LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge: Investors State No Actionable Misrepresentations In Securities Class Action

HOUSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Feb. 14, because lead plaintiffs failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in arguing that an offshore energy services company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented repair issues with one of the company's well intervention vessels in violation of federal securities laws (Parvis Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., et al., No. 15-2213, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20444).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Houston Texans Oppose Motion To Remand Injury Suit To State Court

HOUSTON - The Houston Texans say in a Feb. 14 brief opposing remand that former National Football League player DeMeco Ryans' state law claims that he injured himself because of faulty turf are wrapped up in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) he signed with the league and should be kept in federal court (DeMeco Ryans v. Houston Texans, et al., No. 4:16-cv-03554, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Court Affirms Injury To Child Conviction, Finds Testimony On Head Trauma Reliable

AUSTIN, Texas - Expert testimony from three medical doctors on the subject of abusive head trauma was reliable, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled Feb. 15, upholding a woman's conviction in a bench trial for first-degree-felony injury to a child after an infant under her care sustained serious internal head injuries (Jennifer Banner Wolfe v. The States of Texas, No. PD-0292-15, Texas App., Crim., 2017 Tex. Crim. App. LEXIS 215).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: Investors State No Actionable Misrepresentations In Securities Class Action

HOUSTON - Dismissal of a securities class action lawsuit is proper, a federal judge in Texas ruled Feb. 14, because lead plaintiffs failed to plead any actionable misrepresentations or scienter in arguing that an offshore energy services company and certain of its current and former executive officers misrepresented repair issues with one of the company's well intervention vessels in violation of federal securities laws (Parvis Izadjoo v. Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc., et al., No. 15-2213, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20444).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court Refuses To Rehear Ruling On Discovery Order In Hailstorm Dispute

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court refused to revisit its ruling in a hailstorm coverage dispute that directed a lower court to vacate the part of its discovery order compelling production of management reports and emails and to re-evaluate the issue of sanctions against the insurer, according to its Feb. 17 orders pronounced (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 15-0452, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Insurance - Joinder Of Adjuster Was Improper, Federal Judge Rules In Denying Motion To Remand

DALLAS - Finding that an insured improperly joined an insurance adjuster in a dispute over coverage for storm damage, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 14 denied the insured's motion to remand and dismissed the claims against the adjuster without prejudice (Hutchins Warehouse Limited Partners v. American Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-3336, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20417).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Panel Reverses Summary Judgment In Wrongful Death Suit

HOUSTON - A Texas appellate panel on Feb. 14 found that a trial court erred by denying summary judgment to a hospital accused of failing prevent a patient, who was later killed by a train, from escaping because under Texas law, the hospital was immune from the suit and not subject to a waiver of immunity (OakBend Medical Center v. Domingo Martinez Jr., No. 14-16-00199-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1215).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge: ERISA Stock Ownership Plan Cannot Seek Recovery Under Crime Policy

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Feb. 9 held that a third-party holding corporate stock cannot seek coverage under an insurance policy's plain language that limits coverage to "direct" losses when a corporate officer committed fraud that caused the devaluation of the corporation's stock (HC4, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, No. 16-00090, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19605).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas Panel Finds Take- Nothing Judgment In Hurricane Ike Coverage Suit Was Proper

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel held Feb. 9 that a take-nothing judgment against insureds is proper because a commercial insurer overpaid the actual cash value of Hurricane Ike property damage by more than $1.5 million based on the jury's findings as to actual cash value (Triyar Companies, LLC, et al. v. Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., No. 14-14-00160, Texas. App., 14th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1126).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge: Design Patent Case Should Proceed In New York Court

HOUSTON - A dispute over two design patents covering ornamental women's sandals should be litigated in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York where an infringement defendant is headquartered, a Texas federal judge concluded Feb. 10 (JPT Group LLC v. Balenciaga America Inc., No. 16-1596, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19003).

Mealey's Insurance - Panel: Insureds Provide No Competent Evidence To Raise Fact Issue As To Occurrence

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Feb. 9 held that insureds have failed to produce competent evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether their property damage loss occurred during their homeowners insurance policy period, affirming a lower court's ruling in favor of the insurer and its adjuster (Richard Seim, et al. v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, et al., No. 02-16-00050, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1154).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Finds No Error In Admission Of Medical Examiner's Testimony

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Finding no error in the admission of a medical examiner's testimony based on reliable evidence, a Texas appeals panel on Feb. 9 affirmed a woman's conviction for injury to a child causing bodily injury (Smita Chakravarthy v. The State of Texas, No. 13-14-00086-CR, Texas App., 13th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1114).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Federal Judge Denies Groups' Motions Challenging DOL's Fiduciary Duty Rule

