AUSTIN, Texas - The Supreme of Court of Texas on Oct. 31 held that a trial court abused its discretion in ordering a homeowners insurer to produce evidence concerning claims other than those of the insured who filed a breach of contract and bad faith suit, conditionally granting the insurer mandamus relief and ordering the lower court to withdraw its order compelling discovery (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 13-0761, Texas Sup.).
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - The family of a man killed in an accident involving a Chevrolet Silverado manufactured by General Motors LLC (GM) filed suit on Nov. 3 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleging that the truck was improperly designed (Leah McDaniel, et al. v. General Motors LLC, 7:14-CV-122, N.D. Texas, Wichita Falls Div.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Nov. 3 appointed A. Gregory Grimsal special master in a water rights lawsuit by Texas against New Mexico and Colorado (State of Texas v. State of New Mexico, et al., No. 141, Orig., U.S. Sup.).
SAN ANTONIO - A state trial court properly rejected challenges to the expert testimony offered in a medical malpractice action brought by the mother of a brain-damaged child, the Fourth District Texas Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 29 (Methodist Healthcare System of San Antonio Ltd., et al. v. Emily Belden, No. 04-14-00215-CV, Texas App.; 4th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 11798).
HOUSTON - A state trial judge properly found that a suit brought by the mother of a child who died from complications following a near-drowning in a pool owned by the City of Angleton, Texas, is barred by the Texas Tort Claims Act, the First District Texas Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 28 (Tabitha Henry, et al. v. The City of Angleton, No. 01-13-00976-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 11775).
NEW ORLEANS - Under Texas law, a contractual liability exclusion under a commercial general liability policy does not preclude coverage for an arbitration award entered against an insured regarding property damages sustained by homeowners, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Oct. 29, reversing summary judgment for the insurer, rendering summary judgment for the homeowners and remanding for calculation of legal fees (Doug Crownover and Karen Crownover v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 11-10166, 5th Cir.).
SHERMAN, Texas - A dispute over patented switches and routers will remain in Texas, a federal judge ruled Oct. 27 (Net Navigation Systems LLC v. Extreme Networks Inc., No. 14-254, E.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151963).
DALLAS - Jurors in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Oct. 23 returned a defense verdict for DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. and parent company Johnson & Johnson in the first Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether case (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 3:11-md-2244, Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 12-2975, N.D. Texas).
DALLAS - Parties challenging Texas' stance on a premises owner's liability for allegedly contemporaneous negligent activities recently filed letter briefs addressing a recent en banc decision from an appeals court. The plaintiffs' letter was filed Oct. 21 (Magdalena Adrienna Abutahoun, et al. v. The Dow Chemical Co., No. 13-0175, Texas Sup.).
HOUSTON - A jury in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 20 found that the president of the Riverside General Hospital, his son and two other individuals were guilty of being involved in a $158 million Medicare fraud scheme (United States of America v. Earnest Gibson III, et al. No. 12-cr-00600, S.D. Texas).
DALLAS - Jurors in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Oct. 21 began deliberating in the first DePuy Pinnacle hip bellwether case after 28 days of testimony (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 3:11-md-2244, Kathleen Herlihy-Paoli v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 12-2975, N.D. Texas).
NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge properly entered judgment as a matter of law for Toyota Motor Manufacturing & Engineering North America Inc. because the widower of a woman killed in an accident involving a Toyota vehicle did not present sufficient evidence of manufacturing and design defect claims, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Oct. 20 (Scott E. Casey, et al. v. Toyota Motor Manufacturing & Engineering North America Inc., et al., No. 13-11119, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 20088).
GALVESTON, Texas - A Texas judge on Oct. 16 entered a final judgment in favor of an insurer in a Hurricane Ike coverage dispute, ordering the insured to take nothing against the insurer and taxing $39,901.95 in court costs against the insured (League City v. TWIA, No. 12-0053, Texas Dist., 10th Jud., Galveston Co.).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Oct. 17 remanded an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit to state court, ruling that defendants in the action have failed to show that a claims adjuster was improperly joined in the action (Gilbert Saenz v. IDS Property Casualty Insurance Co., No. 14-338, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148103).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Oct. 16 held that an insurer has satisfied its burden to obtain mandamus relief in a lawsuit challenging its insurance practices, directing a lower court to grant the insurer's motion to dismiss based on the policy's forum-selection clause (In Re Prime Insurance Co., No. 13-14-00490-CV, Texas App., 13th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 11502).
HOUSTON - The owners of two diagnostic centers in Texas on Oct. 16 agreed to pay a combined $2.6 million to resolve claims from three whistle-blowers alleging that the owners violated the False Claims Act and Stark statute, according to filings in Texas federal court (United States, ex rel. Maribeth Holderith v. One Step Diagnostics Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-2988, S.D. Texas).
HOUSTON - A trial judge erred in submitting a charge of general negligence, rather than a charge of premises liability, against an electricity carrier to a jury, the Texas First District Court of Appeal ruled Oct. 16 (Oncor Electric Delivery Co. v. Marco Murillo, No. 01-10-01123-CV, Tex. App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 11479).
DALLAS - A dispute between former business partners was remanded Oct. 15 to Texas state court because any copyright or trademark issues raised in a defendant's answer to the complaint would not raise "a substantial federal issue," according to a Texas federal judge (Jennifer Duncan v. James Freeman et al., No. 14-1827, N.D. Texas).