LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Labor & Employment - No Coverage Owed For Clinical Trial Treatment, 9th Circuit Panel Affirms

SAN FRANCISCO - A health care provider did not abuse its discretion in denying coverage for treatment that was part of a clinical trial because the health plan clearly excludes coverage for experimental treatments, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Sept. 9 (Lana V. Robertson v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Inc., et al., No. 15-35304, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 16028).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Magistrate Dismisses Hurricane Ike Breach Of Contract Suit As Untimely

GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas federal magistrate judge on Sept. 9 dismissed insureds' breach of contract lawsuit against their federal flood insurer, finding that the action arising from Hurricane Ike damage is time-barred (Alfredo Mamani, et al. v. AIG National Insurance Company Inc., No. 11-106, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119692).

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

MARSHALL, Texas - A request by defendants Samsung Electronics Co. (SEC) Ltd. and Apple Inc. to transfer patent infringement allegations to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California was rejected Sept. 9 by a Texas federal judge (ZiiLabs Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 14-203, E.D. Texas.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119478).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Vacates CITGO's Convictions For Clean Air Act Violations

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 4 overturned CITGO Petroleum Corp.'s convictions for violating the Clean Air Act (CAA) and Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (MBTA), ruling that a federal judge in Texas erred when instructing the jury about the scope of a regulation concerning oil-water separators and misinterpreted the MBTA's language with regard to unintentional bird kills (United States of America v. CITGO Petroleum Corporation, et al., No. 14-40128, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15865).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Panel Affirms Premises Liability Verdict, Remands Negligence Holding

FORT WORTH, Texas - A panel of the Second District Texas Court of Appeals found Aug. 28 that a trial court erroneously directed a verdict of negligence because the plaintiff in the case was denied fair notice that a theory of negligence per se would be asserted as a defense (Karen 'Sue' Burnett v. Christina T. Vo, et al., No. 02-14-00297, Texas App., 2nd Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 9169).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Court Upholds Arbitration Award Over Alleged Construction Defects

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 31 upheld an arbitration award finding that a homeowners association was entitled to only $24,490 for alleged construction defects that resulted in the staining of the exterior of some buildings in a condominium complex, after finding that the association was unable to show that the award was the result of a gross mistake or manifest disregard of the law (Casa del Mar Association Inc. v. Williams & Thomas L.P., doing business as Jamail Construction, No. 14-14-00046-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2015 Texas App. LEXIS 9227).

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

MARSHALL, Texas - Efforts by two patent infringement defendants to transfer the allegations levied against them to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California were rejected Sept. 1 by a Texas federal magistrate judge (Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics Inc. et al., No. 14-911, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115801).

Mealey's Insurance - 5th Circuit: 'Your Work' Exclusion Bars Insurer's Duty To Indemnify Award

NEW ORLEANS - A commercial general insurer has no duty to indemnify an underlying award because the "your work" exclusion bars coverage for damages arising out of the insured's preparation of the soil, the foundation and the house itself, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 27, affirming summary judgment to the insurer on claims for breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and violations of the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (James Feaster, et al. v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 15-20074, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 15310).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Court Finds Care Center And Resident Were Jointly Liable For Accident

DALLAS - After finding that an assisted living facility failed to warn a resident about a drainage grate on a walking path and that the resident was improperly using his walker when he fell and sustained injuries that caused his death, a Texas appeals court on Aug. 25 affirmed a jury verdict that found that each party was jointly liable for the accident (Christian Care Centers Inc. v. Rebecca O'Banion, et al., No. 05-12-01407, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 8916).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Plaintiff Precluded From Asserting Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim, Texas Judge Says

DALLAS - A plaintiff sufficiently alleged facts in her complaint to support a claim for promissory estoppel but is precluded from asserting a breach of fiduciary duty claim because she has alleged a claim for wrongful denial of benefits, a Texas federal judge said Aug. 25 (Susan M. Repass v. AT&T Pension Benefit Plan, et al., No. 14-2686, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111971).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Class Actions Filed Over Breach Of 'Ashley Madison' Affair-Based Dating Website

The operator of the adult dating website AshleyMadison.com was hit with two putative class actions on Aug. 21 as John Doe users of the site filed complaints in California and Texas federal court, respectively, alleging negligence, Stored Communications Act (SCA) violations and other claims related to a recent theft of customer data from the site, which was later released publicly on the Internet (John Doe v. Avid Life Media Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-0405, C.D. Calif.; and John Doe v. Avid Life Media Inc., No. 3:15-cv-02750, N.D. Texas).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 5th Circuit Affirms: No Nationwide Rights For 'Test Masters' Mark

NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge's decision to deny both a plaintiff and a defendant national rights to the "Test Masters" trademark was not erroneous, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 21 (Test Masters Educational Services Inc. v. Robin Singh Educational Services Inc. and Robin Singh, No. 14-20113, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14733).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Panel Reverses Summary Judgment To Goodyear In Products Liability Lawsuit

