NEW YORK - The U.S. Department of Justice and several states on Dec. 30 opposed Apple Inc.'s motion requesting a stay of the appointment of an external compliance monitor pending Apple's appeal to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a ruling that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books (United States of America v. Apple Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 2826, S.D. N.Y.; State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group $(USA$) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.).
FORT WORTH, Texas - The Second District Texas Court of Appeals on Dec. 19 affirmed a trial court's decision to deny a motion to dismiss filed by an engineering firm named as a defendant in a construction defects case, concluding that the plaintiffs did not need to provide a certificate of merit (RCS Enterprises LP, et al. v. Darrell G. Hilton, et al., No. 02-12-00233-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 15315).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 19 partially vacated the rejection of a former Texas county employee's suit over her termination and remanded, ordering the district court to decide whether it should exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff's appeal of her grievance denied by the Nueces County Civil Service Commission (Maria Angela Vasquez v. Nueces County, Texas, No. 13-40453, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 25220).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Dec. 16 awarded summary judgment to CitiMortgage Inc. (CMI) on a plaintiff's claim for fraud after finding that the man failed to present any evidence to support his allegation (Phillip Martinez v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. H-13-0727, S.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 176176).
DALLAS - The Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals on Dec. 12 affirmed summary judgment for the defendants in a wrongful death action, agreeing that they were not responsible for a man's fatal fall at a construction site (Pedro Gonzalez, et al. v. Vatr Construction LLC, et al., No. 05-12-00277-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 15056).
EL PASO, Texas - The Eighth District Texas Court of Appeals on Dec. 11 upheld a defense verdict in a personal injury case involving a fall from a broken ladder, concluding that the plaintiff failed to present sufficient evidence that a new trial was warranted (Bradley Scott Edwards v. Robert E. Edwards, No. 08-12-00032-CV, Texas App., 8th Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 14918).
WACO, Texas - The 10th District Texas Court of Appeals on Dec. 5 rejected an insured's argument that she did not receive a fair and honest trial in her suit seeking additional damages for mold contamination after determining that the insured failed to present sufficient evidence in support of her argument (Wanda M. Page v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 10-12-00317, Texas App., 10th Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 14779).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 9 vacated a judgment by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas that denied transfer of a patent dispute to New York federal court (Broadcom Inc. v. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, et al., No, 12-1475, U.S. Sup.).
TYLER, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Dec. 3 granted in part a request by two defendants to strike three sets of infringement contentions contained within an amended patent complaint (UltimatePointer LLC v. Nintendo Co. Ltd. et al, No. 11-496, E.D. Texas.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge did not err in refusing to remand a dispute over property seized by U.S. marshals as a judgment for copyright and trademark infringement, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 27 (Sean Ortega v. Young Again Products Inc., et al., No. 12-20592, 5th Cir.).
SHERMAN, Texas - In light of the plaintiff homeowners' failure to respond to their insurer's summary judgment motions in a case surrounding purported damages from a toilet overflow, a Texas federal magistrate judge on Nov. 25 recommended that summary judgment be granted in the insurer's favor (Keith Smith, et al. v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, No. 4:12-cv-00486, E.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166933).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 19 conditionally certified a class of security guards working for the same company, some as employees and some as independent contractors, in a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) suit seeking unpaid overtime (Ibrahim Abdur-Rahim, et al. v. Amerom, Inc., et al., No. 13-2105, S.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164221).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Making the State of Missouri wait for a $5 million settlement payment for cleanup of a polluted lead smelter site until Chapter 11 debtor ASARCO LLC finds out whether the settlement amount can be set off from any judgment ASARCO receives in a separate action would be "illogical and inequitable," a Texas federal bankruptcy judge held Nov. 19 in granting Missouri summary judgment and ordering ASARCO to allocate the funds to the state (In re: ASARCO LLC, et al., No. 05-21207, S.D. Texas Bkcy.; 2013 Bankr. LEXIS 4901).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. on Nov. 15 moved to dismiss an action by the attorneys general of several states which alleges that Apple conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, arguing that the district court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the states' damages action against Apple because the states have not suffered any injury-in-fact and, therefore, do not have constitutional standing (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, 11-MD-2293, S.D. N.Y. $(State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12 Civ. 3394, S.D. N.Y.$)).
