Westlaw Journals

Suit seeks insurance for disabled homeowners with pit bulls for service dogs

From Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage: Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. and several of its divisions are facing a lawsuit alleging they are violating federal and state law by refusing to sell homeowners insurance policies to disabled people who have pit bulls for service dogs.

The lawsuit filed by the Fair Housing Council of Oregon accuses the defendants of failing to comply with the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601, and the Oregon Fair Housing Act, Or. Rev. Stat. 659A.145(2)(C), which both prohibit discrimination against disabled individuals seeking homeowners insurance.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)

Class action over toxic emissions returned to Louisiana state court

By Nicole Banas, Contributor, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Toxic Torts: A federal judge in Louisiana has remanded to state court a proposed class-action lawsuit alleging toxic emissions by an oil recycling plant, finding the suit satisfies the “local controversy” exception to the Class Action Fairness Act.

U.S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon of the Eastern District of Louisiana said Stacy Davis’ suit qualifies for the exception, codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(4), in part because it seeks relief from a Louisiana citizen: plant owner Vertex Refining LLC.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)

Insured’s asbestos settlements evidence sufficient to pursue excess insurance coverage

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: A manufacturer can proceed with a claim for excess insurance coverage because it presented sufficient evidence that asbestos-claims settlements exhausted underlying coverage, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge L. Felipe Restrepo of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied the insurer’s motion to exclude General Refractories Co.’s evidence confirming the settlements it had made, saying its database summarizing the settlements contained enough information to show that its underlying coverage was exhausted.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)

Los Angeles federal judge returns medical tool infection suits to state court

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices:  A Los Angeles federal judge has remanded to state court six suits alleging that duodenoscopes made by Olympus America Inc. caused fatal bacterial infections.

U.S. District Judge Beverly R. O’Connell of the Central District of California rejected the medical device maker’s argument that the plaintiffs fraudulently joined three of its sales agents as defendants in order to skirt federal court jurisdiction.

(Westlaw users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Lumber Liquidators toxic flooring suits consolidated in Virginia federal court

From Westlaw Journal Products Liability:

A federal judicial panel has consolidated 10 class-action suits against Lumber Liquidators over allegedly toxic wood laminate flooring in a Virginia federal court, noting that the company’s headquarters is located nearby.

The lawsuits hail from seven U.S. district courts in California, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Oklahoma, according to the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s June 12 transfer order. The panel said 113 potentially related suits in other federal courts may soon follow.

(Westlaw users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Prosthetic hip plaintiff lacks claim against Connecticut hospital; suit stays in federal court

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices: 

A Connecticut federal judge says a state court suit against Smith & Nephew filed by the recipient of two failed prosthetic hips belongs in his court because the plaintiff has no valid claim against a Bridgeport hospital named in the action.

Roxanne LaFountain sued the medical device maker and St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport in Connecticut state court in 2014, asserting that each bore responsibility for the failure of two Smith & Nephew hip systems implanted Aug. 25 2009, and Nov. 10, 2009.

(Westlaw users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Judge finds industrial hygienist’s benzene exposure estimate unreliable

From Westlaw Journal Expert and Scientific Evidence:  An industrial hygienist cannot testify for the widow of a former gas station employee about her husband’s benzene exposure in the 1960s because he relied too heavily on assumptions and witness accounts in his calculations, a federal judge in Louisiana has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance of the Eastern District of Louisiana on May 14 granted a motion by gasoline manufacturers Shell Oil Co., Texaco Inc. and Chevron U.S.A. to exclude expert testimony by Richard Miller.

(Westlaw users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

United Airlines settles EEOC’s disability accommodation suit for $1 million

From Westlaw Journal Aviation: United Airlines Inc. has agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s claims the carrier violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing alternate work for disabled employees.

U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber of the Northern District of Illinois on June 8 approved a consent decree under which United will change its policy to consider reassigning workers who cannot perform their current jobs because of a disability to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.) (more…)

Contractor pays $170,000 to end suit over sale of service members’ stored goods

From Westlaw Journal Government Contract: A San Diego-based storage company will pay $170,000 to end the federal government’s lawsuit alleging it sold service members’ belongings at auction without obtaining a required court order.

The payment by Horoy Inc., doing business as Across Town Movers, and owner Daniel E. Homan resolves allegations that the company violated the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, 50 U.S.C. App. § 501, the Justice Department said in a May 18 statement.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)

Judge: Citibank’s ‘relationship’ with cardholder not grounds for arbitration

From Westlaw Journal Bank & Lender Liability: In a credit card debt collection dispute, a California federal judge has denied a request by Citibank to compel arbitration premised on an alleged “relationship” the bank developed with the plaintiff through cardholder agreements for two unrelated cards.

U.S. District Judge Beth L. Freeman of the Northern District of California rejected the bank’s assertion that cardholder agreements for two Sears cards issued to Scott F. Savage by Citibank should extend to a Macy’s store credit card issued by Department Store National Bank — the retailer’s financing arm and an alleged Citibank subsidiary.

(WestlawNext users: Click here for the 10 most recent stories from Westlaw Journals.)

(more…)