LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 9th Circuit Vacates Ruling Ordering CERCLA Defendant To Pay Half Of Future Costs

SAN FRANCISCO - A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 2 overturned a California federal judge's ruling ordering a defendant in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit to pay half of the future response costs the plaintiff company incurs in remediating dense nonaqueous phase liquid tetrachloroethene (DNAPL PCE) contamination at a former dry cleaning site, holding that the judge erred when calculating how much the defendant company should pay (AmeriPride Services Inc. v. Texas Eastern Overseas Inc., No. 12-17245, 9th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 5308).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Court Finds Contractor Was Not Liable For Mold-Related Damages

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on March 31 affirmed a trial court's decision in favor of a contractor, finding that a homeowner who alleged that faulty work on her roof caused mold growth failed to show that she was entitled to damages (Alice M. Jones v. Antonio Murillo, et al., No. 14-13-00928, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 3111).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Cook Pelvic Mesh Case Isn't Time-Barred, Preempted

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - A pelvic mesh plaintiff's claims are not barred by Texas statutes of limitations laws or federal preemption, a West Virginia federal judge ruled April 1 in a bellwether case (Mary Hovey v. Cook Incorporated, et al., No. 13-18900, S.D. W.Va., Charleston Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42657).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Federal Judge Won't Reconsider Dismissal Of Suit Alleging Late Air Bag Deployment

HOUSTON - The plaintiff in a suit alleging that an air bag failed to deploy properly in a fatal collision has failed to show any error of law in the entry of summary judgment for American Honda Motor Co. Inc., a Texas federal judge ruled March 30 (Joseph B. Flynn, et al. v. American Honda Motor Co., et al., No. 4:11-CV-3908, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Finds No Evidence Supporting Quiet Title Claim

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 30 granted a mortgage company's motion for summary judgment, finding that a borrower's claims for quiet title and declaratory judgment failed (Edward Baxter v. Citimortgage Inc., No. 3:14-CV-1311, N.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40075).

Mealey's Insurance - Coverage Owed For Debris Removal, Not Repairs To Oil Pipeline, Texas Panel Says

HOUSTON - A trial court did not err in determining that coverage is owed only for debris removal associated with repairs to an oil pipeline that was damaged during Hurricane Rita in 2005, the First District Texas Court of Appeals said March 26 (Prime Natural Resources Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, London, et al., No. 01-11-00995, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2015 Tex. App. LEXIS 2947).

Mealey's Insurance - Iowa Federal Judge Transfers Insured's Suit To Texas Federal Court

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - An Iowa federal judge on March 24 granted an insurer's motion to transfer an insured's suit to Texas federal court where the insurer filed its own suit because it is unclear which action constitutes the first filed action and it is clear that Texas has more ties to the parties than Iowa (Rockwell Collins Inc. v. National Indemnity Co., et al., No. 14-118, N.D. Iowa; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37937).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Split 5th Circuit: Deaf Drivers Failed To State Claim In Suit Over Delayed Licenses

NEW ORLEANS - Deaf Texas individuals who claim they were improperly barred from obtaining driver's licenses until they turned 25 failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted, a split Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 24 (Donnika Ivy, et al. v. Commissioner Michael Williams, in his official capacity as head of the Texas Education Agency, No. 14-50037, 5th Cir.; 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4813).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Finds 2nd Insurer Has Duty To Defend Medical Center Insured

SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on March 24 held that a second professional liability insurer has a duty to defend its medical center insured against an underlying lawsuit filed by a former patient (Corinth Investors Holdings LLC d/b/a Atrium Medical Center v. Evanston Insurance Co., et al., No. 13-682, E.D. Texas; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36273).

Texas Bills Would Give Tax Credits To Companies Not Using Fresh Water For Fracking

AUSTIN, Texas - Two pieces of legislation that would provide tax credits to oil and gas operators conducting hydraulic fracturing were referred to the Texas House Committee on Ways and Means on March 23.

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Injured Spectator's Suit Not Barred By State Law, Texas Supreme Court Rules

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas recreational use statute does not bar a suit by a woman who alleged that she was seriously injured when she fell while attending a sporting event at the state-run University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), the state Supreme Court ruled March 20 (University of Texas at Arlington v. Sandra Williams, et al., No. 13-0338, Texas Sup.; 2015 Tex. LEXIS 268).

$2.9M Fracking Verdict Appeal Hinges On Delivery Of Record In 15 Days, Panel Says

DALLAS - The appeals panel in Texas presiding over the appeal of a $2.9 million verdict granted to a resident against a hydraulic fracturing company on March 17 ordered the court reporter to file her record with the appeals court within 15 days (Aruba Petroleum Inc. v. Lisa Parr, No. 05-14-01285, Texas App., 5th Dist.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Apple Beats Patent Infringement Claims In Texas Federal Court

TYLER, Texas - A Texas federal jury on March 16 deemed Apple not liable for infringement of five standard-essential wireless patents (Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. v. Apple Inc., No. 12-100, E.D. Texas).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - DePuy Can't Stop Pinnacle Hip Plaintiffs From Deposing, Re-Deposing Witnesses

DALLAS - A Texas judge overseeing the DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation on March 12 denied a protective order barring plaintiffs from deposing some non-case-specific witnesses and re-deposing others, saying discovery has not closed and new information warrants some re-depositions (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30787).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Denies Dismissal In Trademark Dispute

HOUSTON - Litigation over the right to use the "World Igbo Congress" trademark will proceed in Texas, a federal judge there ruled March 11 (World Igbo Congress Inc. et al. v. Chief Cyril Nwaguru, No. 14-3213, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Tosses Competing Breach Of Contract Claims In Professional Liability Suit

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 9 threw out competing breach of contract claims in a professional liability coverage dispute, finding that the insurer did not commit breach of contract because it has already paid one-third of its attorney insured's underlying defense expenses and the anti-subrogation rule prohibits the insurer's breach of contract counterclaim against the insured (Charla G. Aldous, et al. v. Darwin National Assurance Co., No. 13-3310, N.D. Texas.; 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29061).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - EPA: Texas Chemical Maker To Pay $230,000 To Resolve RCRA Violations

DALLAS - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 10 announced that Wharton Chemical, also known as Lamberti USA Inc., agreed to pay a civil penalty of $230,000 to resolve allegations that its storage and handling of hazardous waste violated the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Dismisses Professional Liability Dispute After Parties Announce Settlement

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 10 granted a joint motion to dismiss with prejudice a professional liability coverage dispute arising from a breach of fiduciary claim against a law firm and its attorney (Shamoun & Norman LLP, et al. v. Ironshore Indemnity Inc., No. 3:14-CV-1340-G, N.D. Texas).

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.).