Westlaw Journals

Debtor wants Supreme Court to resolve where post-petition funds go after conversion

From Westlaw Journal Bankruptcy: A bankruptcy debtor has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to resolve a direct split between two circuit courts over whether funds held by a Chapter 13 trustee when a debtor converts his case to Chapter 7 go back to the debtor or to creditors.

Debtor Charles E. Harris III had won the return of the funds from both the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas and from the District Court on the initial appeal by the trustee.

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Valve maker says it’s not liable for vendors’ replacement part warnings

From Westlaw Journal Asbestos: A valve manufacturer has argued in an appeal of an $8 million asbestos award that under New York state law it had no duty to warn about asbestos in other companies’ replacement parts for its valves.

In a brief filed Sept. 29 in the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, Crane Co. is seeking to reverse an Appellate Division ruling and requesting the high court grant it a favorable judgment or a new trial.

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Florida’s pre-suit requirements comply with HIPAA, 11th Circuit finds

From Westlaw Journal Medical Malpractice:  A Florida law that requires medical negligence plaintiffs to give prospective defendants access to their private health information before filing suit does not conflict with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

Circuit Judge Frank M. Hull, writing for a three-judge panel, said the written authorization form that prospective plaintiffs must sign pursuant to Fla. Stat. § 766.1065 is a voluntarily executed document that complies with HIPAA, Pub. L. No. 104-191.

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Texas high court orders another appeals court look at $3 million Ford settlement

From Westlaw Journal Automotive: In its third ruling on the case, the Texas Supreme Court has ordered a state appellate court to again consider whether Ford Motor Co. was fraudulently induced into settling a rollover case for $3 million.

The state high court granted the motion for rehearing filed by plaintiffs Ezequiel Castillo and Maria De Los Angeles Castillo and withdrew its June 20 ruling, which simply reinstated the jury verdict.

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Running dry in a changing world

By Lynn A. Wilson, Ph.D., Kaplan University and SeaTrust Institute

From Westlaw Journal Environmental: Lynn A. Wilson, the academic chair at Kaplan University and CEO of SeaTrust Institute, discusses the scarcity of drinking water around the world due to   extreme weather and depleting aquifers.

Water scarcity was, until recently, considered by most of the developed world to be like James Hilton’s “Lost Horizon”: “far away, at the very limit of distance.”  The convergence of aquifer depletion from increasing agricultural, industrial and municipal water use with more frequent extreme weather events, however, creates an urgency to find or develop new, reliable sources of fresh water.

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Inequitable conduct invalidates patent, Ohio federal judge finds

From Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property: A federal judge has ruled that a company that sued an Ohio manufacturer for patent infringement engaged in inequitable conduct, rendering its patent unenforceable.

U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost of the Southern District of Ohio said defendant ALPS South LLC was entitled to judgment and ordered plaintiff Ohio Willow Wood Co. to pay a significant portion of ALPS’ attorney fees.

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Judge calls Monster records info too old to re-energize insider suit

From Westlaw Journal Delaware Corporate: A Monster Beverage Corp. shareholder cannot use a belated books-and-records action to revive her 7-year-old claims of insider trading at the energy drink company because any information she uncovered would be too out-of-date to enliven a derivative suit, Delaware’s Chancery Court has ruled.

In an Oct. 3 letter opinion, Vice Chancellor John W. Noble dismissed shareholder Anastasia Wolst’s demand for records pertaining to alleged trading by Monster insiders on nonpublic information in 2006 and 2007 because she has no hope of reanimating litigation over those purported wrongs.

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Negligence, warning claims stand in Colorado man’s suit over allergy to Stryker knee implant

From Westlaw Journal Medical Devices: A federal judge in Denver has ruled that a Stryker knee implant recipient can proceed with his claim that the company should require implantation candidates to be tested for metal allergies before such procedures occur.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson of the District of Colorado was entered in response to Stryker’s motion to dismiss Edward Haffner’s multi-count suit alleging he had to have his Stryker Triathlon total knee system removed after 10 months due to his severe cobalt and nickel allergies.

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P.F. Chang’s insurance doesn’t cover privacy lawsuits, insurer says

From Westlaw Journal Computer & Internet: The restaurant chain’s commercial general liability policies do not cover privacy lawsuits filed against the company this summer after it admitted to a data breach, its insurer has argued in a federal declaratory judgment action.

P.F. Chang’s faces at least three putative class actions alleging hackers stole customers’ credit and debit card information from about 30 of the restaurant’s locations nationwide.

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Professor presents view of Delaware corporate law from across the Atlantic

By Frank Reynolds, Senior Editor, Westlaw Journals

From Westlaw Journal Delaware Corporate: British corporate law specialists watch Delaware to monitor key trends in American corporate governance — even though the state has not usually been an innovator, a University of Cambridge law professor recently told a gathering of lawyers and judges in Wilmington.

Professor Brian R. Cheffins, guest speaker for the 30th Annual Francis G. Pileggi Distinguished Lecture in Law at the Hotel du Pont on Oct. 17, said Delaware does not have a reputation for pioneering corporate governance trends, but its renowned business courts often have the last word on them.

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