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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.).
AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver of an insolvent insurer asked a Texas court on July 31 for permission to make an early access distribution to certain states' insurance guaranty associations (The State of Texas v. Gramercy Insurance Co., No. D-GV-12-001713, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 3 refused to dismiss an environmental group's lawsuit against a developer, finding that the group adequately alleged that it would suffer an injury as a result of increased nitrogen and phosphorus in water that would flow into nearby bayous (Galveston Baykeeper v. Trendmaker Homes Inc., No. H 14 1500, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100854).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's order denying motions by various defendants to stay patent infringement litigation pending the outcome of a covered business method (CBM) review was partly affirmed July 30 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Smartflash LLC et al. v. Apple Inc., No. 15-1701; Smartflash LLC et al. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., No. 15-1707, Fed. Cir.).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on July 25 granted in part an investor's motion for class certification in a securities class action lawsuit, ruling that the investor has properly pleaded a corrective disclosure that led to a price impact on the part of Halliburton Co. and its former CEO with regard to statements made in a Dec. 7, 2001, announcement regarding a jury verdict against Halliburton's subsidiary and others (The Erica P. John Fund Inc., et al. v. Halliburton Co., et al., No. 02-1152, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97464).
GALVESTON, Texas - A federal flood insurer's denial of an insured's supplemental Hurricane Ike claim following its review of an adjuster's estimate and requests did not trigger the one-year limitations period, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled July 28, finding that the insured's breach of contract lawsuit was timely filed (Savina Rocha Fernandez v. Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 10-460, S.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98030).
DALLAS - A plaintiff seeking a declaration of invalidity and noninfringement of various copyrights, trademarks and trade dress rights asserted in connection with "replica bullets" prevailed July 27 in Texas federal court (Provident Precious Metals LLC v. Northwest Territorial Mint LLC, No. 13-2942, N.D. Texas.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97338).