AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas appeals court panel on July 3 granted an insolvent insurer's request to stay an appeal (Indemnity Insurance Corporation v. Austin Lucky Lounge L.P., et al., No. 03-13-00367-CV, 3rd District, Texas App.; 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 7175).
HOUSTON - Harris County, Texas, on July 2 filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that the oil spill caused by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in April 2010 caused it to lose money in hotel occupancy taxes and business personal property taxes (Harris County, Texas v. BP Exploration & Production Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-01847, S.D. Texas).
HOUSTON - To pursue an asbestos claim, plaintiffs must produce pulmonary function testing tied to a disease diagnosis, and imposition of the standard is constitutional as applied to a man whose health prevented him from undergoing such testing, a divided Texas Supreme Court held July 3 (Union Carbide Corp. v. Daisy E. Synatzske and Grace Annette Webb, et al., No. 12-0617, Texas Sup.).
DALLAS - A Texas appeals panel on June 30 affirmed a trial court's entry of an arbitration award among a couple, a builder and two subcontractors, ruling that there is nothing in the record to suggest that the plaintiffs objected to the addition of the subcontractors to the arbitration agreement (Walton Brown, et al. v. Potter Concrete Residential Ltd., et al., No. 05-13-00585-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2014 Texas App. LEXIS 7080).
NEW ORLEANS - The contractual liability exclusion under a commercial general liability insurance policy precludes coverage for an arbitration award entered against an insured regarding property damages sustained by homeowners, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed June 27, relying on Texas case law (Doug Crownover and Karen Crownover v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 11-10166, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12158).
HOUSTON - Steel producers and distributors that were ordered to pay $156 million in treble damages on claims that they conspired to put distributor MM Steel LP out of business by engaging in a group boycott in violation of federal antitrust law on June 24 and 25 filed notices of appeal to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of the amended final judgment following the trial court's denial of their motions for a new trial (MM Steel, LP, et al. v. Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co., et al., No. 4:12-cv-01227, S.D. Texas).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on June 24 found that whether a malpractice claim against a law firm insured was foreseeable is a question of fact appropriate for a jury, denying motions by a professional liability insurer, the insured and an intervenor on the issue of whether the prior knowledge exclusion bars coverage (OneBeacon Insurance Company v. T. Wade Welch & Associates, et al., No. H-11-3061, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85486).
AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on June 23 accepted a certified question from the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, requiring the Texas high court to determine if, under Texas law, an administrative action initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency constitutes a lawsuit as that term is defined under the policies at issue (McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corp. v. The Phoenix Insurance Co. et al., No. 14-0465, Texas Sup.).
NEW ORLEANS - Finding that no disqualifying conflict of interest existed under Texas law, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 24 affirmed a lower court's ruling that an insurer fulfilled its duty to defend an underlying copyright infringement lawsuit by tendering its chosen attorney (William Graper v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., et al., No. 13- 20099, 5th Cir.; 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 11903).
HOUSTON - The maximum amount insureds may recover under their claim for water damage in their home is $34,365, less the deductible, which represents 15 percent of the homeowners insurance policy's dwelling benefits, a Texas federal judge ruled June 24 (Diane Salazar and Jesse Salazar v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 13-1904, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85893).
HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on June 23 dismissed a couple's lawsuit seeking to block the foreclosure of their home, ruling that they lacked standing because they could not challenge the validity of the assignment of their mortgage loan to defendant Bank of New York Mellon (Robert Wade Ferguson v. Bank of New York Mellon Corp., et al., No. H-13-279, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84699).
HOUSTON - After finding that a shipping company failed to comply with the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA), a Texas federal judge on June 19 granted a motion to vacate arbitration awards filed by the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Iraq (Reynolds Shipping USA LLC v. Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Iraq, No. 13-mc-0068, S.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84994).
DALLAS - The Texas judge presiding over a case in which $2.9 million was awarded to a family for injuries related to hydraulic fracturing on June 19 denied the company's motion seeking judgment as a matter of law reversing the award (Lisa Parr, et al. v. Aruba Petroleum Inc., No. 11-1650, Texas Law No. 5, Dallas Co.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not err in construing several disputed claims of three asserted patents, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 19 (Gemalto S.A. v. HTC Corporation et al., No. 13-1397, Fed. Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Supreme Court on June 23 reversed in part and affirmed in part a District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ruling as to whether the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could require companies emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) to obtain permits for their emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA) (Utility Air Regulatory Group v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1146, American Chemistry Council v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1248, Energy-Intensive Manufacturers Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Regulation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1254, Southeastern Legal Foundation v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1268, Texas, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1269, Chamber of Commerce v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, et al., No. 12-1272, U.S. Sup.).
AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on June 16 granted an insured's motion to remand its lawsuit seeking several million dollars in potential sales caused by tornado damage to its manufacturing facility (LTD Material LLC v. Star Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-364, W.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82426).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. reached a settlement with states and consumers on June 16 in litigation in which the judge previously found that Apple conspired with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, heading off a trial on damages that was scheduled to begin Aug. 25 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 $(State of Texas v. Penguin Group (USA), Inc., No. 12-cv-3394$), S.D. N.Y.).
DALLAS - An insured was not entitled to select independent counsel for an underlying construction defects case on the ground that an actual conflict of interest existed, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled June 16, also noting that the conclusion has no effect on the insured's breach of contract claims as the insured might still have been entitled to select independent counsel if it is found that the insurer breached its duties under the policies (Centex Homes v. Lexington Insurance Co., No. 13-719, N.D. Texas; 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81853).
NEW YORK - Apple Inc. reached a settlement with states and consumers on June 16 in litigation in which the judge previously found that Apple conspired with publishers to fix the prices of electronic books, heading off a trial on damages that was scheduled to begin Aug. 25 in federal court in New York (In re Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, No. 11-md-02293 [State of Texas v. Penguin Group [USA], Inc., No. 12-cv-3394], S.D. N.Y.).