WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 28 vacated a Texas federal judge's decision to dismiss a patent case with prejudice, after deeming the dismissal an abuse of discretion (Ki Ventures LLC v. CTA Digital Inc., No. 14-1187, Fed. Cir.).
SAN ANTONIO - A plaintiff on Aug. 27 won dismissal of a declaratory judgment counterclaim that the term "overhead door company" is not entitled to trademark protection but lost in all other respects, thanks to a ruling by a Texas federal judge (David Lee Garcia d/b/a Affordable Overhead Door Company v. Global Development Strategies Inc., No. 13-1158, W.D. Texas).
SAN ANTONIO - A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 27 reversed a trial court and ruled that it should have dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit for negligence related to a damaged well that released natural gas into the environment because the plaintiff failed to follow Texas procedure when it filed the complaint (Bruington Engineering Ltd. v. Pedernal Energy LLC, No. 04-00558, Texas App., 4th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 9493).
DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 26 partially dismissed a third-party counterclaimant's claims for violation of the Texas Insurance Code and for insurance bad faith, ruling that dismissal is proper because the counterclaimant lacks standing to bring the claims as a third party (Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Co. v. Charles M. Opheim, et al., No. 14-0752, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118595).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court should follow majority rule and find that an administrative action initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency constitutes a lawsuit as that term is defined under the insurance policies at issue, an insured argues in an Aug. 22 brief (McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. v. The Phoenix Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-0465, Texas Sup.).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 22 remanded a metal-on-metal hip injury case after rejecting the defendant's argument that the plaintiff's claims against a company sales representative are preempted by federal law (Timothy Hutchens, et al. v. Smith & Nephew, Inc., et al., No. 13-4979, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116839).
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 20 ordered Travelers Property Casualty Company of America to pay $5,746,132.45 in coverage to an oil well operator related to damages caused by a well blowout (Eagle Oil & Gas Co. v. Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, No. 12-00133, N.D. Texas).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Aug. 22 reversed a $349,312.50 award for stigma damages a property owner had won against a metal-processing plant related to chemical damage that did not constitute a permanent injury to the property (Houston Unlimited Inc. v. Mel Acres Ranch, No. 13-0084, Texas Sup.).
HOUSTON - The Texas Supreme Court on Aug. 22 declined to rehear an asbestos case in which it found that a disabled man's inability to take a pulmonary function test did not exclude him from the requirements of the state's asbestos medical criteria law (Union Carbide Corp. v. Daisy E. Synatzske and Grace Annette Webb, et al., No. 12-0617, Texas Sup.).
HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 21 demanded that a lower court vacate its order granting insureds' motion for new trial in a Hurricane Ike coverage dispute and enter judgment on a jury's verdict awarding $400,000 in damages to the insureds (In Re United Services Automobile Association, No. 01-13-00508-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 9312).
AUSTIN, Texas - A tax levied on small tobacco companies that did not participate in the 1998 settlement of a deceptive advertising action brought against four major tobacco companies is unconstitutional, the Third District Texas Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 15 (Susan Combs, et al. v. Texas Small Tobacco Coalition, et al., No. 03-13-00753-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.).
NEW ORLEANS - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is liable for violating the Texas Optometry Act (TOA) by requiring optometrists who lease space in their Texas stores to project, in the leases, the number of hours their offices will remain open, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 14; however, the appellate panel vacated a civil penalty award for the plaintiffs finding that they never suffered any damages (Doris Forte, O.D., et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores, Incorporated, No. 12-40854, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 15636).
HOUSTON - After finding that a homeowner failed to take any steps to prevent further water damage at his home and that he waived his right to argue that an insurer acted in bad faith, a Texas appeals court on Aug. 12 affirmed a trial court's dismissal of the case (Mohammed Khan v. Safeco Surplus Lines, et al., No. 14-13-00024, Texas App.; 14th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 8776).
DALLAS - Although a Texas federal judge found some of Yahoo Inc.'s counterclaims against a former promotional partner to be duplicative and unsupported in an Aug. 11 ruling, the judge declined to dismiss contractual and trade secrets claims related to an online $1 billion college basketball contest, finding them sufficiently pleaded (SCA Promotions Inc. v. Yahoo! Inc., No. 3:14-cv-00957, N.D. Texas).
DALLAS - Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is not required to grant access to its Fayetteville, N.C., plant to the plaintiffs in a suit alleging that a fatal car accident was caused by a defective tire manufactured at the plant, the Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals ruled Aug. 6 (In re: The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., No. 05-14-00529-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.).
MARSHALL, Texas - A jury's verdict that a defendant directly and indirectly infringed a patent relating to cache memory but that the infringement was not willful will stand, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 4 (OPTi Inc. v. VIA Technologies Inc., No. 10-279, E.D. Texas).
HOUSTON - In their petition for mandamus seeking relief from a trial court's discovery and sanctions rulings, the relators failed to establish that a truck driver's medical history fell outside the scope of discovery because his medical history may be germane to a negligence claim, a Texas appeals panel found July 31, denying the petition (In Re Finn Kristensen, et al., No. 14-14-00448-cv, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 8404).
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - An insurer owes no coverage to its insured for an oil leak from the insured's storage tank because the leak did not arise out of the use of the tanker truck that unloaded the oil into the storage tank, the 13th District Texas Court of Appeals said July 31 (Superior Crude Gathering Inc. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., No. 13-13-00235, Texas App., 13th Dist.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 8247).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on July 30 granted a health care provider's motion to remand a reimbursement suit to state court, saying the Employee Retirement Income Security Act did not preempt the plaintiff's claims (Methodist Hospitals of Dallas v. Aetna Health, No. 13-4992, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104291).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 1 resolved two conflicting summary judgment rulings from two federal courts, siding with Wi-LAN USA Inc. and Wi-LAN Inc. (Wi-LAN, collectively) in their patent dispute with Ericsson Inc., Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, Sony Mobile Communications AB and Sony Mobile Communications (USA) Inc. (Ericsson, collectively) (WiLAN USA Inc. et al. v. Ericsson Inc. et al., Nos. 13-1485, -1566, Fed. Cir.).