MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal judge on July 22 denied a motion to reconsider his decision to conditionally certify a class of workers seeking pay for overtime hours (Sandra Kelly, et al. v. Healthcare Services Group, Inc., No. 13-441, E.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99025).
DALLAS - The Texas judge overseeing the DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation on July 18 compelled a hospital to turn an explanted hip prosthesis over to a plaintiff; declined to sanction a plaintiff for not paying the hospital $1,000 for handling the device and said the hospital is not entitled to attorney fees (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 3:11-md-2244, Alyse Russell v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 3:13-3518, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97465).
DALLAS - The Texas federal judge overseeing the DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation on July 18 denied a defense motion for summary judgment in the first two bellwether cases set for trial on Sept. 1 and separately denied defense motions to exclude six plaintiff expert witnesses (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 3:11-md-2244, Lay v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 3:11-3590, Herlihy-Paoli v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 3:12-4975, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97743, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3:12-4975).
AUSTIN, Texas - A professional liability insurer has no duty to defend its insured against a bank's underlying claim that it discovered a $10.5 million shortfall in the depository accounts it was providing for the insured's customers, a Texas federal judge ruled July 18, granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment (NetSpend Corp. v. Axis Insurance Co., et al., No. A-13-CA-456-SS, W.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97656)
VICTORIA, Texas - A prevailing copyright infringement defendant was denied an award of attorney fees July 21 by a Texas federal judge (Steve Stutts v. Texas Saltwater Fishing Inc., No. 13-10, S.D. Texas).
NEW ORLEANS - A member of a Texas city police department who was unable to perform all aspects of her job following the expiration of her medical leave was properly fired, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 17 (Mary Alice Silva v. City of Hidalgo, Texas, et al., No. 13-41064, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13658).
DALLAS - The Texas attorney general is immune from a lawsuit by a dietary supplement company that claimed that the state's deceptive trade practices actions against it violated its constitutional rights, a Texas federal judge ruled July 21 (NiGen Biotech, LLC, et al. v. Greg Abbott, et al., No. 3:11-3341, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98457).
SAN ANTONIO - A Texas federal judge on July 18 granted a motion for summary judgment by Amazon.com Inc. and two other defendants in a suit alleging that they infringed a copyrighted musical work (Herman Leon Brickey v. Amazon.com Inc. et al., No. 13-961, W.D. Texas.).
HOUSTON - There is no coverage under an excess professional liability insurance policy for an underlying $46.5 million settlement against a law firm insured accused of improper billing practices, a Texas federal judge ruled July 17, granting the excess insurer's motion for summary judgment (John M O'Quinn, et al. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, et al., No. 4:00-cv-2616, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97034).
AUSTIN, Texas - Vascular Solutions Inc. has agreed to pay $520,000 to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit with the federal government and a whistle-blower for alleged off-label promotion of its varicose vein device, according to a July 17 filing in Texas federal court and a company financial report (United States of America, et al., ex rel. DeSalle Bui v. Vascular Solutions, Inc., No. 1:10-cv-883, W.D. Texas, Austin Div.).
NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 17 upheld a ruling by a federal judge in Texas that ordered a man found guilty of health care fraud to pay $2.5 million in restitution, finding that the amount was included in the indictment (United States of America v. Kenny Msiakii, No. 13-20373, 5th Cir.).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. has agreed to pay $400 million to 33 states and a certified class of consumers to settle claims that it conspired with publishers to fix prices of electronic books, according to a motion for preliminary approval filed July 16 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-2293, S.D. N.Y. [State of Texas, et al. v. Penguin Group (USA) Inc., et al., No. 12-cv-3394, S.D. N.Y.]).
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on July 14 ruled that an insurer properly denied coverage for damages and contamination related to an oil well blowout that occurred when a wellhead ruptured during a hydraulic fracturing operation (Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 12-00133, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95090).
TEXARKANA, Texas - The Sixth District Texas Court of Appeals on July 10 reversed a trial court's ruling entered against the insureds after determining that the monetary sanctions against the insureds were excessive and the conduct by the insureds was not so egregious as to warrant the "death penalty" sanctions (William R. and Susan M. Knoderer v. State Farm Lloyds et al., No. 06-13-00027, Texas App., 6th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 7412).
DALLAS - A divided Texas Supreme Court on July 11 rejected the "any exposure" standard in mesothelioma, saying such cases also require evidence that exposure to defendant's product was a substantial factor in his disease. However, the court said plaintiffs alleging multiple exposures to asbestos need not show "but for" causation (Susan Elaine Bostic, et al. v. Georgia-Pacific Corp., No. 10-0775, Texas Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not err in failing to consider a certificate of correction issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a smartphone application patent dispute, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 11 (H-W Technology L.C. v. Overstock.com Inc., Nos. 14-1054, -1055, Fed. Cir.).
NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 11 vacated a decision that granted a homeowner's request for preliminary injunction prohibiting the foreclosure of her property, finding that a recent Texas Supreme Court ruling barred her arguments (Gwendolyn Green v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., No. 14- 10254, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 13241).
NEW ORLEANS - A panel of the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on July 10 ruled that the U.S. government was not liable for a breach of fiduciary duty to a tribe of Native Americans who claim aboriginal title to land on which the government is approving oil drilling licenses because the tribe failed to show that there was any "agency action" that gave the tribe subject matter jurisdiction over the land (The Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas v. United States of America, et al., No. 13-40644, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12946).
HOUSTON - An insurer has no duty to defend an insured for an underlying personal injury action because the caustic materials that caused the underlying plaintiff's injuries were not dispersed as required by the terms of the pollution exclusion, a Texas federal judge said July 7 (The Burlington Insurance Co. v. JC Instride Inc. et al., No. 13-2844, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91441).