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Appeals Panel Upholds Use Of Pro-Rata Approach In Lead Coverage Suit
BALTIMORE - An insurer is liable for less than 45 percent of a jury verdict entered in favor of a tenant who sustained injuries as a result of lead paint in the insured's property because the insurer can be liable only for the time that it insured the property owner, the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Feb. 3 (Pennsylvania National Mutual Casualty Insurance Co. v. Lakia Roberts et al., No. 10-1987, 4th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 2084).

Louisiana Supreme Court Grants Appeal Of Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
NEW ORLEANS - The Louisiana Supreme Court on Feb. 3 agreed to hear an insurer's appeal of an appeals court's finding that a lower court abused its discretion in denying claimants' motion for a new trial in their medical malpractice lawsuit against the insurer and its doctor insured (Alfred Dupree, et al. v. Louisiana Medical Mutual Ins. Co., et al., No. 2011-C-2453, La. Sup.).

7th Circuit Rules For Abbott On Former Employees' ERISA Interference Claims
CHICAGO - A certified class of former employees of Abbott Laboratories failed to prove that Abbott created a spin-off unit to avoid paying retirement benefits in violation of Section 510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 3 (Myla Nauman, et al. v. Abbott Laboratories, et al., No. 10-2272, 7th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 2086).

2nd Circuit: Forum State's Limitations Period, Borrowing Statute Apply
NEW YORK - In an action for benefits under Section 502 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the forum state's statute of limitations, including its borrowing statute, applies, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Feb. 1 (Joseph G. Muto, et al. v. CBS Corporation f/k/a Westinghouse Electric Corporation, et al., No. 10-3038-cv, 2nd Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 1869).

With Debts Of $ 493.2M, Charter Airline For U.S. Military Files For Chapter 11
BROOKLYN, NY - Global Aviation Holdings Inc. (GAH), the largest charter airline provider to the U.S. military, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Feb. 5 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York, citing $ 493.2 million in debts (In Re: Global Aviation Holdings Inc., No. 12-40783, Chapter 11, E.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).

Parties Agree To Settle Generic Wellbutrin XL Consumer Fraud Litigation
PHILADELPHIA - The manufacturer and distributor of a version of the antidepressant Wellbutrin XL have agreed to settle via injunctive relief consumer fraud litigation claiming that the generic pill was deceptively labeled, a Pennsylvania federal judge said in a Feb. 1 order granting preliminary approval to the pact (In re: Budeprion XL Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL 2107, No. 2:09-md-2107, E.D. Pa.).

5th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Fatal Helicopter Crash Case
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Feb. 2 upheld the dismissal of a wrongful death action filed by the mother of a man killed in a helicopter crash, concluding that she could not recover damages under Louisiana law (Karen Nelson, et al. v. PHI Inc., et al., No. 11-30153, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 1955).

Split 5th Circuit Grants Qualified Immunity To Doctors Who Treated Inmate
NEW ORLEANS - Physicians who performed a radical hysterectomy on an incarcerated woman are entitled to qualified immunity after the inmate sued claiming that her constitutional rights were violated when her ovary and lymph nodes were removed allegedly without her consent, a split Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 3 (Carrie Rahat Sama v. Doctor Edward Hannigan, et al., No. 10-40835, 5th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 2107).

Louisiana Appeals Court Affirms Class Certification In Reimbursement Dispute
LAKE CHARLES, La. - A Louisiana appeals court panel on Feb. 1 affirmed the grant of class certification in a case alleging that a health care provider impermissibly demanded and/or collected sums in excess of the discounted rates negotiated with the plaintiffs' health insurers (Keisha Desselle, et al. v. Acadian Ambulance Service Inc., No. 11-742, La. App., 3rd. Cir.; 1012 La. App. LEXIS 101).

Illinois High Court Affirms Trial Court's Dismissal Of Claims Over Site Conditions
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Supreme Court on Feb. 2 unanimously affirmed a trial court's dismissal of an environmental group's claims that ExxonMobil Coal USA was in violation of the Surface Coal Mining Land Conservation and Reclamation Act (SCMLCRA) and Water Use Act of 1983 for site conditions at one of its mines because the activities the company was conducting were covered under permits issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) (Citizens Opposing Pollution v. ExxonMobil Coal USA, et al., Nos. 111286, 111304, Ill. Sup.; 2012 Ill. LEXIS 304; 2012 IL 111286).

New York Federal Judge Denies Class Certification In FMLA Suit Against Verizon
NEW YORK - A proposed class of Verizon Communications Inc. employees in a complaint alleging violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not meet the commonality and typicality requirements for class certification, a New York federal judge held Feb. 1, citing the recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (Thomas Oakley, et al., v. Verizon Communications Inc., et al., No. 09-9175, S.D. N.Y.; 2012 U.S. Dist. Lexis 12975).

