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Case Summaries

Injury & Tort Law

[11/29] Tidwell Enterprises v. Financial Pacific Ins. Co.
In an insurance coverage action, arising out of a suit brought by a homeowner's insurer against a contractor who installed a fireplace that caused a fire which destroyed the home, the trial court's grant of summary judgment that contractor's insurer did not have a duty to defend contractor is reversed where under the standard language in a commercial general liability policy, the liability insurer does have a duty to defend the contractor because the insurer failed to eliminate all possibility of coverage.

[11/22] Nevor v. Moneypenny Holdings, LLC
In a maritime personal injury case, the district court's award to plaintiff of compensatory damages for past and future harms, plus prejudgment interest, is: 1) affirmed as to the damages award; but 2) affirmed in part and reversed in part as to the award of interest where, in a question of first impression within this circuit, the district court was bound to follow Borges v. Our Lady of the Sea Corp., and its failure to do so constitutes reversible error.

[11/22] Kase v. Metaclad Insulation Corp.
In an asbestos action, arising from plaintiff's exposure to Unibestos while working on navy submarines in the early 1970s, the trial court's grant of summary judgment to defendant-supplier on plaintiff's defective design and failure to warn claims is affirmed where the navy knew of the health risks of asbestos and nonetheless specified insulation that required the use of the provided asbestos product.

[11/22] US, ex rel. Escobar v. Universal Health Servs., Inc.
On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, in a qui tam action brought by family of deceased plaintiff, who died of a seizure after receiving mental health treatment, against a health insurer under the False Claims Act (FCA), alleging that the facility had employed unlicensed and unsupervised personnel, in violation of state regulations, and that defendant had fraudulently submitted reimbursement claims to the Commonwealth, despite knowing that they were in violation of relevant state regulations dealing with mental health and counseling facilities, the district court's grant of defendant's motion to dismiss is reversed where, applying the Supreme Court's guidance on the question of whether defendant's misrepresentations were material, relators' complaint sufficiently states a claim under the FCA.

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