HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 9 granted a federal flood insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insured's breach of contract lawsuit seeking coverage for flood damage caused by a May 2015 storm in Houston, finding that the lawsuit is untimely (Ali Ekhlassi v. National Lloyds Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-1257, S.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3568).
EL PASO, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 4 held that an insurer has no duty to defend or indemnify a church and its president against a $475,000 consent judgment for their violations of the Texas Election Code, finding that a recall election notice posted on the church's website failed to constitute an "advertisement" under the insurance policy (Word of Life Church of El Paso, et al. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-00049, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1688).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge did not err in dismissing, on standing grounds, counterclaims of copyright infringement by various Tejano recording artists, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 4 (Hacienda Records L.P. v. Ruben Ramos, et al., No. 16-41180, 5th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 211).
SAN ANTONIO - An accident reconstruction expert in a personal injury case can testify only about the opinions he offered in his initial report because new opinions he offered while being deposed were not disclosed in a timely manner, and the "failure to do so is neither substantially justified nor harmless," a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 4 (Benjamin Koenig v. Anthony Beekmans, No. 5:15-cv-00822, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1407).
DALLAS - The Texas attorney general overstates the case in favor of unsealing deposition testimony from a law firm's principal and ignores that there is no evidence the record constitutes a court document, appellees told the state's appeals court on Jan. 3 (Christine Cole Biederman v. Beverly Jean Brown, et al., No. 01-07-00263-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Jan. 5 denied an insured's petition to review a lower court's summary judgment ruling in favor of an insurer in a breach of contract lawsuit arising from a $73,000 appraisal award for the insured's hailstorm damage, according to its orders pronounce list (Floyd Circle Partners LLC v. Republic Lloyds, No. 17-0734, Texas Sup.).
SAN ANTONIO - A panel of the Fourth District Texas Court of Appeals on Dec. 20 affirmed judgment in favor of a country club and its contractors because a man who injured himself while golfing signed a contract barring his claims and did not present enough evidence showing that the course and its contractors committed gross negligence (Tom McCloskey v. The Clubs of Cordillera LP, et al., No. 04-17-00234-CV, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11772).
DALLAS - Texas law governing sealed court records permit any one, at any time, to challenge whether such documents should remain out of the public's eye, the state's attorney general told an appeals court Dec. 15 in urging it to remand a case for a determination of the merits of a case challenging the sealing of a lawyer's deposition in an asbestos case (Christine Cole Biederman v. Beverly Jean Brown, et al., No. 01-07-00263-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
MARSHALL, Texas - In a Dec. 19 ruling, a Texas federal magistrate judge lifted the stay of patent infringement litigation pending since 2014 and recommended that the case be dismissed with prejudice, following findings by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board that the patent in suit is invalid (C-Cation Technologies LLC v. Time Warner Cable Inc., et al., No. 14-59, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 208498).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Dec. 15 held that a trial court did not abuse its discretion in finding that four expert reports together satisfy the adequacy requirement under the Texas Medical Liability Act, overturning an appeals court's ruling that reversed the trial court's refusal to dismiss a health care liability lawsuit against an assisted-living facility, a mobile-imaging facility and a radiologist (Karen Miller v. JSC Lake Highlands Operations, LP, et al., No. 16-0986, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 1147).
AUSTIN, Texas - An excess insurer is not obligated to contribute its full $25 million policy limits to the settlement of an underlying wrongful death and personal injury suit arising out of an oilfield explosion because the excess insurer's liability is capped at $11 million according to the requirements of Texas Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act (TOAIA), a Texas federal judge said Dec. 14 (Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. v. Surplus Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-870, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206187).
DALLAS - Nationwide pharmacy DaVita Rx LLC has agreed to pay $63.7 million to resolve federal false claims and kickback allegations that it billed federal health care programs for drugs it never shipped and for taking kickbacks in the form of patient assistance programs, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas announced Dec. 14 (United States of America, ex rel. Patsy Gallian, et al. v. DaVita Rx, LLC, et al., No. 3:16-cv-943, N.D. Texas).
AMARILLO, Texas - A trial court judge in Texas erred when dismissing a couple's construction defects and breach of contract suit against a builder for want of prosecution without providing proper notice, a state appeals court panel ruled Dec. 11 (Patrick Pence, et al. v. S&D Builders LLC, et al., No. 07-16-00005-CV, Texas App., 7th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11501).
NEW ORLEANS - An insured's assignee whose lungs were damaged by the inhalation of an excess amount of chlorine in the insured hotel's hot tub waived the right to argue that Oklahoma law, rather than Texas law, should be applied because the assignee failed to argue that the application of Texas law was a manifest injustice, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Dec. 13 in affirming the district court's ruling in favor of the insurer (Wesley Howard v. Maxum Indemnity Co., No. 16-11746, 5th Cir.).
DALLAS - A Texas appeals court on Dec. 12 declined to once again wade into a dispute over whether a company preserved the right to appeal a ruling on the role radiation may have played in a man's lung cancer and the resulting $18.6 million asbestos verdict (The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. Vicki Lynn Rogers, et al., No. 05-15-00001-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.).
DALLAS - A judge stepped outside the bounds of a motion challenging jurisdiction and resolved merit questions, a woman told a Texas appeals court on Dec. 8 in asking it to reinstate her case seeking to obtain a copy of a deposition she claims will show an asbestos law firm coaching witnesses (Christine Cole Biederman v. Beverly Jean Brown, et al., No. 01-07-00263-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).
HOUSTON - An appellate panel in Texas on Dec. 12 affirmed a trial court's decision to deny motions for directed verdict in a car crash suit after finding that the evidence supported the jury's finding that a city and a family were partially responsible for a car accident because of an obscured stop sign (Phillip McKnight, et al. v. Matthew Calvert, No. 01-16-00429-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 11498).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Dec. 7 granted a bank's motion to dismiss claims for breach of contract and fraud asserted against it by a borrower who was attempting to enjoin foreclosure, finding that the property owner failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted (Alan Battle v. HSBC Bank USA, et al., No. 4:17-CV-02552, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202810).
HOUSTON - Defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against a worldwide provider of professional services and technologies within the government services and hydrocarbons industries on Dec. 4 asked a federal judge in Texas to dismiss federal securities law claims because shareholders failed to plead a material misrepresentation, scienter of loss causation (In re KBR Inc. Securities Litigation, No. 17-1375, S.D. Texas).