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Daily Decision Service Alert: Vol. 21, No. 220 ? November 12, 2012
New Jersey Law Journal
FEDERAL COURT CASES
42-7-8168 Gvildys v. Beukas, Dist. Ct. (Chesler, U.S.D.J.) (6 pp.) This dispute concerns whether certain debts are dischargeable in bankruptcy. The debts in question arose out of business dealings between Plaintiff Dr. Gvildys and Appellees husband, Stephen Beukas. Dr. Gvildys and Mr. Beukas were partners in a mobile dental practice. Dr. Gvildys filed an adversarial action to have the debts owed to her by the Beukases declared non-dischargeable under various subsections of 11 U.S.C. § 727(a), which provide for non-dischargeability where the debtor engaged in certain wrongful conduct. Dr. Gvildys moved for summary judgment before the Bankruptcy Court. Mrs. Beukas cross-moved to dismiss the claims against her. The Bankruptcy Court granted Dr. Gvildys motion for summary judgment against Mr. Beukas. The Bankruptcy Court denied Dr. Gvildyss motion as to Mrs. Beukas and granted Mrs. Beukass cross-motion to dismiss. Dr. Gvildys appeals the portion of the order granting Mrs. Beukass cross-motion to dismiss. The Court concludes that the complaint makes no specific allegations against Mrs. Beukas that are sufficient to state a plausible claim that any of the § 727(a) exceptions to the dischargeability of debt apply. The Court affirms the Bankruptcy Courts decision to dismiss the claims against Mrs. Beukas with prejudice. [Filed November 9, 2012]
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PATENTS
53-7-8169 Microsoft Corporation v. LBS Innovations LLC, Dist. Ct. (Dickson, U.S.M.J.) (7 pp.) Defendants LBS Innovations, LLC, a New Jersey Limited Liability Company, and LBS Innovations, LLC, a Texas Limited Liability Company (together LBSI), seek dismissal and/or transfer of this action wherein Plaintiff Microsoft Corporation sought a declaratory judgment on noninfringement and invalidity of U.S. Patent No. 6,091,956 (the 956 Patent). Microsoft contends that LBSI sued several Microsoft customers in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging those customers infringed the 956 Patent by using Microsofts Bing Maps web-mapping services on their websites. Microsoft filed this action to protect its product by obtaining a declaratory judgment that its Bing Maps Services do not infringe the 956 Patent. LBSI argues dismissal is appropriate because LBSI never contended that the defendants in the Texas Actions infringed the 956 Patent based on their use of any product or service provided by Microsoft. The Court finds this action could have been properly brought in the Eastern District of Texas. In addition, to avoid duplicative judicial effort and potential inconsistent rulings, the issues raised by Plaintiff will be better resolved by the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which has begun the process of determining whether Plaintiffs customers infringed Defendants 956 Patent. Defendants motion to transfer is granted. It is further recommended that Defendants motion to dismiss be denied without prejudice. [Filed November 8, 2012]
LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT EMPLOYEE BENEFITS ERISA
25-7-8170 Demaria, D.C. v. Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc., Dist. Ct. (Martini, U.S.D.J.) (7 pp.) Plaintiffs brought this putative class action on behalf of themselves and all other similarly-situated chiropractic physicians. Defendants Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc. and Horizon Healthcare of New Jersey, Inc. underwrite and/or administer the health insurance benefits of more than 3.6 million persons in New Jersey (Plan Participants) through employer-sponsored, individual and governmental health insurance coverage plans (Plans). Plaintiffs regularly provide four types of chiropractic treatments to Plan Participants and allege that Horizon systemically and improperly denied their insurance benefit claims for certain services. Counts One and Two of the complaint allege violations of § 502(a) of ERISA; the remaining counts allege violations of New Jersey state law. Horizon moves for dismissal, asserting Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that they have standing to assert claims against Horizon for its alleged § 502(a) ERISA violations. Plaintiffs vague references to a common practice and purported assignment by Plan Participants does not satisfy their burden to demonstrate standing to bring claims under § 502(a) of ERISA. The Court grants Horizons motion to dismiss Counts One and Two and declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claims. [Filed November 9, 2012]