NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 26 held that a Texas federal judge erred in holding that a consolidated Employee Retirement Income Security Act action against BP PLC that was filed after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill satisfies the pleading standard set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer (134 S. Ct. 2459 ) because the complaint failed to propose an alternative course of action that a prudent fiduciary would recognize was more likely to help a retirement fund than harm it (Ralph Whitley, et al. v. BP PLC, et al., No. 15-20282, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17501).
TYLER, Texas - A doctor who was recently resentenced to 135 months in prison for submitting false claims to Medicare and Medicaid was ordered by a federal judge in Texas on Sept. 26 to pay $1.3 million to the government for violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) (United States of America v. Tariq Mahmood, No. 15-cv-948, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141158).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 20 affirmed a Texas federal court's award of $3,728,613.91 in a wage-and-hour suit brought by truck drivers (Nicole Olibas, et al. v. John Barclay, et al., Reginald E. Williams, et al. v. Native Oilfield Services, L.L.C., et al., No. 15-10919, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17359).
HOUSTON - An insured is not entitled to coverage under a one-year casualty insurance policy for losses as the result of a burglary because the insured failed to pay the premium by the required deadline, failed to disclose that he has filed similar claims under the terms of a previous policy and failed to properly maintain his business's security system, a federal judge in Texas ruled Sept. 22 (Perfit Vision, et al. v. Mount Vernon Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-408, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129865).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 vacated a Texas federal judge's denial of enhanced damages in a patent infringement dispute (WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., Nos. 2013-1527, 2014-1121, -1526, -1528, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 17215).
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Sept. 19 ordered parties involved in a disability benefits dispute to submit additional briefing on whether a discretionary clause, included in a disability plan that was issued in the State of Texas, is valid in the State of Washington where the claimant resides (Anthony Flaaen v. McLane Co. Inc., et al., No. 15-5899, W.D. Wash.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127448).
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer reported to a Texas court on Sept. 15 the financial status of the liquidation estate and outlined details of reinsurance recoverables and recoveries (The State of Texas v. San Antonio Indemnity Company, No. D-1-GV-13-001153, Texas, 201st Dist., Travis Co.).
TYLER, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Sept. 15 resentenced a doctor to 135 months in prison and ordered him to pay $145,358.23 in restitution to Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas after the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction (United States of America v. Tariq Mahmood, No. 13-cr-00032, E.D. Texas).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on Sept. 15 denied an insurer's motions to dismiss and for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that the insurer failed to plead, in detail, each of an insured's claims it seeks to dismiss (David Giboney v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co., No. 15-3073, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125440).
DALLAS - Efforts by a copyright infringement and false advertising plaintiff to obtain a temporary restraining order barring the construction of a single-family home were unsuccessful Sept. 16, when a Texas federal judge denied the request (The Joseph Paul Corporation d/b/a The Joseph Paul Homes v. Trademark Custom Homes, Inc., et al., No. 16-1651, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126206).
TYLER, Texas - After a seven-day trial in Texas federal court, a jury on Sept. 14 found that Apple Inc. infringed the asserted claims of a patent related to a method for detecting buffer status conditions, awarding the patentee more than $22 million (Cellular Communications Equipment LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 6:14-cv-00251, E.D. Texas).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge did not err in denying certification of three classes of Super Bowl XLV ticketholders bringing various claims related to seating issues at the 2011 football game, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 9 (Bruce Ibe, et al. v. Jerral Wayne Jones, et al., Ken Laffin, et al. v. National Football League, et al., No. 15-10242, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 16583).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court in a Sept. 2 pronouncement granted relators' petition to review a lower court's ruling compelling them to respond to discovery requests concerning their attorney fees in a multidistrict litigation hailstorm property damage coverage dispute (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., Wardlaw Claims Service Inc. and Ideal Adjusting Inc., No. 15-0591, Texas Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court granted a directors and officers liability insurer's petition to review an appeals court's finding that an insured vs. insured policy exclusion is inapplicable, according to its orders pronounced Sept. 2 (Great American Insurance Co. v. Robert Primo, No. 15-0317, Texas Sup.).
TYLER, Texas - A woman's letter to a premises owner to investigate potential asbestos and mold contamination she claimed was sickening workers rises above suspicion and started the statute of limitations, a federal magistrate judge in Texas held Aug. 31 in granting summary judgment (Marci Jones v. Andy Anderson, et al., No. 14-366, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117069).
DALLAS - A Texas state court jury on Aug. 30 found that a doctor at a hospital in Texas was negligent while caring for a patient who went into a coma and suffered brain damage that led to her death (Caden Clark v. Jennifer Marye Burris M.D., et al., No. CC-14-06294-C, Texas, Dallas Co., No. 3).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Third District Texas Court of Appeals on Aug. 30 reversed and remanded a lower court decision dismissing the claims of a woman who was involved in an auto accident against a woman insured by an insolvent insurer, finding that the lower court had abused its discretion by dismissing the claims based on a discovery noncompliance (Crystal Bingham Hernandez v. Tiffany Polley, No. 03-15-00384-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 9526).
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - A Canadian mining firm on Aug. 31 announced in a news release that an arbitrator has issued an award in its favor, ordering a Texas entity and its Mexican affiliate to pay it $468,726.92 in costs and expenses that were incurred while challenging the arbitrability of a dispute in Mexico (Goldgroup Mining Inc. v. Dyna USA Inc., et al., No. No. 50-20-1400-0226, ICDR).
TYLER, Texas - Determining that a securities class action lawsuit meets the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a) and 23(b)(2) requirements for class certification, a federal magistrate judge in Texas on Aug. 29 recommended that a class certification motion be granted and a pension fund be appointed as lead plaintiff (Alan B. Marcus v. J.C. Penney Co. Inc., et al., No. 13-0736, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115795).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A defendant has failed to show "where, how and why" a plaintiff's planned fiberglass utility body (FUB) would infringe any protectable trade dress belonging to the defendant, thereby entitling the plaintiff to a declaration of noninfringement, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 29 (Industrial Models Inc. v. SNF Inc., et al., No. 15-689, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115644).
DALLAS - Although two commercial general liability insurers have a duty to indemnify insureds for an underlying construction defects arbitration award, a Texas appeals panel ruled Aug. 25 that a trial court erred in finding that the insurers are jointly and severally liable for the $2.4 million award (Great American Lloyds Insurance Co. and Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Vines-Herrin Custom LLC, et al., No. 05-15-00230, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 9407).