LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Banking & Finance - Texas Federal Judge: Mortgage Modification Suit Fails For No Showing Of Harm

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on March 8 granted a motion to dismiss a case filed by mortgage borrowers who allege that their request for a loan modification was not acted upon, finding that the borrowers failed to show harm (Ryan L. Reed, et al. v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, No. 16-17, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29776).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - New Jersey Federal Judge Denies Dismissal In ERISA Case

TRENTON, N.J. - Efforts by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and ExpressJet Airlines to obtain dismissal of an out-of-network health care provider's allegation of Employee Retirement Income Security Act violations were unsuccessful March 7, when a New Jersey federal judge ruled instead that the case should proceed (Atlantic Orthopaedic Associates LLC v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, et al., No. 15-1854, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29360).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 5th Circuit Vacates Preliminary Injunction In Dispute Over Band Name

NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge erroneously concluded that two plaintiffs satisfied the elements required for a preliminary injunction when he ordered a trademark infringement defendant to transfer control of a Facebook account to his former managers, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 8 (Emerald City Management LLC and Emerald City Band Inc. v. Jordan Kahn and Jordan Kahn Music Company LLC, No. 15-40446, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Appeals Court Reverses Ruling That Court Had No Jurisdiction Over Engineer

WACO, Texas - A Texas Court of Appeals panel on March 3 reversed a trial court's decision that it has no jurisdiction over a construction company's third-party complaint against an out-of-state engineer hired to help repair a building's construction defects, holding that the engineer had sufficient contacts with the state to warrant the court's jurisdiction (Ryan Companies U.S., Inc., d/b/a Ryan Midwest Construction Company v. Thomas E. Notch, d/b/a Notch Engineering Company, No. 10-15-00337-CV, Texas App, 10th Dist.; 2016 Texas App. LEXIS 2327).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Recognizes New Privilege For Patent Agents

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's order compelling the production of communications held by Queen's University at Kingston with its non-attorney patent agents was ordered withdrawn March 7 by a divided Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (In re: Queen's University at Kingston, No. 15-145, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 4259).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Texas Judge OKs $9 Million Payment From Insurer's Receivership To Asbestos Trust

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.).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas Judge OKs $9 Million Payment From Insurer's Receivership To Asbestos Trust

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.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Names Master To Make Recommendations About Title Insurer's Receivership

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.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Orders Man To Reimburse Insurer $107,148 For Fraudulent Claims

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Allows Former Police Officer's Testimony In Constitutional Rights Suit

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Judge Sides With EBay, Says Invention Is Patent Ineligible

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).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 5th Circuit Finds Wells Fargo Did Not Wrongfully Foreclose On Property

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).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Court Nixes Silica Plaintiffs' Texas Constitution Challenge To Medical Report Law

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).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Court Nixes Silica Plaintiffs' Texas Constitution Challenge To Medical Report Law

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Magistrate Judge Won't Transfer Patent Case To Massachusetts Court

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).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Declines To Exclude Report On Damages In Wrongful Termination Suit

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Declines To Exclude Report On Damages In Wrongful Termination Suit

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Insureds Failed To Plead Issue Of Material Fact In Bad Faith Suit, Judge Rules

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Says Damages Expert Allowed To Testify Report In Breach Of Contract Suit

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).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Court Finds Health Care Providers Were Not Negligent, Reverses Ruling

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).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Finds Water Exclusion Bars Insured's Damage From Failed Pipe

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 5th Circuit Refuses To Review Decision Granting Motion To Compel

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).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge Grants Summary Judgment In Favor Of SEC In Securities Fraud Suit

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).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Special Deputy Receiver Asks Court To OK $9 Million Payment To Asbestos Trust

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.).

Mealey's Insurance - Parties Settle Gas Well Blowout Coverage Dispute; Insurers' Appeal Dismissed

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.).