LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Medical Malpractice Suit Against Doctor To Continue, Texas Appeals Panel Rules

BEAUMONT, Texas - A Texas appellate panel majority on Aug. 17 found that a trial court did not err in denying a doctor's motion to dismiss a wrongful death and medical malpractice suit against him because both of the plaintiffs' experts are qualified to opine on the connection between an alleged breach of care and a patient's death (Coye Q. McMillian v. Joe Harris, No. 09-17-00086-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7843).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas Federal Judge Denies Motion To Sever Insured's Extracontractual Claims

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 16 denied an insurer's motion to sever an insured's extracontractual claims after determining that the insurer failed to prove that it would be prejudiced if the claims are not severed and failed to prove that judicial economy would be promoted if the claims are severed (Elizabeth Hazen v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 16-3068, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130416).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Dismisses Coverage Dispute Over Damage To Texas Motel

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 15 granted an insured's motion to dismiss its commercial insurer's declaratory judgment lawsuit disputing coverage for alleged storm damage to the insured's motel, finding that the majority of the factors in Brillhart v. Excess Ins. Co. of Am., 316 U.S. 491, 495, 62 S. Ct. 1173, 86 L. Ed. 1620 (1942), weigh in favor of dismissal (GuideOne National Insurance Company v. Bhav Harri, LLC, No. 16-00740, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129473).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - 5th Circuit Reinstates Challenge Of Foreclosure, Finds 2 Rulings Changed Texas Law

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 partially reversed a trial court's decision and ruled that Wood v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A., 505 S.W.3d 542 (Tex. 2016), and Garofolo v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, L.L.C., 497 S.W.3d 474 (Tex. 2016), constitute intervening changes in law sufficient enough to provide a borrower with post-judgment relief on her claim to preclude foreclosure (Tina Alexander v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., et al., No. 16-20500, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15279).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Panel Finds City Is Immune From Premises Liability Suit

DALLAS - A Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 15 affirmed the dismissal of a premises liability suit against a city after finding that it was immune from suit under state law (Louis Morgan v. The City of Terrell, No. 05-16-00554-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7736).

Mealey's Health Law - Owner Of 2 Home Health Companies Found Guilty Of Health Care Fraud

HOUSTON - A registered nurse who owned two home health care companies was found guilty on Aug. 10 by a federal jury in Texas of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud for her role in a $20 million Medicare fraud scheme (United States v. Evelyn Mokwuah, No. 16cr254, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Panel Upholds Health Care Liability Claims Against Surgeon

HOUSTON - A Texas appellate panel on Aug. 15 upheld a lower court's decision to deny a surgeon's motion to dismiss a health care liability suit because the plaintiff's expert showed in his affidavit that there was a standard of care and that standard was breached (Marston Holt, M.D. v. Kirby Holt, No. 01-17-00008-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7732).

Mealey's Insurance - Owner Of 2 Home Health Companies Found Guilty Of Health Care Fraud

HOUSTON - A registered nurse who owned two home health care companies was found guilty on Aug. 10 by a federal jury in Texas of one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and four counts of health care fraud for her role in a $20 million Medicare fraud scheme (United States v. Evelyn Mokwuah, No. 16cr254, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - $97.5M Settlement Preliminarily Approved, Settlement Hearing Set In JCPenney Securities Suit

TYLER, Texas - A Texas federal judge on July 24 preliminarily approved a $97.5 million settlement on claims that retailer JCPenney Co. Inc. and certain of its executive officers misrepresented the company's business and financial condition in violation of federal securities laws and scheduled a settlement hearing for Nov. 29 (Alan B. Marcus v. JCPenney Company Inc., et al., No. 13-0736, E.D. Texas).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Federal Judge Orders New Deposition In Patent Case

SHERMAN, Texas - A plaintiff will be permitted another opportunity to depose the author of a patent opinion letter at the expense of an infringement defendant "as a remedy" for conduct by defense counsel, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 11 (Tech Pharmacy Services LLC v. Alixa Rx LLC, No. 15-766, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127965).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Orders New Deposition In Patent Case

SHERMAN, Texas - A plaintiff will be permitted another opportunity to depose the author of a patent opinion letter at the expense of an infringement defendant "as a remedy" for conduct by defense counsel, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 11 (Tech Pharmacy Services LLC v. Alixa Rx LLC, No. 15-766, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 127965).

