Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

November 5, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupSome highlights from the past week’s litigation news headlines over at the Westlaw Journals blog include a personal injury settlement between a smoker and three tobacco companies; Boeing pays $23M to settle Air Force overbilling charges; Non-relative resident exclusion in auto insurance policy ruled overbroad in California; and teens tell U.S. Supreme Court that EPA should implement climate recovery plan:

Florida federal court allows testimony on addiction, advertising; case settles: Three tobacco companies have agreed to settle a smoker’s personal injury lawsuit, about a week after a Florida federal court allowed her expert to testify about nicotine addiction, as well as on cigarette marketing and advertising. The tobacco company defendants — R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Philip Morris USA Inc. and Lorillard Tobacco Co. — accepted plaintiff Penny Dover’s offer of judgment Oct. 1. The terms of the settlement have not been disclosed. (Tobacco Industry)

Boeing pays $23 million to settle charges it inflated Air Force contract bills: Boeing Co. will pay the federal government $23 million to settle allegations that it overbilled the Air Force while working under contract on maintenance for the C-17 Globemaster aircraft. Chicago-based Boeing agreed to resolve the lawsuit without admitting any wrongdoing, the Justice Department said in an Oct. 10 statement. (Government Contract)

Auto insurer’s exclusion violates public policy, California appeals court says: A passenger injured in a car crash can seek to recover from his roommate-driver’s insurance company despite a non-relative resident exclusion in the policy, a California appeals court has ruled. In what the injured party’s attorney said was a case of first-impression in the state, the 4th District Court of Appeal said in a Sept. 24 published opinion that the exclusion was overbroad and must be stricken as invalid. (Insurance Coverage)

EPA should implement climate recovery plan, teens tell Supreme Court: A group of teenagers is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a District of Columbia Circuit ruling that the “public trust” doctrine does not require federal agencies to immediately implement a science-based climate recovery plan to protect the atmosphere. The District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held in June that the public trust doctrine arises under state law and therefore federal courts have no jurisdiction. Alec L. et al. v. McCarthy et al., No. 13-5192, 2014 WL 3013301 (D.C. Cir. June 5, 2014). The teenagers’ petition for certiorari argues that the public trust doctrine imposes obligations on “sovereign entities” to protect essential public resources and that the federal government is a sovereign entity subject to that doctrine. The Oct. 3 petition says the Environmental Protection Agency has the power to address climate change but has refused to do so. (Environmental)