LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - Uber Wins Partial Dismissal Of Texas False Advertising Claims

HOUSTON - Efforts by Uber Technologies Inc. and a co-defendant to obtain dismissal of allegations that they falsely advertised their services and misrepresented their level of insurance coverage to consumers were only partly successful on March 10, when a Texas federal judge agreed to allow a portion of the case proceed (Greater Houston Transportation Authority, et al. v. Uber Technologies Inc., No. 14-941, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Properly Denied Depreciation Cost Claim, 5th Circuit Affirms

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 10 affirmed a lower federal court's ruling that an insurer owed no further payment to its Texas insured under the policy's replacement-cost coverage provision in a dispute arising from hailstorm damage (Central Mutual Insurance Co. v. White Stone Properties Ltd., No. 14- 50374, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 3729).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Transfers Trademark Infringement Coverage Dispute To Texas Federal Court

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 5 granted a commercial general liability insurer's motion to transfer an insured's declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for a trademark infringement claim to a federal Texas court (Shanze Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Baja Auto Insurance v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., No. 2:14-cv-02623-KJM-AC, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27877).

Mealey's Health Law - ERISA Does Not Preempt State Prompt Pay Act, Texas Federal Judge Rules

DALLAS - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not preempt the Texas Prompt Payment Act's (TPPA) mandatory payment deadlines, insofar as the deadlines apply to third-party administrators of self-funded health insurance plans, a federal judge in Texas ruled March 4 (Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Methodist Hospitals of Dallas, No. 3:14-cv-347-M, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26455).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Asbestos Medical Report Requirement Case Dismissed By Texas Top Court

DALLAS - The Texas Supreme Court on March 6 dismissed for lack of jurisdiction a direct appeal challenging the constitutionality of the medical reporting requirements in silica and asbestos cases (In re Texas State Silica Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-0757, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Transfers Trademark Infringement Coverage Dispute To Texas Federal Court

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A California federal judge on March 5 granted a commercial general liability insurer's motion to transfer an insured's declaratory judgment lawsuit seeking coverage for a trademark infringement claim to a federal Texas court (Shanze Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Baja Auto Insurance v. American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa., No. 2:14-cv-02623-KJM-AC, E.D. Calif.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27877).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Asbestos Medical Report Requirement Case Dismissed By Texas Top Court

DALLAS - The Texas Supreme Court on March 6 dismissed for lack of jurisdiction a direct appeal challenging the constitutionality of the medical reporting requirements in silica and asbestos cases (In re Texas State Silica Products Liability Litigation, No. 14-0757, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Jury Awards $73,653 On Patent Infringement Claims

SHERMAN, Texas - A prevailing plaintiff was awarded $88.7 million on March 6 by a Texas federal jury, including $73,653 on allegations of patent infringement (Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions Inc. v. Intersil Corp., No. 08-451, E.D. Texas).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - ERISA Does Not Preempt State Prompt Pay Act, Texas Federal Judge Rules

DALLAS - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not preempt the Texas Prompt Payment Act's (TPPA) mandatory payment deadlines, insofar as the deadlines apply to third-party administrators of self-funded health insurance plans, a federal judge in Texas ruled March 4 (Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Methodist Hospitals of Dallas, No. 3:14-cv-347-M, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26455).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Court Orders Parties To Arbitrate Construction Defect Claims

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court panel on March 5 overturned a trial court judge's ruling denying a construction company's motion to compel arbitration in a defects lawsuit, holding that an arbitration clause was included in part of a separate document that attached to the construction contract (LDF Construction Inc. v. Texas Friends of Chabad Lubavitch, d/b/a Chabad Lubavitch Center of Houston, No. 14-14-00113-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2015 Texas App. LEXIS 2111).

Mealey's Insurance - Direct Action Provision Does Not Apply In Bad Faith Lawsuit, Judge Rules

AUSTIN, Texas - Remand of an insured's breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit to state court is not proper because it is not subject to the "direct action" provision in 28 U.S. Code Section 1332(c)(1), a federal judge in Texas ruled March 5 (Kenneth Harris v. Peerless Indemnity Insurance Co., No. 14-1087, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26859).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Has No Duty To Indemnify Construction Defects Suit Judgment

DALLAS - Third-party beneficiaries did not prove that all damages awarded against an insured in an underlying construction defects lawsuit are covered by the commercial general liability insurance policy, a Texas appeals panel held March 3, reversing a trial judge's judgment and rendering a take-nothing judgment in favor of the insurer (Dallas National Insurance Co. v. Calitex Corp., et al., No. 05-13-01505-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 2002).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Grants Judgment For Bank On Borrower's Fraud Claims

