AUSTIN, Texas - In an April 21 brief to the Texas Supreme Court, filed in response to a post-oral argument brief by the real parties in interest in a dispute over the discovery submission form for electronically stored information (ESI) in an insurance coverage lawsuit, an insurer argues that a trial court's requirement that ESI submission be in the form requested by the plaintiffs did not properly balance relevance, needs and burdens under Texas law (In re State Farm Lloyds, No. 15-0903, Texas Sup.).
HOUSTON - After determining that the amount in controversy met federal jurisdictional requirements, a Texas federal judge on April 20 refused to remand claims for breach of contract and fraud asserted by property owners against their mortgage lender (George Holland, et al. v. CitiMortgage Inc., No. 4:16-CV-3219, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60046).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 21 affirmed a Texas federal judge's ruling denying coverage for partial hospitalization for mental health treatment, saying that the judge properly reviewed the denial of coverage under an abuse-of-discretion standard (Ariana M. v. Humana Health Plan of Texas Inc., No. 16-20174, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 7072).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on April 19 remanded a class action lawsuit alleging groundwater contamination by a group of defendant chemical companies, ruling that the local exception to federal class action law applied (MD Haynes Inc. d/b/a Cici's Pizza, et al. v. Valero Marketing and Supply Co., et al., No. 17-6, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist., LEXIS 59495).
DALLAS - A Texas appeals panel on April 20 upheld a trial court judge's decision to revoke a woman's sentence for four years of community supervision and sentence her to 10 years in prison for insurance fraud, ruling that there was sufficient evidence showing that she committed a new offense of theft from an elderly person (Christine Zimmerman Shearer v. State of Texas, No. 05-16-00317-CR, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 3584).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 affirmed a federal judge's grant of summary judgment to the makers of a rifle because the product defect suit against them was time-barred by the Texas Statute of Repose (Edward Burdett v. Remington Arms Company LLC, et al., No. 16-11216, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6745).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although largely affirming a Texas federal judge's claim construction and denial of a Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. request for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) that two patents are invalid as obvious, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 17 nonetheless vacated a ruling that a patent owner's damages should not be limited on the basis of its failure to mark products as patented (Rembrandt Wireless Technologies L.P. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 16-1729, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6502).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 14 reversed summary judgment for a second time in a suit where an employee at a grocery store was injured while cleaning up a spill because there is a question of material fact over whether a cleaning product the store failed to provide him with would have prevented his fall (Randy J. Austin v. Kroger Texas L.P., No. 16-10502, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6479).
PITTSBURGH - There is neither sufficient cause nor subject matter jurisdiction to reopen the Chapter 11 case of Pittsburgh Corning Corp. (PCC) at the request of the company's asbestos trust to determine whether thousands of claims from a consolidated Texas litigation qualify for payment by the trust, the claimants told a Pennsylvania federal bankruptcy court April 14 (In re: Pittsburgh Corning Corporation, No. 00-22876, W.D. Pa. Bkcy.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Allegations that Apple Inc. infringed a patent claim directed to a means of sending packet data from a cellular telephone to a network through the use of a selected channel were properly rejected by a Texas federal judge and jury, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled April 14 (Core Wireless Licensing S.a.r.l. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-2037, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 6410).
HOUSTON - U.S. Steel Tubular Products Inc. (USSTP) has agreed to pay $150,000 to settle religious bias and retaliation claims after it revoked a job offer when the worker requested an alternate hair follicle drug test due to his religious beliefs, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced April 10 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. U.S. Steel Tubular Products, Inc., No. 14-2747, S.D. Texas).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on April 10 granted preliminary approval of a $10.5 million settlement between investors and one of the country's largest industrial, engineering and construction companies in a securities class action lawsuit alleging that the company and certain of its current and former senior officers misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws (In re KBR Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 14-1287, S.D. Texas).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on April 6 granted an excess liability insurer's motion for summary judgment after determining that the excess insurer has no duty to contribute to an insured's costs incurred as the result of an oil well blowout (Starnet Insurance Co., et al., v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 16-664, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53172).
WACO, Texas - After excluding testimony on damages for failing to determine whether property damage "is cosmetic or functional damage," a Texas federal judge on April 6 granted summary judgment to an insurer on breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and statutory claims but denied summary judgment on a breach of contract claim (Stephen Hahn v. United Fire and Casualty Co., No. 15-00218, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53178).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on April 6 affirmed a verdict in a premises liability suit in favor of a restaurant and its owner after finding that a woman who sued after her husband died from a fall on the restaurant's property did not present enough evidence to show that patio furniture was the dangerous condition that caused the fall (Margaret Kinsley v. Cartwright's Ranch House LLC, et al., No. 02-16-00149-CV, Texas App. 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 3032).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on April 7 held that a lower court erred when it disregarded a jury's answer to a question in a Hurricane Ike wind coverage dispute and the appeals court erred when it affirmed the trial court's judgment, reversing the court of appeals' judgment and remanding the case for a new trial (USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Gail Menchaca, No. 14-0721, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 361).
NEW ORLEANS - With no comment, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 5 denied an emergency motion filed by a consortium of eight national and Texas-based trade associations that sell annuities and other life insurance products for an injunction pending appeal of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new fiduciary duty rule (Chamber of Commerce of the USA, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., No. 17-10238, 5th Cir.).
TYLER, Texas - A Texas federal magistrate judge on April 1 granted and denied in part testimony from a noninfringement expert and an invalidity expert on the constructions of "metal film" and "gate wiring" in a patent infringement lawsuit (Eidos Display LLC and Eidos III LLC v. Chi Mei Innolux Corp., et al., No. 11-00201, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50167).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 31 granted preliminary approval of a $100 million securities class action settlement between investors and Halliburton Co. and its CEO who were alleged to have issued certain misrepresentations regarding the company's asbestos litigation liability, its financial condition and the benefits of a merger deal in violation of federal securities laws (The Erica P. John Fund Inc. v. Halliburton Co., et al., No. 02-1152, N.D. Texas).
TEXARKANA, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on March 31 affirmed a $700,000 verdict in a dog bite case after finding that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient for the jury to find that dog owners were grossly negligent in training and keeping their dog in their yard (Paula Kaye Turner, et al. v. Jennifer Duggin, No. 06-16-00046-CV, Texas App., 6th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2786).
BOSTON - A Kentucky-based steakhouse chain will pay $12 million to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of class of applicants who allegedly have been denied positions due to their ages, the EEOC announced March 31 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Texas Roadhouse, Inc., et al., No. 11-11732, D. Mass.).
GALVESTON, Texas - After finding that the true party to a lawsuit filed by a borrower in relation to a lien on its property was a business trust and not bank, a Texas federal court remanded a case to state court for lack of jurisdiction (Pechua Inc. v. America's Wholesale Lender, et al., No. 3:16-CV-364, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47486).