Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

June 3, 2015

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupThis week some highlights from the Westlaw Journal blog include stories about bankruptcy courts’ jurisdictional powers, Aaron Hernandez’s insurer denies it owes coverage for alleged shooting; and Black & Decker to pay $1.5 million million penalty for hiding electric law mower defects:

Divided Supreme Court clarifies bankruptcy courts’ jurisdictional powers: A sharply split U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that bankruptcy courts are empowered to decide so-called “Stern claims” — certain disputes otherwise outside a bankruptcy judge’s constitutional authority — so long as the litigants consent. In a 6-3 ruling, the high court on May 26 reversed a decision of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Bankruptcy)

Aaron Hernandez’s insurer wants out of coverage for alleged shooting: Lexington Insurance Co. says in court papers filed May 4 that it should not have to defend Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL player serving life in prison for murder, against a civil lawsuit brought by a man who claims Hernandez shot and injured him years ago. The insurer seeks a declaration in Massachusetts’ Suffolk County Superior Court that it does owes no coverage to Hernandez under a homeowners policy because Alexander Bradley’s underlying civil complaint allegedly does not assert the February 2013 shooting was accidental and Hernandez allegedly has not cooperated with Lexington’s investigation of Bradley’s claim. (Insurance Coverage)

5th Circuit rejects Mexican states’ oil spill claims against BP: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a ruling that three Mexican states cannot recover damages from BP for alleged property and economic losses sustained as a result of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. On May 1 the appeals court upheld a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana that the Mexican states could not proceed with negligence claims because they did not have a proprietary interest in the property allegedly damaged by discharged oil, as required under U.S. Supreme Court precedent. (Environmental)

Black & Decker to pay $1.5 million penalty for hiding electric mower injury hazard: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Black & Decker have announced the company will pay a $1.5 million civil penalty for failing to timely report defects in electric lawn mowers that caused them start spontaneously. The May 13 agreement resolves a CPSC investigation of charges that Black & Decker delayed acting on reports that its model CMM1000 and CMM1000R cordless electric lawnmower could start independently even if its safety handle was released and an accompanying safety key removed. (Product Liability)