LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Appoints Lead Plaintiff, Lead Counsel In Securities Class Action Lawsuit

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Dec. 7 granted a shareholder's motion for appointment as lead plaintiff, ruling that it has shown that it has the largest financial interest in the litigation and has met all statutory requirements for appointment (In re Plains All American Pipeline L.P. Securities Litigation, No. 15-2404, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163811).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Bank Of America Had Authority To Foreclose

SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Dec. 9 granted summary judgment in favor of a bank, finding that it had the authority to foreclose on a property (Prestonwood Trust v. Bank of America, N.A., No. 4:14-CV-806, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164638).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge Appoints Lead Plaintiff, Lead Counsel In Securities Class Action Lawsuit

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Dec. 7 granted a shareholder's motion for appointment as lead plaintiff, ruling that it has shown that it has the largest financial interest in the litigation and has met all statutory requirements for appointment (In re Plains All American Pipeline L.P. Securities Litigation, No. 15-2404, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163811).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Magistrate Judge: Allow Willful Patent Infringement Claim

MARSHALL, Texas - A request by Samsung Electronics Co. (SEC) Ltd. and several subsidiaries for a summary judgment ruling of no willful infringement should be denied, a Texas federal magistrate judge recommended Dec. 8 (ZiiLabs Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 14-203, E.D. Texas).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Vacates Judgment, Damage Award In Patent Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's decision to award a patent owner more than $16 million in damages for infringement by CiscoSystems Inc. was vacated Dec. 3 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 15-1066, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court: Defective Flanges Alone Did Not Physically Injure Diesel Units

AUSTIN, Texas - In response to four questions certified from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, the Texas Supreme Court on Dec. 4 found that the terms "physical injury" and "replacement" are not ambiguous as incorporated into the "your product" or "impaired property" exclusions of a commercial general liability insurance policy and the installation of faulty flanges alone did not physically injure diesel units in a coverage dispute arising from the defective flanges (U.S. Metals, Incorporated v. Liberty Mutual Group, Incorporated, et al., No. 14-0753, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - 5th Circuit Affirms Guilty Verdict In Health Care Insurance Fraud Suit

NEW ORLEANS - A federal judge in Texas did not err when delivering a divided jury with an instruction pursuant to Allen v. United States (164 U.S. 492 [1896]) that allowed them to forgo their differences and come to a unanimous decision, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Dec. 3 in affirming a verdict finding the defendant guilty of one count of health care fraud (United States of America v. Ebolose Eghobor, R.N., No. 14-11354, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Umbrella Insurer Files Notice Of Appeal In Asbestos Coverage Dispute

MARSHALL, Texas - An umbrella insurer on Dec. 4 filed a notice of appeal to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, seeking review of a Texas federal judge's finding that it owes more than $2 million in attorney fees and costs to another insurer to cover defense costs incurred in defending an insured in underlying asbestos suits (LSG Technologies Inc., et al. v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co., No. 07-399, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Land Trust Is Subject To Bank's Lien On Property

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 30 granted a bank's motion for summary judgment on claims asserted by a land trust for quiet title and injunctive relief to prevent foreclosure, finding that the bank held the note and that the trust was subject to a lien (Saddle Blanket 1316 Land Trust v. The Bank of New York Mellon, F/K/A The Bank of New York, as Trustee For The Certificateholders of Cwalt, Inc. Alternative Loan Trust 2006-31cb Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates, Series 2006-31cb, No. 4:15-CV-401, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160363).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Slip-And-Fall Case Dismissed On Jurisdiction Grounds By Texas Court

AUSTIN, Texas - Allegations by a former Texas State University at San Marcos student that the school acted negligently in connection with a slip-and-fall accident should have been dismissed on jurisdiction grounds, the Third District Texas Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 24 (Board of Regents, Texas State University System, et al. v. Stephanie Paige Steinbach, No. 03-14-00326, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 11995).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Allows Expert To Testify On Damages An Insured's Roof Suffered

SHERMAN, Texas - An expert based upon his experience within the construction industry may testify with regard to the damage an insured's roof experienced following a wind and hail storm, a Texas federal judge ruled Nov. 23, finding that the expert's testimony is reliable (Kim Gill v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-781, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158070).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Allows Expert To Testify On Damages An Insured's Roof Suffered

SHERMAN, Texas - An expert based upon his experience within the construction industry may testify with regard to the damage an insured's roof experienced following a wind and hail storm, a Texas federal judge ruled Nov. 23, finding that the expert's testimony is reliable (Kim Gill v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 14-781, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158070).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insureds Failed To Show Insurer Acted Outside Terms Of Insurance Policy

MCALLEN, Texas - A federal judge granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit on Nov. 24, ruling that insureds failed to show that the insurer did not act in line with the terms of the insurance policy (Armando Martinez, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 14-534, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158245).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court Denies Excess Carrier's Petition In Environmental Cleanup Suit

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Nov. 20 refused to review an appeals court's ruling that an excess insurer owes coverage for environmental contamination cleanup costs because the excess insurer's attachment point of $8 million was reached after the insured settled with its other insurers (Plantation Pipe Line Co. v. Highlands Insurance Co., in receivership, No. 14-0789, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Upholds Mandatory Wellness Testing For Fire Department Workers

NEW ORLEANS - Mandatory health and wellness tests for employees of a Texas city fire department do not violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 18, affirming a trial court's decision (Alfred Ortiz, III v. City of San Antonio Fire Department, No. 15-50341, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 20014).

