AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas judge on March 1 approved an agreement between an insurer's receivership estate and a trust set up to deal with asbestos related claims against a company in bankruptcy (State of Texas v. Highlands Insurance Company, No. D-1-GV-03-004537, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas judge on March 1 appointed a master to make recommendations regarding a number of actions that could come before the court during a title insurer's receivership proceeding (The State of Texas v. Millennium Closing Services LLC d/b/a Millennium Title, No. D-1-GN-16-000360, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
AUSTIN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on March 3 ordered a man to reimburse his insurer for $107,148.89 in payments it made to him for claims that were fraudulently submitted for the "loss of use" of his home as it was being repaired for water damage, holding that the policy at issue allows the insurer to seek reimbursement for claims based on fraud (Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana v. Charles Igwe, No. AU-14-587-DAE, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26868).
HOUSTON - A former police officer may testify in a constitutional rights lawsuit about how an officer should have acted differently in a fatal shooting where a man was unarmed, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 29 (Audry L. Releford Jr., et al. v. City of Houston, et al., No. 14-2810, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24729).
AUSTIN, Texas - A method of conveying email messages whereby the address field differs from the unique address of an intended recipient claims ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 29 (A Pty Ltd. v. eBay Inc., No. 15-155, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24196).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 26 affirmed a district court's dismissal of a former property owner's claims for breach of contract, violation of Texas law and other claims, finding that a bank properly foreclosed on her property (Zaida Villarreal v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 15-40243, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3481).
HOUSTON - Plaintiffs' motion to enjoin a judge from enforcing legislatively enacted medical requirements appears to ask a judge to enjoin himself and thus seeks the wrong type of relief, a Texas appeals court panel held in affirming denial of the motion Feb. 25 (In re: Texas State Silica Products Liability Litigation, No. 01-15-00251-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 1965).
MARSHALL, Texas - Cisco Systems Inc. will face allegations of patent infringement in Texas, a federal magistrate judge there ruled Feb. 24 (SSL Services LLC v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 15-433, E.D. Texas.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22250).
SHERMAN, Texas - A plaintiff in a wrongful termination case against his former employers complied with Rule 26 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure when submitting an expert report on loss of income and benefits, as well as past and future damages, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 23, denying a motion to bar the report (Scott Butler v. American Heritage Life Insurance Co. and Allstate Insurance Co., No. 13-199, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21571).
McALLEN, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 22 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that insureds have failed to raise an issue of material fact with regard to their breach of contract claim and thus cannot state a claim for relief with regard to their extracontractual claims (Mark Dizdar, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 14-664, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20871).
DALLAS - A damages expert may testify on only one of two reports filed in a breach of contract lawsuit between parties involved in the merchants and credit card issuers industry, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 19, finding that the one report was untimely filed (BCC Merchant Solutions, Inc. v. JetPay, LLC, et al., No. 12-5185, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20710).
BEAUMONT, Texas - After finding no wanton or willful negligence on the part of three health care providers in relation to an alleged misdiagnosis of a patient, a Texas appeals court on Feb. 18 reversed a decision granting summary judgment in favor of the patient and his mother (Victor Ho, et al. v. Jennifer Lee Johnson, et al., No. 09-15-00077, Texas App., 9th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 1668).
HOUSTON - A commercial property insurance policy's water exclusion endorsement precludes coverage for water damage from a failed pipe that does not qualify as personal property, a Texas federal judge ruled Feb. 19, granting summary judgment to an insurer on breach of contract and bad faith claims (Praetorian Insurance Co. v. Arabia Shrine Center Houston, No. 14-3281, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20186).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 found that it lacked jurisdiction to review an appeal of an order compelling arbitration of claims asserted by oil and drilling entities but remanded claims asserted against other entities to a Texas state court (Rasheed Al Rushaid, et al. v. National Oilwell Varco Inc., et al., No. 15-20260, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 2716).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 17 granted the Securities and Exchange Commission's motion for summary judgment in a securities fraud lawsuit, ruling that the SEC has provided sufficient evidence in seeking disgorgement of all ill-gotten gains received by an attorney as part of his role in two securities offerings (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Gregory G. Jones, No. 15-438, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18811).
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insurer in rehabilitation asked a Texas court on Feb. 16 to approve a nearly $9 million payment to an asbestos bodily injury trust (State of Texas v. Highlands Insurance Company, No. D-1-GV-03-004537, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Feb. 12 dismissed an insurer's petition for review after the parties notified the high court that they settled the dispute arising out of coverage for damages associated with the blowout of an insured's gas well (St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Co., et al. v. Petroplex Energy Inc., No. 15-0805, Texas Sup.).
HOUSTON - A trial court did not err in allowing a police officer to testify as an expert witness on the issue of gang membership and in admitting photographs of various gang symbols, a Texas appeals panel ruled Feb. 11, affirming convictions (Jeremy Dion Washington v. The State of Texas, No. 01-13-00227, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 1451).
ORLANDO, Fla. - A Florida federal magistrate judge, applying Texas law, on Feb. 12 granted an umbrella liability insurer's motion for summary judgment after determining that the umbrella policy's pollution exclusion clearly bars coverage for injuries arising out of carbon monoxide poisoning regardless of what caused the carbon monoxide to seep into the hotel guests' room (Kenneth E. Shaw, et al. v. Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-686, M.D. Fla.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17626).
DALLAS - Johnson & Johnson on Feb. 9 offered to avoid having witnesses testify in a Texas federal court Pinnacle hip case about its 2011 deferred prosecution agreement and $21 million criminal penalty by stipulating to a letter about the deal from the U.S. Justice Department (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Product Liability Litigation, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
MARSHALL, Texas - An expert may not testify that a patent owner "deliberately misled the patent office," a Texas federal magistrate judge held Feb. 7, granting in part a motion to exclude the testimony in a patent infringement lawsuit (Emmanuel C. Gonzalez v. Infostream Group, Inc., et al., No. 14-906, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14604).