DALLAS - The Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals on Nov. 18 affirmed a trial court's decision denying a motion to compel arbitration filed by the defendant in a construction defects case, concluding that the plaintiffs "met their burden of establishing appellants waived arbitration by substantially invoking the judicial process" (Ideal Roofing Inc., et al. v. Mike Armbruster, et al., No. 05-13-00446-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 14096).
SHERMAN, Texas - There is no professional liability coverage for an underlying claim against a title company insured because the claim was made before the inception of the policy, a Texas federal judge ruled Nov. 15, granting the insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings (Regency Title Company LLC v. Westchester Fire Insurance Co., et al., No. 4:11-cv-390, E.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162772).
WACO, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Nov. 15 stayed a dispute between the owner of a nightclub and a woman involved in an accident with a drunk patron, pending the rehabilitation proceedings of the nightclub's insolvent insurer (In re Arcababa d/b/a OK Corral, No. 10-13-00097-CV, Texas App., 10th Dist.; 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 14087).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 15 dismissed a lawsuit brought by plaintiffs attempting to block a forced sale on their home after finding that their claims that their mortgage loan did not comply with the Texas Constitution because it exceeded 80 percent of the fair market value of the property were barred by a four-year statute of limitations (Diann Iacobucci, et al. v. Wells Fargo N.A., et al., No. 13-CV-1425-B, N.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163357).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 18 that a federal judge in Texas did not err in denying a plaintiff's motion to remand his debt collections lawsuit and subsequently awarding summary judgment to the defendants, ruling that the judge did not commit a reversible error by failing to consider the man's amended pleading (Noel T. Connell v. CitiMortgage Inc., et al., No. 13-20192, 5th Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 14 held that underlying claims trigger the potential for municipal liability "independent of any just-compensation liability arising out of" an underlying inverse condemnation lawsuit against an insured, reversing and remanding a lower federal court's finding that the insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify (City of College Station, Texas v. Star Insurance Co., No. 12-20746, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 23040).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal court judge erred in reducing an award of costs to an employer that prevailed in a wage-and-hour suit based on the difference between the employer's and employees' wealth, a split Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 12 (Steve Moore, et al. v. CITGO Refining and Chemicals Company, L.P., No. 12-41175, 5th Cir.; 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 22834).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 12 held that an insurance company's claim notes created after it received a letter from a customer's client asking the company to fund a settlement that would exceed the limits of a policy the plaintiff company had with the client were sufficient for the insurer to anticipate litigation with the client (OneBeacon Insurance Company v. T. Wade Welch & Associates, et al., No. H-11-3061, S.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161083).
DALLAS - A False Claims Act (FCA) complaint filed on behalf of the U.S. government by the bidder on a promissory note that passed to Branch Banking and Trust Co. (BB&T) after the failure of Colonial BancGroup Inc. falls short, a federal judge ruled Nov. 12, finding that the bidder failed to "state . . . a plausible fact-based theory showing that BB&T even submitted a false or fraudulent claim under the FCA" (United States of America ex rel. Mark Wismer v. Branch Banking and Trust Co., No. 12-1894, N.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160791).
FORT WORTH, Texas - Bankrupt AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines Inc., on Nov. 12 announced through its website that it had settled the anti-trust litigation brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) such that American Airlines will be able to merge with US Airways Group Inc. The DOJ had contended that the merger, which was a main component of American Airlines' Chapter 11 reorganization plan, violated federal law (United States of America v. US Airways Group Inc., et al., No. 13-01236, D. D.C.).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 7 adopted a magistrate judge's report and recommendation to dismiss a corporation's petition to confirm an international arbitration award issued in its favor and against the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, but stayed the case pending the outcome of a request to set aside the award in Paris (Fitzpatrick International Limited v. The Republic of Equatorial Guinea, No. 12-1300, S.D. Texas; 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160522).