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The Fourth Circuit reversed the district court's order granting Norfolk Southern's motion to confirm an arbitration award. The court held that the award was not mutual, final, and definite as required by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In this case, the district court erred in finding that the Majority Decision was a final arbitration award where the third appraiser reserved the right to withdraw his assent if his assumptions proved to be incorrect. The court noted that the district court did not err in confirming the Majority Opinion because of an ambiguity rendering it unenforceable and the third appraiser did not base his decision on an improper reason. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Sprint Communications Co." on Justia Law

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The Fourth Circuit reversed the district court's order granting Norfolk Southern's motion to confirm an arbitration award. The court held that the award was not mutual, final, and definite as required by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). In this case, the district court erred in finding that the Majority Decision was a final arbitration award where the third appraiser reserved the right to withdraw his assent if his assumptions proved to be incorrect. The court noted that the district court did not err in confirming the Majority Opinion because of an ambiguity rendering it unenforceable and the third appraiser did not base his decision on an improper reason. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings. View "Norfolk Southern Railway Co. v. Sprint Communications Co." on Justia Law

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In these appeals arising from the dismissal of a securities fraud class action complaint, the complaint alleged that the Company conjured up and carried out a scheme that enabled surgeons to utilize the AxiaLIF system and secure fraudulent reimbursements from various health insurers and government-funded healthcare programs. In regard to appeal No. 15-2579, the Fourth Circuit held that the Complaint satisfied the misrepresentation and scienter elements of the section 10(b) claim of the Securities Exchange Act. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's ruling holding otherwise. In regard to appeal No. 16-1019, the court affirmed the district court's ruling that the complaint sufficiently alleged the loss causation element. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Singer v. Reali" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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In these appeals arising from the dismissal of a securities fraud class action complaint, the complaint alleged that the Company conjured up and carried out a scheme that enabled surgeons to utilize the AxiaLIF system and secure fraudulent reimbursements from various health insurers and government-funded healthcare programs. In regard to appeal No. 15-2579, the Fourth Circuit held that the Complaint satisfied the misrepresentation and scienter elements of the section 10(b) claim of the Securities Exchange Act. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's ruling holding otherwise. In regard to appeal No. 16-1019, the court affirmed the district court's ruling that the complaint sufficiently alleged the loss causation element. The court remanded for further proceedings. View "Singer v. Reali" on Justia Law

Posted in: Securities Law

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The Fourth Circuit affirmed the bankruptcy court's denial of the receiver's motion to dismiss creditor's bankruptcy petition for cause under 11 U.S.C. 707(a). The court held that the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to dismiss where creditor's decision to file for bankruptcy did not arise to the level of bad faith. The court noted that the standard of review was of paramount importance here where the court did not ask whether it necessarily would have reached the same result as the bankruptcy court, but did note the bankruptcy court's greater familiarity with creditor's case and the fact that the bankruptcy court gave good and sound reasons for ruling as it did. View "Janvey v. Romero" on Justia Law

Posted in: Bankruptcy

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The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for the Government in a civil forfeiture case. The government claimed that $200,000 in cash discovered in a storage unit was subject to forfeiture because the cash was connected to the exchange of a controlled substance. The court held that, although claimants in civil forfeiture cases need only show a colorable interest in the property to have standing, the undisputed record evidence here established that claimant lacked such an interest. In this case, claimant presented no objective evidence showing that he accumulated the money found in his brother's storage unit. View "United States v. Phillips" on Justia Law

Posted in: Criminal Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against ASIC, alleging that its conduct in handling her insurance claim constituted an unfair claims settlement practice in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. 58-63-15(11), and, as a matter of law, an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. 75-1.1. The Fourth Circuit held that because North Carolina law required ASIC to appoint and authorize the Commissioner as its agent for service of process as a condition of writing insurance in the state, and because this was the only authority ASIC provided the Commissioner, the Commissioner was merely ASIC's statutory agent for service of process; service on a statutory agent was not service on the defendant within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. 1446(b); the district court did not err in determining that ASIC timely filed notice of removal and in denying plaintiff's motion for remand based on her allegations of untimely filing; diversity jurisdiction existed and the district court did not err in denying plaintiff's motion for remand based on an alleged lack of subject matter jurisdiction; and the district court did not err in granting ASIC's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. View "Elliott v. American States Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against ASIC, alleging that its conduct in handling her insurance claim constituted an unfair claims settlement practice in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. 58-63-15(11), and, as a matter of law, an unfair and deceptive trade practice in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. 75-1.1. The Fourth Circuit held that because North Carolina law required ASIC to appoint and authorize the Commissioner as its agent for service of process as a condition of writing insurance in the state, and because this was the only authority ASIC provided the Commissioner, the Commissioner was merely ASIC's statutory agent for service of process; service on a statutory agent was not service on the defendant within the meaning of 28 U.S.C. 1446(b); the district court did not err in determining that ASIC timely filed notice of removal and in denying plaintiff's motion for remand based on her allegations of untimely filing; diversity jurisdiction existed and the district court did not err in denying plaintiff's motion for remand based on an alleged lack of subject matter jurisdiction; and the district court did not err in granting ASIC's Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. View "Elliott v. American States Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Insurance Law

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After sustaining serious internal injuries in a personal watercraft (PWC) accident, plaintiff filed suit against the manufacturers of the PWC (Yamaha). On appeal, plaintiff argued that the district court erred in requiring expert testimony on her claims and in failing to conduct an appropriate Daubert analysis before excluding her expert's testimony. The Fourth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded the expert's inadequate warning opinion and the district court properly concluded that the PWC's warnings were adequate as a matter of law. In this case, plaintiff based her claims of strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranties on theories of warning and design defects. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Yamaha on all claims because the record was devoid of admissible evidence on either theory of defect. View "Hickerson v. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A." on Justia Law

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After sustaining serious internal injuries in a personal watercraft (PWC) accident, plaintiff filed suit against the manufacturers of the PWC (Yamaha). On appeal, plaintiff argued that the district court erred in requiring expert testimony on her claims and in failing to conduct an appropriate Daubert analysis before excluding her expert's testimony. The Fourth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion when it excluded the expert's inadequate warning opinion and the district court properly concluded that the PWC's warnings were adequate as a matter of law. In this case, plaintiff based her claims of strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranties on theories of warning and design defects. The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Yamaha on all claims because the record was devoid of admissible evidence on either theory of defect. View "Hickerson v. Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A." on Justia Law