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on March 2 granted summary judgment for a bank, finding that a borrower's claims for fraud and breach of contract in relation to his loan modification failed (Andre Matthews v. JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A., No. 14-2266, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist LEXIS 24723).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Certifies Motion To Dismiss TILA Claims To 5th Circuit

SAN ANTONIO - A Texas federal judge on March 3 certified a lender's motion to dismiss claims against it for violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA) to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (David Leonard Orosco v. Ovation Lending LLC, No. 14-CV-00897, W.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25371).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Court Affirms Judgment For Real Estate Firm In Condo Mold Action

DALLAS - A Texas appeals court on Feb. 27 affirmed a trial court's decision grating summary judgment in favor of a real estate firm in relation to a condominium owner's claims that her unit contained mold, finding that it did not err in refusing her additional time for discovery (Michelle Manatou v. Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc., No. 05-13-01035, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 1942).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Court Affirms Judgment For Real Estate Firm In Condo Mold Action

DALLAS - A Texas appeals court on Feb. 27 affirmed a trial court's decision grating summary judgment in favor of a real estate firm in relation to a condominium owner's claims that her unit contained mold, finding that it did not err in refusing her additional time for discovery (Michelle Manatou v. Ebby Halliday Real Estate Inc., No. 05-13-01035, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 1942).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Appeal Court: Water Authority Can't Use Securities Law To Thwart Competitor

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas water authority cannot use the state's Expedite Declaratory Judgment Act to clear the way for a water project, a panel of the Third District Texas Court of Appeals ruled Feb. 26 (Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority v. Texas Attorney General, et al., No. 03-14-00393-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 1795).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Panel Reverses Order Compelling Examination Of Landlord's Hard Drive

DALLAS - A trial court abused its discretion in granting a plaintiff's motion to compel the forensic examination of his landlord's computer hard drive in a dispute over unpaid rent and a property lockout, a Texas appeals panel ruled Feb. 17, finding that the plaintiff did not establish that such discovery would produce the information sought (In Re VERP Investment LLC, No. 05-15-00023-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 1518).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel Affirms, Modifies Judgment In Insured's Favor In Hurricane Ike Coverage Suit

BEAUMONT, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Feb. 19 affirmed a lower court's judgment in favor of an insured as modified in a coverage dispute over damage caused by Hurricane Ike (National Lloyds Insurance Co. v. Latosha A. Lewis, No. 09-13-00413-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 1573).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Panel Reverses Order Compelling Examination Of Landlord's Hard Drive

DALLAS - A trial court abused its discretion in granting a plaintiff's motion to compel the forensic examination of his landlord's computer hard drive in a dispute over unpaid rent and a property lockout, a Texas appeals panel ruled Feb. 17, finding that the plaintiff did not establish that such discovery would produce the information sought (In Re VERP Investment LLC, No. 05-15-00023-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 1518).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Bank Had Authority To Foreclose On Property

DALLAS - After finding that a bank was authorized to foreclose on a property, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 18 granted the bank's motion to dismiss claims for declaratory relief and other allegations asserted by a former homeowner (Jose Cisneros v. US Bank N.A., et al., No. 3:14-CV-4140, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19372).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Judge: Insurer Owes No Defense Against Counterclaims In Patent Infringement Suit

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 17 held that an insurer has no duty to defend its insured against false representation, monopolization and unfair and deceptive trade practices counterclaims in an infringement dispute over the '831 patent that protected a particular pavement-lifting process, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Uretek [Usa] Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 4:13-cv-3746, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18610).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds TILA Does Not Apply, Allows Contract Claims

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 17 found that a condominium owner pleaded sufficient facts to support her breach of contract claim against a bank and mortgage entity but found that her claims for misrepresentations and breach of the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) should be dismissed (Laurel Barrett v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 3:14-CV-3389, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18816).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Owes No Defense Against Counterclaims In Patent Infringement Suit

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 17 held that an insurer has no duty to defend its insured against false representation, monopolization and unfair and deceptive trade practices counterclaims in an infringement dispute over the '831 patent that protected a particular pavement-lifting process, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (Uretek [Usa] Inc. v. Continental Casualty Co., No. 4:13-cv-3746, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18610).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Seat-Belt Use Evidence Relevant In Civil Suits, Texas Supreme Court Rules

AUSTIN, Texas - Evidence of use or nonuse of seat belts is admissible for the purpose of apportioning responsibility in civil suits arising from auto accidents, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Feb. 13, overruling 40 years of state court precedent (Nabors Well Services Ltd., et al. v. Asuncion Romero, et al., No. 13-0136, Texas Sup.).