golden Age Nursing Ctr., LLC
JURY VERDICT UPHELD IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE ACTION
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit

Ms. Blackshear was an 84 year old resident of a nursing home.  While a resident, Ms. Blackshear allegedly pulled out her PEG tube and was taken to a local hospital, where the tube was replaced by Defendant Dr. Tan.  Ms. Blackshear was di

Submitted by: D. Jay Davis and J. Camden Hodge of Young Clement Rivers, LLP - Posted: 02/06/2015
02/04/2015
Beyond Sys. v. Kraft Foods,
Federal Appeals Court Prevents Opportunistic Plaintiffs from Reaping the Benefits of Spam-Trap-Based Litigation
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

An internet service provider, Beyond Systems, sued Kraft Foods for nearly $600 million in damages under California’s and Maryland’s anti-spam (unwanted commercial email) statutes.  Beyond alleged that it had received several hundr

Submitted by: Owen R. Mooney of Bullivant, Houser, Bailey PC. - Posted: 02/10/2015
02/04/2015
Frank Gaylord v. United States
United States Must Pay $540,000 in Damages for the Unauthorized Use of a Distinctive Copyrighted Work on its Postage Stamp.
FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS

The United States Postal Service issued a stamp to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Korean War armistice.  The stamp contained a photograph of “The Column.”  “The Column” is made up of statues depicting

Submitted by: Owen R. Mooney of Bullivant, Houser, Bailey PC. - Posted: 02/10/2015
02/03/2015
Town of Stratford v. Int'l Fed'n of Prof'l & Technical Engineers, Local 134,
CONNECTICUT COURT OF APPEALS UPHOLDS ARBITRATION AWARD REGARDING TERMINATION OF PARAMEDIC
CONNECTICUT COURT OF APPEALS

The emergency medical services administrator for the Plaintiff Town of Stratford received an anonymous letter that accused the Defendant paramedic and a volunteer EMT of performing an improper “crew swap” while a patient remained in th

Submitted by: D. Jay Davis and J. Camden Hodge of Young Clement Rivers, LLP - Posted: 02/04/2015
02/03/2015
Etienne v. Spanish Lake Truck & Casino Plaza, LLC
Fifth Circuit vacates summary judgment based on Defendant’s failure to show legitimate basis for failure to promote qualified employee in the face of direct evidence of discrimination.
United States Court Of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

  The plaintiff, a waitress and bartender, alleged that she was not promoted to a managerial position because if her race and color. Despite the plaintiff’s submission of an affidavit containing testimony describing direct

Submitted by: Rachel Simes Guttmann, McCranie, Sistrunk, Anzelmo, Hardy, McDaniel & Welch, LLC - Posted: 02/19/2015
01/30/2015
Deeds v. Univ. of Pennsylvania Med. Ctr.,
PENNSYLVANIA APPELLATE COURT ORDERS NEW TRIAL BASED ON VIOLATION OF COLLATERAL SOURCE RULE
SUPERIOR COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA

Plaintiff suffered severe birth defects after being delivered by emergency cesarean section.  Through her guardian, Plaintiff filed a medical negligence action against various health care providers.  A jury trial was held and a defense v

Submitted by: . Jay Davis and J. Camden Hodge of Young Clement Rivers, LLP - Posted: 02/02/2015
01/27/2015
Bellsite Development, LLC v. Town of Monroe
The Appellate Court Limits Contractual Claims Made Against Municipalities
Appellate Court of Connecticut

Bellsite Development alleged that the First Selectman of the Town of Monroe, on behalf of the Town, agreed to locate equipment in the plaintiff’s communication tower.  The plaintiff subsequently began development of the tower, which res

Submitted by: Claudia Baio and Andrew Bullard of Howard, Kohn, Sprague & Fitzgerald, LLP (Hartford, CT) - Posted: 02/11/2015

 

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