Welch Foods Inc. is demanding that two of its insurers, Zurich American Insurance Company and National Union Fire Insurance Company (an AIG company) pay to defend and indemnify Welch's for two separate lawsuits that wrongfully challenge the marketing of ìWelch's 100% Juice White Grape Pomegranate Flavored 3 Juice Blend From Concentrate With Added Ingredients.î
The well-known U.S. maker of popular jams, jellies, juices and other fruit-based foods filed a lawsuit on December 8, 2009 in a Massachusetts federal court, asserting that its insurers must pay the costs of defending two separate California suits involving the blended juice product.
Richard D. Milone, a partner in Kelley Drye & Warren LLP's Insurance Recovery Group, who represents Welch's in its claim against its insurers said, "The California lawsuits against Welch's are baseless." Mr. Milone noted that the insurers' refusal to defend violates their contracts because "under Massachusetts law, an insurer must defend any suit that potentially falls within the scope of its policy. The allegations of the two suits, even though false, fall squarely within the scope of both insurers' policies."
Mr. Milone specializes in insurance recovery for intellectual property, false advertising, and similar commercial claims, and is available to discuss this lawsuit and its wider implications on insurance coverage for companies battling false advertising and similar claims.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice John A. Cataldo vacated the conviction of Fernando Bermudez for the 1991 murder of Raymond Blount at the Marc Ballroom in New York City.
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP partner Alan R. Kaufman, who is the former chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, New Jersey attorney Lesley Risinger, the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, and Barry J. Pollack of Miller & Chevalier in Washington, D.C. provided pro bono representation for Mr. Bermudez.
Judge Cataldo's decision was a complete victory for the defendant.
The defendant's motion to vacate his conviction was granted on the grounds of newly discovered evidence; that material evidence at the trial was false or should have been known by the prosecutor to be false; and unduly suggestive identification procedures took place which violated the defendant's state and federal constitutional rights.
Mr. Bermudez had been in prison in Sing Sing for 18 years for the murder. He consistently maintained that he was never at the scene of the crime. He had presented multiple alibi witnesses. No forensic evidence, no blood, no fingerprints, no DNA evidence connected Mr. Bermudez to the murder. The conviction was based solely on the evidence of eyewitnesses who later recanted their testimony.