AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer asked a Texas court on July 15 to approve a settlement between a homeowner and the receivership estate of an insolvent insurer of the homeowner's fire damage claim (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on July 19 declined to rehear an asbestos case in which it found that a nine-year gap in accepting a settlement offer did not doom the claim, turning away Union Carbide Corp.'s warning that the ruling "risks creating a dangerous precedent" (Union Carbide Corp. v. Perry Jones, Rosemary Allegria, et al., No. 01-14-00574-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
SHERMAN, Texas - An infringement plaintiff's affirmative defenses of unclean hands and estoppel in response to a defendant's counterclaim for cancellation of various trademarks were properly rejected by a Texas federal magistrate judge, a Texas federal judge concluded July 16 (Neal Technologies Inc. v. Unite Motorsports Inc., No. 15-385, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92655).
MARSHALL, Texas - A defendant failed to prove that a patent plaintiff litigated its case in an unreasonable manner or that the claims presented "stand out" from others pursuant to Octane Fitness LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness Inc. (134 S. Ct. 1749, 1756 ), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled July 18 (Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations LLC v. ADS Security LP, No. 15-1431, E.D. Texas.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92845).
SAN ANTONIO - Tesoro Corp., Par Hawaii Refining and their subsidiaries on July 18 said in a consent decree filed in Texas federal court that they would pay $425 million to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at six of their refineries in Alaska, California, Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah and Washington (United States of America v. Tesoro Corp., et al., No. 16-cv-722, W.D. Texas).
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer asked a Texas court on July 13 to hold a hearing on a contested claim regarding compensation for certain losses of an insured due to a house fire (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 denied a motion filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to dismiss or transfer to the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a petition filed by the State of Texas and a number of organizations challenging the agency's implementation of a regional haze plan, finding that it is the proper forum to hear the petitioners' case (State of Texas, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 16-60118, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13058).
DALLAS - Ruling that defendants in a Securities and Exchange Commission civil enforcement action have failed to show that a federal district court committed manifest errors of law or fact, a federal judge in Texas on July 13 denied the defendants' motion for reconsideration of his ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Arcturus Corp., et al., No. 13-4861, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88410).
DALLAS - The Texas federal judge overseeing the Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation on July 8 denied a request by plaintiffs to remove the confidentiality designations from two clinical studies, saying defendant DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. showed good cause for continuing the confidential designation for the study data (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on July 5 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured can no longer bring her claims because the appraisal process has been completed and the insurer timely paid her the appraisal award (Yolanda Aguilar v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 15-565, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87600).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on June 30 found that an insurer breached the policy when it refused to cover the physical loss to an insured's roof that was caused by a wind event, affirming a jury's award of $12,878 for damages and $70,000 for attorney fees (State Farm Lloyds v. Ginger Hanson, No. 14-15-00093, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6937).
DALLAS - An agricultural transportation expert may testify about the dry green pea transportation market along the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad in a breach of contract lawsuit over the sale of dry green peas, a Texas federal magistrate judge held June 30, finding that the testimony is both reliable and relevant (HostingXtreme Ventures, LLC v. Bespoke Group, LLC, et al., No. 14-1471, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84895).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on June 28 granted in part and denied in part United HealthCare Services Inc.'s motion to dismiss claims that it either did not pay or underpaid claims for services provided by a Texas hospital to United subscribers (Texas General Hospital LP, et al. v. United HealthCare Services Inc., et al., No. 3:15-CV-02096, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84082).
FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas appellate court panel on June 30 affirmed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a home builder accused of construction defects, finding that the plaintiffs failed to explain how their evidence presented in opposition to summary judgment supported their allegations (Peter Payne, et al. v. Highland Homes Ltd., No. 02-14-00067-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Texas App. LEXIS 6987).
MARSHALL, Texas - Citing a plaintiff's stated intent to seek only monetary damages in connection with its patent infringement lawsuit, a Texas federal magistrate judge on June 28 found that a stay of the case pending resolution of an inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the board) would not result in undue prejudice (SSL Services LLC v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 15-433 E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83370.).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on June 28 substantially denied an insurer's motion to dismiss in a third-party insurance dispute with a for-profit hospital, ruling that the hospital has properly pleaded all but two of its claims, which it conceded required dismissal (Texas General Hospital LP, et al. v. United Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. 15-2096, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84082).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on June 24 agreed to decide whether personal jurisdiction arises from out-of-state plaintiff Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co. Inc.'s allegation that out-of-state defendants attended two in-state meetings involving the resolution of Pneumo Abex LLC asbestos claims (M&F Worldwide Corp., et al. v. Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Company Inc., No. 15-0083, Texas Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge erred in dismissing, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6), a patent infringement case based upon her determination that the patent in suit is invalid under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded June 27 (BASCOM Global Internet Services Inc. v. AT&T Inc., et al., No. 15-1763, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11687).
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in Texas on June 22 partially granted and partially denied two separate motions to dismiss from General Motors LLC and U-Haul International Inc. in a suit in which the surviving family members of a woman and her younger brother alleged that design defects in a car and a trailer caused their car to roll over, which led to their deaths (Maria Barragan, et al v. General Motors LLC, et al., No. SA-15-CV-854-DAE, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80984).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 17 held that a commercial general liability insurer has no duty to defend its insureds against copyright claims because the underlying complaint fails to allege any unauthorized use of an adult entertainment company's copyrighted advertising materials, slogan or title in the insureds' advertising (St. Paul Fire and Marine Insurance Co. v. Giganews Inc., et al., No. 15-89, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79535).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on June 21 held that an insured did not "own" its lost earnings stemming from a Ponzi scheme within the meaning of a commercial crime insurance policy (Cooper Industries, Ltd., et al v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh Pa., No. 12-01591, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80342).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on June 21 ordered a prison to provide drinking water to inmates that conforms to the maximum contaminant levels (MCL) set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for arsenic in response to a motion for preliminary judgment filed by inmates who had contended that the water contained as much as 4-1/2 times the levels of arsenic permitted by the EPA Keith Cole v. Brad Livingston, No. 14-1698, S.D. Texas, Houston Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80345).
McALLEN, Texas - An insurer's prompt payment of an appraisal award in a homeowners insurance dispute estops the insureds from bringing a claim for breach of contract, and as a result, their extracontractual claims are inactionable under Texas law, a federal judge in Texas ruled June 20 (Daniel Gutierrez, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 14-430, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79665).