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 8 denied motions for summary judgment in consolidated cases filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (COC) and other groups opposed to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new "fiduciary rule" set to take effect April 10, saying that the DOL has not exceeded its authority and that the new rule does not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, et al. v. Edward Hugler, Acting Secretary of Labor, et al., No. 3:16-cv-1476, consolidated with 3:16-cv-1530, 3:16-cv-1537, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17619).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Adopts Report, Grants Relief In Patent Case

MARSHALL, Texas - Findings by a Texas federal magistrate judge that Mylan Institutional LLC and Apicore US LLC (Mylan, collectively) are entitled to a preliminary injunction barring competitors from making and selling generic isosulfan blue were adopted in full Feb. 7 by a Texas federal judge (Mylan Institutional LLC and Apicore US LLC v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd., et al., No. 16-491, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16797).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Refuses To Bar Fire Investigators' Opinions In Strict Products Liability Suit

HOUSTON - In a strict products liability lawsuit, a Texas federal judge on Feb. 7 declined to exclude testimonies from fire investigators because the expert opinions rely on acceptable methodology (Harris Caprock Communications Inc. v. Trippe Manufacturing Co. d/b/a Tripp Lite d/b/a Tripp Lite Holdings Inc., No. 15-0130, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16857).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Claims Adjuster, Employee Were Properly Joined In Bad Faith Suit

SAN ANTONIO - An insured has shown that a claims adjuster and its employee violated provisions of the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) and, thus, that those defendants were properly joined in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, a federal judge in Texas ruled Jan. 31 in granting an insured's motion to remand the action to state court (Kris Hospitality LLC, d/b/a Days Inn, v. Tri-State Insurance Co. of Minnesota, et al., No. 16-1229, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13532).

Mealey's IP/Tech - $500M Verdict Returned In Trade Secrets Trial Involving Virtual Reality Software

DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Feb. 1 ordered four defendants - including Facebook Inc. - to pay a combined $500 million in actual damages to two virtual reality (VR) technology companies for copyright and trademark infringement, conversion, violations of a nondisclosure agreement and false designation (ZeniMax Media Inc., et al. v. Oculus VR Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-1849, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Upholds Denial Of Damages Claim In Patent Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not err in finding that a covenant not to sue barred a patent infringement action nor in holding that the defendant in the case failed to properly support its claim for damages in the form of attorney fees, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded Jan. 26 (Securus Technologies Inc. v. Global Tel*Link Corporation, Nos. 16-1470, -1506, Fed. Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1376).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Federal Judge Bars Partial Testimony In Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

DALLAS - In a disability discrimination suit, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 24 excluded an expert's opinion that "audism and phonocentric views may have prevented accommodations" from being made to two women (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. S&B Industry Inc. d/b/a Fox Conn S&B, No. 15-0641, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9259).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Sides With Copyright Plaintiff In Daily Newsletter Dispute

HOUSTON - Each issue of a daily newsletter constitutes a single work, and an annual subscription does not constitute a compilation under the Copyright Act, a Texas federal judge ruled Jan. 24 (Energy Intelligence Group Inc. v. Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors LP and KA Fund Advisors LP, No. 14-1903, S.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9426).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Magistrate Judge Denies Fees Despite Willful Infringement Verdict

MARSHALL, Texas - Weeks after it was awarded $17.4 million as a reasonable royalty on willful patent infringement by Smith & Nephew Inc. and Arthrocare Corp. (Smith & Nephew, collectively), Arthrex Inc. was denied an award of attorney fees by a Texas federal magistrate judge on Jan. 25 (Arthrex Inc. v. Smith & Nephew Inc., et al., No. 15-1047, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10141).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Bars Partial Testimony In Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

DALLAS - In a disability discrimination suit, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 24 excluded an expert's opinion that "audism and phonocentric views may have prevented accommodations" from being made to two women (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. S&B Industry Inc. d/b/a Fox Conn S&B, No. 15-0641, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9259).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Affirms Preliminary Injunction In Water Balloon Patent Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge did not abuse his discretion in finding that the owner of a patented mechanism for filling water balloons was likely to succeed on its claim that a competitor committed patent infringement, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Jan. 24 (Tinnus Enterprises LLC v. Telebrands Corporation, No. 16-1410, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Vacates, Remands Noninfringement Judgment In Patent Row

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's summary judgment that a defendant did not infringe a patented process for producing the antioxidant coenzyme CoQ10 was reversed and remanded Jan. 23 by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Zhejiang Medicine Co. Ltd. and ZMC-USA LLC v. Kaneka Corp., No. 16-1390, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Federal Judge Dismisses Gender Identity Discrimination Claims

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 13 dismissed claims alleging gender identity discrimination under Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) against an insurer and an employer because the plaintiff failed to cite any controlling precedent that recognizes a cause of action under Section 1557 for gender identity discrimination (Charlize Marie Baker v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 15-3679, N.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5665).