SAN ANTONIO - A trial judge erred in granting summary judgment to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on negligent and defective design claims in a products liability case, a Texas appeals panel ruled Aug. 19, finding that the judge also erred in excluding the testimony of a tire expert that served to show support for the claims (Rosa Obregon Perez, et al. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 04-14-00620, Texas App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 8689).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Estate Appeals Dismissal Of Defective Air Bag Claims Against Honda To 5th Circuit

HOUSTON - A father who sued a vehicle manufacturer and others in relation to his daughter's death in a vehicle accident argued Aug. 18 before the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that a Texas federal court erred when it dismissed his claims related to allegedly defective air bags (Joseph B. Flynn, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., et al., No. 15-20220, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Kansas Federal Judge Transfers Copyright Case To Texas Court

WICHITA, Kan. - A copyright dispute over unauthorized sharing of an e-newsletter should proceed in Texas federal court, U.S. Judge Monti L. Belot of the District of Kansas ruled Aug. 20 (Energy Intelligence Group Inc. et al. v. Frontier El Dorado Refining LLC, No. 15-1152, D. Kan.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110192).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Reverses Summary Judgment To Goodyear In Products Liability Lawsuit

SAN ANTONIO - A trial judge erred in granting summary judgment to The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on negligent and defective design claims in a products liability case, a Texas appeals panel ruled Aug. 19, finding that the judge also erred in excluding the testimony of a tire expert that served to show support for the claims (Rosa Obregon Perez, et al. v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 04-14-00620, Texas App., 4th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 8689).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Costs Awarded, Attorney Fees Denied In Texas Patent Case

MARSHALL, Texas - A request for attorney fees was denied Aug. 17 by a federal judge in Texas, who found that although a patent infringement defendant qualifies as the prevailing party, the case itself does not qualify as exceptional (Trover Group Inc., et al. v. Dedicated Micros USA Inc., et al., No. 13-1047, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107733).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 5th Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of TDCPA Claim Against Wells Fargo

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 13 affirmed dismissal of the one claim not abandoned by borrowers against a bank for violation of the Texas Debt Collection Act (TDCA), agreeing with the findings of a district court (Michael Bracken, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank National Association, No. 14-40928, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14368).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Denial Of Motion To Amend Patent Claims Reversed, Remanded By Federal Circuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Although affirming Aug. 13 that a Texas federal judge properly determined that a patent infringement plaintiff had standing, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that it remains unclear whether the judge abused his discretion in denying the same plaintiff leave to amend its infringement contentions against myriad defendants (Keranos LLC, et al. v. Silicon Storage Technology Inc., et al., Nos. 14-1360, -1500, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14176).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Was Reliable To Show Wal-Mart's Negligence In Medication Filling, Panel Says

NEW ORLEANS - An expert's opinion on the standard of care was sufficiently reliable to pass a "gatekeeping assessment" for purposes of showing that Wal-Mart Stores Texas L.L.C. was negligent in failing to provide a 72-hour emergency supply of prescriptions when a customer's doctor could not be reached, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Aug. 12 (Shan Kovaly v. Wal-Mart Stores Texas LLC, No. 14-20697, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 14346).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Court Upholds Summary Judgment Ruling In Construction Defects Suit

DALLAS - An apartment complex owner's failure to challenge both grounds on which a trial court judge granted a builder's motion for summary judgment warranted upholding the decision, a Texas appeals panel held Aug. 12 (ZZ&Z Properties Ltd. v. ZCC-ZPL JV LLP, No. 05-14-00812-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Texas App. LEXIS 8442).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 5th Circuit Finds No Errors In Yahoo, Facebook Subpoenas In Child Porn Case

HOUSTON - Search warrants and subpoenas that law enforcement personnel served on Facebook Inc. and Yahoo Inc. as part of a child pornography investigation complied with state law and the Stored Communications Act (SCA), a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Aug. 5, affirming a Texas man's conviction under federal law (United States of America v. Damian Orisakwe, No. 14-40699, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13883).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 5th Circuit Finds TDCPA Claim Against Banks Fails, Affirms Dismissal

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 5 affirmed a district court's dismissal of claims for violation of Texas law and negligent misrepresentation, finding that they failed to show any actual damages and that they could not have filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid foreclosure (Ernest Bassknight, et al. v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., et al., No. 14-11371, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13872).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 5th Circuit Finds No Errors In Yahoo, Facebook Subpoenas In Child Porn Case

HOUSTON - Search warrants and subpoenas that law enforcement personnel served on Facebook Inc. and Yahoo Inc. as part of a child pornography investigation complied with state law and the Stored Communications Act (SCA), a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel found Aug. 5, affirming a Texas man's conviction under federal law (United States of America v. Damian Orisakwe, No. 14-40699, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 13883).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Affirms All Holdings In Glaucoma Drug Patent Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not err in holding various claims of several patents covering the glaucoma drug Lumigan not invalid as obvious or for lack of enablement and written description, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Aug. 4 (Allergan Inc. v. Sandoz Inc., et al., No. 14-1275, Fed. Cir.).