Judge: Fraudulent Concealment Claim In Suit Over Faulty Leak Detector Untimely
BALTIMORE - A federal judge in Maryland on Feb. 1 awarded summary judgment to ExxonMobil Oil Corp. after finding that a plaintiff company's fraudulent concealment claim over problems with an electronic line leak detector was barred by Maryland's three-year statute of limitations (Storto Enterprises Inc. v. ExxonMobil Oil Corporation, et al., No. 10-1630, D. Md.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12824).

Federal Judge Dismisses Class Action Alleging Bank Allowed Unauthorized Payments
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Feb. 1 dismissed a putative class action accusing Bank of America Co. and an affiliate insurer of pulling money from customers' bank accounts to pay for insurance policies that customers did not request or approve (Jerome White, et al. v. Bank of America Corp., et al., No. 11-06797, C.D. Calif.).

Decertified Class Of IPhone Users' Motion To Certify For Appeal Partly Denied
SAN FRANCISCO - A California federal judge on Feb. 1 denied in part a motion to permit interlocutory appeal by a class of iPhone purchasers in their antitrust claims against Apple Inc. and AT&T Mobility Inc. (ATTM), holding that the controlling contract required resolution of the claims by individual arbitration rather than a class action lawsuit (In re Apple & AT&TM Antitrust Litigation, No. 5:07-cv-05152, N.D. Calif.).

Federal Circuit Reverses Claim Construction In Video Game Patent Case
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A stipulation to a judgment of noninfringement will be revisited, following a Feb. 1 ruling by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Craig Thorner and Virtual Realty Feedback Corporation v. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC et al., No. 11-1114, Fed. Cir.).

Federal Judge Dismisses Case Against FDIC Arising From Loan Made By Failed Bank
RENO, Nev. - A federal judge in Nevada on Feb. 2 granted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and individual defendants' motion to dismiss a suit arising from a loan plaintiffs took out with failed bank First National Bank of Nevada (FNB) (Parker's Model T, et al. v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., et al., No. 10-00791, D. Nev.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12487).

7th Circuit: Debt Discharged Properly; Fee Award Not Valid Based On Evidence
CHICAGO - A panel of the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 2 affirmed the dischargeability of a particular debt but reversed that part of a lower court ruling that awarded fees to the debtor related to the costs of defending a creditor's adversary action (Anthony Stelmokas v. Vytautas Kodzius, No. 11-3193, Chapter 7, 7th Cir.; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 2068).

Colorado Appeals Panel: General Contractor's Third-Party Claims Filed Too Late
DENVER - A Colorado Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 2 upheld summary judgment for a pair of subcontractors named as third-party defendants in a construction defects action, agreeing that the claims were time-barred (Shaw Construction LLC v. United Builder Services Inc., et al., No. 11CA2351, Colo. App.; 2012 Colo. App. LEXIS 172).

United States Denied Motion To Dismiss Crop Loss Suit For Herbicide Crop Damage
POCATELLO, Idaho - A lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho by a group of six Idaho farmers who allege reduced sugar beet, wheat and potato yields because of sulfonylureas herbicide drift from Bureau of Land Management land survived a defense motion to dismiss; the presiding judge denied the statute of limitations motion Feb. 1 (Grant Neibaur & Sons Farms, et al. v. United States, No. 11-159, D. Idaho; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12982).

$ 30.5 Million Bid For Beacon Power Assets Announced
WILMINGTON, Del. - Bankrupt power company Beacon Power Corp. on Feb. 3 filed a notice in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware indicating that it had a $ 35.5 million stalking horse bid arranged (In Re: Beacon Power Corporation, No. 11-13450, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Syms Equity Committee Seeks To Propose Competing Chapter 11 Plan
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Official Committee of Syms Corp. Equity Security Holders on Feb. 3 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for an order terminating the period of time within which Syms has the exclusive right to file a Chapter 11 plan and solicit acceptance of such a plan (In Re: Filene's Basement LLC, No. 11-13511, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).

Los Angeles Dodgers: Injury Claim Should Be Disallowed In Chapter 11 Case
WILMINGTON, Del. - The Los Angeles Dodgers, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, on Feb. 3 moved in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for an order disallowing a personal injury claim against the club brought by a man who suffered injuries from an attack after attending a baseball game at Dodger Stadium (In Re: Los Angeles Dodgers LLC, No. 11-12010, Chapter 11, D. Del. Bkcy.).