CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on Oct. 12 partially granted a storage tank liability insurer’s motion to compel amended discovery responses after determining that the insured must provide additional information about the categories of expenses it incurred in remediating damages caused by a diesel fuel spill.
CHICAGO — A general contractor on Oct. 12 prevailed in part in its request to compel production of documents from an insurer and declaratory judgment plaintiff in a longstanding dispute over a judgment rendered in litigation stemming from a construction project at O’Hare Airport in Chicago.
RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on Oct. 13 affirmed a district court’s ruling that an insured and a condominium association cannot maintain a bad faith claim against an excess insurer that refused to defend or indemnify the insured for a $9 million construction defects settlement because the insured and the association failed to show that they suffered any consequential damages as a result of the excess insurer’s alleged bad faith conduct.
FRESNO, Calif. — Denying a petition for writ of mandate seeking relief from a discovery production order by the owners of a condominium complex accused of construction defects violations, a California appeals panel on Oct. 4 found that the petition was “wholly without merit” and was filed frivolously as a delay tactic, making sanctions appropriate.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Five FBI agents who were sued in their individual capacities for their roles in the surveillance of Muslim communities will be able to participate in upcoming oral arguments over whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) displaces the state secrets privilege, with the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 12 granting the agents’ motion for divided oral argument and providing them with 10 minutes to offer their own arguments independent of petitioners the United States and the FBI.
LAS VEGAS — A federal magistrate judge in Nevada on Oct. 7 denied without prejudice a software provider’s motion to compel an insurer to produce documents in its lawsuit alleging that the insurer and another software provider misappropriated its trade secrets to develop a clone of its flood claims services system application, finding that the plaintiff has “engaged in a pattern of failing to comply with the local rules of this court.”
GULFPORT, Miss. — In a text only order issued on Oct. 7, a federal judge in Mississippi granted relators’ emergency motion and ordered State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. to reschedule its Federal Emergency Management Agency depositions after the completion of relevant documents to the relators in their 15-year-old qui tam suit accusing the insurer of filing false flood insurance claims after Hurricane Katrina.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on Sept. 30 largely admitted the opinions of eight asbestos experts on industrial hygiene, medical costs and causation, finding the latter opinions that cumulative exposure causes disease different than the rejected “each and every exposure” theory, and then denied a friction product defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
NEW YORK — A doctor who was the subject of multiple negative consumer reviews posted on Yelp Inc.’s website established a prima facie case of defamation, a New York federal magistrate judge ruled Oct. 6, granting the doctor’s motion to subpoena Yelp to obtain the reviewers’ identities for the purpose of pursuing his claims against them.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — On Sept. 27, energy companies filed a reply brief in Wyoming federal court contending that it should reconsider its decision to quash their subpoenas against a nonparty oil and gas company in an antitrust lawsuit pertaining to the monopolization of mineral rights related to hydraulic fracturing in local shale plays, arguing that the court’s ruling was “clearly erroneous” because the magistrate judge wrongly held that the defendants do not need a subpoena because they can obtain the information they seek from other sources.
INDIANAPOLIS — In an amicus curiae brief filed Oct. 5, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States asks the Indiana Supreme Court to adopt the apex deposition doctrine, which limits the situations under which a company’s high-ranking executives can be subject to depositions in lawsuits, and seeks reversal of an appeals court ruling that permitted the deposition of high-ranking executives with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in a lawsuit over liability for athlete deaths from sports-related concussions.
TRENTON, N.J. — The documents at the heart of corrective disclosures in a securities case against Johnson & Johnson for allegedly failing to disclose the presence of asbestos in talc are already in the company’s possession, and any other subpoenaed communications with media are protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, attorneys told a federal judge in New Jersey on Sept. 20 in urging him to quash a subpoena.
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California state court judge on Oct. 5 granted in part a motion for sanctions against opioid defendant Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. in four municipalities’ complaint against opioid manufacturers.
DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on Sept. 28 determined that a special master properly concluded that an insured seeking coverage for damage to a concrete slab at a condominium building project is permitted to depose the builders risk insurer’s attorney who was responsible for drafting the insurer’s reservation of rights letter because the attorney’s role in drafting the letter is crucial to the case.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A ruling by the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that the attorney-client privilege does not apply to a law firm’s client list will stand, as the U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 denied a petition for certiorari by a law firm that had attempted to quash a summons for such information from the Internal Revenue Service.
SAN FRANCISCO — No matter how egregious the violation, California courts are now unlikely to address due process concerns created by a hard cap on defendants’ time to depose mesothelioma sufferers, and the U.S. Supreme Court should grant review so the problem does not “grow out of control,” two asbestos defendants tell the court in an Oct. 4 petition.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A foreign venture capital firm’s questions over a party’s ability to immediately appeal an adverse disclosure order ruling will go unanswered by the U.S. Supreme Court, which denied the firm’s petition for certiorari in its Oct. 4 order list.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Oct. 4 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court opted not to weigh in on a question over whether a party seeking to modify a protective order has the burden to show good cause, denying certiorari to some of the plaintiffs in a long-running multidistrict litigation against Chiquita Brands International Inc. who wanted to remain anonymous in their claims that the banana company had violated federal law by hiring security from a known terrorist organization.
CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Ohio on Sept. 29 denied an insurer’s motion to compel an insured to produce documents in a breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking crime protection insurance coverage for an alleged fraudulent scheme through which the insured’s employee stole $1,954,329.13 in commission payments, finding that the requested documents are protected from disclosure under attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — A plaintiff must produce pathology grids and results a consulting expert obtained from destructive fiber burden analysis testing of an asbestos victim’s tissue but need not produce the expert’s ultimate opinions, a federal magistrate judge in North Carolina said in partially granting a defendant’s motion to compel on Sept. 27.