Mealey's Insurance - 5th Circuit Certifies Question For Texas Supreme Court Over Denied Coverage

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 19 certified a question for the Texas Supreme Court as to whether an insured can pursue a private cause of action under Texas Insurance Code Chapter 541 if it is denied coverage by an insurer, holding that decisions from the state Supreme Court and its appellate courts have cast doubt on the vitality of the ruling in Vail v. Texas Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. (754 S.W. 2d 129 [Texas Sup. 1988]) (In re Deepwater Horizon; Cameron International Corporation v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., No. 14-31321, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas High Court Refuses To Rehear Insurer's Petition Challenging Ex Parte Order

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court denied an insurer's emergency motion to rehear its petition for writ of mandamus challenging a lower court's grant of an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) that compelled the production of class-based discovery, according to a Nov. 18 pronounced order on the high court's website (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., Nos. 15-0867, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Claims Adjusters Were Properly Joined In Bad Faith Suit, Judge Rules

AMARILLO, Texas - Remand of an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Nov. 19, because an insured has shown that two claims adjusters were properly joined and that the federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction (Royal Architectural Products Ltd. v. Acadia Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-0265, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156625).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge Partly Grants Yahoo Judgment In NCAA Contest Dispute

DALLAS - Although a Texas federal judge on Nov. 18 found that Yahoo! Inc. was entitled to summary judgment and a partial refund of a promotional fee paid over an abandoned online NCAA tournament, the judge ruled in the plaintiff promotions firm's favor on Yahoo's contractual and trade secrets counterclaims (SCA Promotions Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 3:14-cv-00957, N.D. Texas).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Rules Against Google In Patent Litigation

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A decision by a Texas federal judge to invalidate a reissue patent asserted against Google Inc. was reversed and remanded Nov. 17 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Alfonso Cioffi et al. v. Google Inc., No. 15-1194, Fed. Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 19929).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court Refuses To Rehear Insurer's Petition Challenging Ex Parte Order

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court denied an insurer's emergency motion to rehear its petition for writ of mandamus challenging a lower court's grant of an ex parte temporary restraining order (TRO) that compelled the production of class-based discovery, according to a Nov. 18 pronounced order on the high court's website (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., Nos. 15-0867, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Certifies Question For Texas Supreme Court Over Denied Coverage

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 19 certified a question for the Texas Supreme Court as to whether an insured can pursue a private cause of action under Texas Insurance Code Chapter 541 if it is denied coverage by an insurer, holding that decisions from the state Supreme Court and its appellate courts have cast doubt on the vitality of the ruling in Vail v. Texas Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co. (754 S.W. 2d 129 [Texas Sup. 1988]) (In re Deepwater Horizon; Cameron International Corporation v. Liberty Insurance Underwriters Inc., No. 14-31321, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Bars Expert From Testifying To Negligence In Vehicle Operator's Conduct

AUSTIN, Texas - An expert may not testify as to whether a woman's conduct in operating a utility vehicle was negligent, and the expert may not give an opinion on the safety or feasibility of design alternatives, a Texas federal judge ruled Nov. 17, granting and denying in part several motions to exclude testimony in a lawsuit arising out of the alleged design and marketing defects in the vehicle (Virginia Nester and Robert Scott Nester v. Textron, Inc. d/b/a E-Z Go, No. 13-920, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155386).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Fen-Phen Referral Fee Appeal Leaves $810,000 Verdict, Trial Court Rulings Intact

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas state appeals court on Nov. 17 rejected an appeal and cross-appeal in a dispute between two plaintiff law firms about referral fees from fen-phen cases, preserving an $810,000 verdict (George Fleming, et al. v. The Kirklin Law Firm, P.C., et al., No. 14-14-00202-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 11767).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Dietary Supplement Maker Indicted For Misbranding, Obstruction, Laundering

DALLAS - Federal prosecutors on Nov. 17 unsealed an indictment against dietary supplement distributors USPlabs LLC and six individuals, alleging that they sold adulterated dietary supplements, misbranded food, obstructed federal regulators and conspired to launder money relating to the sale of products that included Jack3d and OxyElite Pro (United States of America v. USPlabs LLC, et al., No. 15-cr-469, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).