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Texas Supreme Court Opinions (3/15) - Part 2

No. 13-0338, University of Texas at Arlington v. Williams - This appeal addresses whether the recreational-use statute (Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code §§ 75.001-007) covers a spectator at a sporting event....more

Texas Court Upholds Engineer’s Tort Duty to Third Parties

The Texas appellate decision recently confirmed that state’s general rules regarding the outer limits of common law tort liability arising from alleged construction defects. USA Walnut Creek, DST v. Terracon Consultants,...more

Court Finds Potential for Personal Umbrella Coverage of Sexual Assault Not Covered by Underlying Homeowners Policy

In Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (No. H039368, filed 2/5/15), a California appeals court ruled that a personal umbrella policy's broader coverage gave rise to a duty to defend sexual molestation allegations that were...more

Judge Finds GenOn Power Plant Suit is Like School on a Saturday … No Class.

A Pennsylvania federal judge recently struck the class allegations from a suit brought against GenOn Power Midwest LP, alleging that its coal-fired power plant released toxic emissions that damaged surrounding property. Even...more

Appellate Court Notes

- SC18927 - State v. Gonzalez - AC35406 - Rodriguez v. State - AC35570 - Tremper v. State - AC35972 - Bouchard v. Deep River [Dumpster diving can be hazardous to your health. As a devotee of the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Intersection of Party Diligence and Motions to Vacate

Section 2-1401 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-1401) provides that a judgment may be set aside more than thirty days after its entry on petition for various reasons. So when is the apparent lack of...more

New York Federal Court Finds that CERCLA’s Petroleum Exclusion Covers Benzene Derived from Gasoline Degradation

In White Plains Housing Authority v. Getty Properties Corp., No. 13-cv-6282, 2014 WL 7183991 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 16, 2014), the district court applied the petroleum exclusion of the Comprehensive Environmental Response,...more

Environmental Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Declines to Determine Effect of Permit in Subsurface Trespass Case"

The Supreme Court of Texas upheld a jury verdict finding that a landowner did not suffer trespass from a wastewater injection well located on adjacent property. Environmental Processing Systems, L.C., v. FPL Farming Ltd.,...more

First Class Actions introduced in France by consumer associations (French version)

Depuis l’entrée en vigueur le 1er octobre 2014 des dispositions de la loi Hamon introduisant une action de groupe en droit français, plusieurs actions ont déjà été initiées témoignant d’un vif intérêt des associations de...more

Oregon Court of Appeals Clarifies Application of Statute of Limitations and Statute of Repose in Connection with Construction...

In Riverview Condo, Ass’n v. Cypress Ventures, Inc., 266 Ore. App. 574 (Or. Ct. App. 2014), the Oregon Court of Appeals clarified application of the statute of repose and statute of limitations in the context of a suit...more

California Expands the Duty of Professional Consultants

Professional consultants and sub-consultants provide essential services to a Project during its planning, design, construction, and acceptance. In some jurisdictions, they enjoy protections from liability for “economic...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Breadth of Condo Developer's Tort Duties

In the closing days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to review a decision from Division 5 of the First District with potentially significant implications for developers: Henderson Square Condominium...more

Court of Appeal Upholds Anti-SLAPP Motion to Defeat Claims Against Government Agencies

Ruling Allows Government Agencies to Use the Motion to Quickly End Meritless and Vexatious Lawsuits - A government agency can employ an anti-SLAPP motion to win early termination of meritless and vexatious lawsuits...more

It's Not the Crime, It's the Cover-Up: Equitable Estoppel in Construction Defect Claims

More than 20 years ago, the Watergate scandal taught us “it’s not the crime, it’s the cover-up” that does the damage. The ensuing decades have brought a steady stream of individuals and companies that had to learn the truth...more

New York Court of Appeals Holds Non-Cumulation Clauses Applicable to Lead Paint Claims

In its recent decision in Nesmith v Allstate Ins. Co., 2014 NY Slip Op 08217 (N.Y. Nov. 27, 2014), the New York Court of Appeals – New York’s highest court – had occasion to revisit the application of “non-cumulation” clauses...more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19118 - E & M Custom Homes, LLC v. Negron - New home warranty claim was successfully asserted as a counterclaim to a mechanic lien foreclosure. You will have to read the Appellate Court decision to find out what...more

Uncertainty about the time limit for filing a groundwater contamination claim in North Carolina.

What is the latest date upon which a private plaintiff must file a claim for personal injury or property damage based on groundwater contamination in North Carolina? Until recently, the answer to this question appeared...more

New York Court Revisits Architect’s Duty Under Contract and Tort Principles

Issues of privity and whether claims sound in breach of contract or negligence are common in construction defect cases involving architects and New York is no exception. Indeed, New York courts have long wrestled with...more

A Unilateral Scrivener’s Error Can Reflect a Mutual Mistake Requiring Policy Reformation (or, Don’t Expect $20 Million in...

October 29 marked the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy’s assault on New York and New Jersey. Although the insurance litigation arising from this storm is just beginning, we have already seen a number of decisions out...more

High Court Finds No Duty of Care From Builder to Owners Corporation

The High Court has held that a builder of a serviced apartment complex does not owe a duty of care in negligence for financial loss arising from defects in common property to an owner's corporation (Brookfield...more

Tennessee Insurance Legal News: Volume 3, Number 3

Declaratory Judgment Action Interpreting the "Land Motorized Vehicle" Exclusion - In Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Simmons, No. E2013-01419-COA-R30-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. July 15, 2014), the Tennessee Court of...more

New Jersey Appellate Court Limits Measure of Damages for Contaminated Properties

On August 27, 2014, the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in favor of Puritan Oil against a New Jersey property owner, finding that where the oil company had already taken steps to remedy contamination it caused on...more

N.J. Federal Court Dismisses Environmental Suit Against Lockheed Martin for Lack of Health Threat

A New Jersey federal court recently dismissed an environmental suit against Lockheed Martin, rejecting the plaintiffs’ argument that any exposure to particular environmental contaminants is harmful. Leese v. Lockheed Martin...more

Texas Supreme Court Opinions and Orders (8/29/14)

As expected, the last order list of the Supreme Court's fiscal year was a busy one. The Court issued opinions in 12 argued cases, so I apologize in advance for the length of this post. There were no grants and no mandamus...more

City May be Liable for Damage to Residence from Falling Tree Under Inverse Condemnation

When is a tree a “public improvement” for purposes of inverse condemnation? According to one court, when the tree was planted by a city as part of a forestry program and maintained over a period of time. City of Pasadena v....more

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