Fishkin Lucks was named today national coordinating counsel to its longtime client, Univar Solutions USA Inc., a leading global chemical, ingredient, and solutions supplier. With this appointment, the Firm will oversee and coordinate Univar’s defense of product liability and toxic tort matters nationwide.
The Firm won an appeal on behalf of its client, a life insurance company, before the First Department of New York’s Appellate Division. The Firm had prevailed at the trial level on its motion to dismiss a complaint brought by the owner of two life insurance policies with a combined death benefit of $5 million. The policies’ owner sought to rescind the policies, based on purported misrepresentations and omissions made before he purchased them on the secondary market. Among other things, he also sought (i) a declaratory judgment that the Firm’s client be required to pay the death benefits on the policies when the insured died, even if the Firm’s client later found that the owner had engaged in fraud, and (ii) mandatory injunctive relief requiring the Firm’s client to explain to the owner how premiums on the policies were calculated. The First Department adopted each of the Firm's arguments, including that (i) the fraud claim was time barred, (ii) the declaratory judgment claim was not ripe where the Firm’s client had not taken a position on whether it intended to pay the death benefits on the policies, and (iii) the claim for mandatory injunctive relief was inappropriate where monetary relief was available.
Fishkin Lucks obtained a voluntary dismissal today of a whistleblower lawsuit brought in Atlantic County, NJ against our client, the state-appointed Monitor of the Pleasantville School District (the “District”). Plaintiff, an employee of the District, asserted claims against the District, Superintendent, Business Administrator and State Monitor, alleging that he was demoted and reassigned for reporting alleged improper conduct by District officials. Following receipt of the Firm’s motion to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim,plaintiff voluntarily agreed to dismiss all claims against our client with prejudice.
Fishkin Lucks and local Texas counsel secured a voluntary dismissal today of product liability claims brought in the District Court of Travis County, TX against our client, a leading manufacturer of integrated exterior wall systems and products. Plaintiff, the owner of the Hotel Van Zandt in Austin, Texas, had asserted claims against the architect and general contractor, alleging that they negligently designed and constructed the hotel, seeking over $10M in damages. The general contractor brought third-party claims against numerous subcontractors alleging faulty construction; and against our client, which manufactured the stucco products applied to the hotel’s exterior building envelope, asserting claims for contribution/indemnity and also alleging that our client had breached a materials warranty. Following discovery that stretched over 2 years, which included the production of hundreds of thousands of construction documents, numerous depositions, and a lengthy mediation, the Firm and local counsel moved for summary judgment on the ground that the evidence against our client was legally insufficient. Shortly after receipt of the motion, the general contractor voluntarily agreed to dismiss all claims against our client.
The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Arleo, J.) granted today the Firm’s motion to dismiss on behalf of its insurance carrier client. The case arose out of a premium dispute between the insured, a trade subcontractor, and different carrier,which issued the insured workers compensation insurance. That other carrier brought suit against the insured, alleging to be owed $1.4M in premiums. The insured argued in defense that the other carrier was improperly taking into account payroll for which workers’ compensation insurance was provided under an Owner Controlled Insurance Program (“OCIP”). The insured filed a third-party complaint against the Firm’s client, an alleged OCIP carrier,claiming that the Firm’s client failed to report that payroll. The District Court determined that the insured’s pleading failed both to state a cause of action against the Firm’s client or “specify what rights the Court must determine between the parties.”
Fishkin Lucks secured a voluntary dismissal today of all claims brought in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Cape May County, against our client, a leading designer and manufacturer of exterior wall systems and products. Plaintiff, the homeowners association of The Grand at Diamond Beach, a twelve-story, 125 unit ocean-front condominium complex located in Wildwood, New Jersey, brought claims against a developer, several contractors, a manufacturer of roofing/waterproofing membrane and flashings, and our client, seeking $1.75M plus costs and fees to remediate alleged systemic water infiltration issues throughout the complex. After rejecting requests for contribution toward a global resolution of the matter, we illustrated for the homeowners association how our client bore no responsibility for the alleged water infiltration, leading to the voluntary dismissal. Several weeks later, each of the remaining defendants contributed funds toward a global resolution of the matter.