Mealey's Insurance - Motion To Remand Pollution Dispute Denied; Claims Against Adjuster Fail, Judge Says

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 10 denied a motion to remand by insureds seeking coverage under a pollution liability policy after determining that the insurer's adjuster was fraudulently joined to defeat diversity jurisdiction (Waste Management Inc., et al., v. AIG Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-3676, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126880).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Federal Judge Finds No Injury Dooms FACTA Class Suit

DALLAS - A lead plaintiff's class suit under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) that accuses a supermarket of not properly truncating customers' information on its receipts fails due to no showing of injury in fact, a Texas federal judge ruled Aug. 9 (Sumeet Batra, et al. v. RLS Supermarkets LLC, No. 16-2874, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125877).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Panel Affirms Summary Judgment In Dental Malpractice Suit

HOUSTON - A First District Texas Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 8 affirmed a trial court's order granting summary judgment to a dentist and his practice in a dental malpractice suit after finding that the claims were health care liability claims and subject to a two-year statute of limitations (Lover Compton v. Lance Jue D.D.S, et al., No. 01-16-00412-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Expert Testimony In Patent, Trade Secrets Action Allowed By Federal Judge

SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 7 declined to exclude testimony from two experts for a pharmaceutical company asserting patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims against rival companies, ruling that the experts' opinions meet all standards for expert testimony (Tech Pharmacy Services, LLC v. Alixa Rx LLC, et al., No. 4:15-cv-766, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124423, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123990).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Testimony In Patent, Trade Secrets Action Allowed By Federal Judge

SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Aug. 7 declined to exclude testimony from two experts for a pharmaceutical company asserting patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims against rival companies, ruling that the experts' opinions meet all standards for expert testimony (Tech Pharmacy Services, LLC v. Alixa Rx LLC, et al., No. 4:15-cv-766, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124423, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123990).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Refuses To Dismiss Suit Over Fraudulent Insurance Policies

FORT WORTH, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 4 denied a motion to dismiss filed by an insurance agency accused of selling fraudulent commercial general liability policies to a framing contractor, finding that the court has personal jurisdiction over the lawsuit (Rankin Construction National Builders LLC v. Frank H. Reis, Inc., No. 17-CV-530-A, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123096).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Appeals Panel Affirms Finding That State-Run Hospital Is Not Immune From Suit

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas appellate panel on Aug. 3 affirmed a trial court's decision to deny a state-run hospital's plea to jurisdiction because the plaintiffs showed that the hospital staff's misuse of a liquid during a procedure was the proximate cause of a patient's death and, therefore, the hospital is not immune from suit under Texas law (University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center v. Lance McKenzie, et al., No. 14-16-00681-CV, Texas App., 14th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7312).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Owners Association Is Not Assignee To Condo Developer, Texas Appeals Court Rules

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Aug. 3 affirmed a trial court judge's ruling denying a contractor's motion to compel arbitration in a construction defects suit brought by an association of unit owners, finding that the association was not an assignee or successor to the developer (G.T. Leach Builders, LLC v. Sapphire Condominiums Association Inc., No. 13-16-00293-CV, Texas App., 13th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7367).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: City's Operation Of Wastewater Treatment Site Triggers CERCLA Liability

HOUSTON - A federal judge in Texas on Aug. 2 denied a motion by the city of Pasadena, Texas, for partial summary judgment, finding that it could face liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) because it owned a wastewater treatment plant for 50 years where spills of hazardous waste occurred (USOR Site PRP Group v. A&M Contractors Inc., et al., No. 14-CV-2441, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121386).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Appeals Court Says Church, Contractor Must Arbitrate Claims With Manufacturer

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Fort Worth church and the contractor who installed a roof membrane system that subsequently leaked must arbitrate their claims with Dow Roofing Systems LLC, the maker of the membrane, a Texas appeals panel ruled Aug. 3, holding that the limited warranty provided by Dow to the church and the applicator agreement between Dow and the contractor each had enforceable arbitration provisions (Dow Roofing Systems LLC v. Great Commission Baptist Church, et al., No. 02-16-00395-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 7370).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Grants Motion To Amend Restaurant Franchisor's Trademark Suit

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on July 31 granted a motion to file a second amended complaint requested by restaurant franchisors and denied a restaurant group's motion to dismiss the trademark infringement lawsuit, saying that the defendant would not suffer undue prejudice and that it did not appear to be an effort to circumvent the defendant's motion to dismiss the suit (Stockade Cos. LLC, et al. v. Kelly Restaurant Group LLC, No. 1:17-cv-143, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120012).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurers Allege Scheme To Refuse Selling Reinsured Vehicle-Protection Products

EL PASO, Texas - A car dealership's shareholder and his reinsurance companies allege in a July 27 complaint filed in a Texas federal court that individuals schemed to take control over the dealership and to decline to sell vehicle-protection products that are reinsured by the reinsurers (Richard C. Poe II, et al. v. Anthony E. Bock, et al., No. 17-00232, W.D. Texas).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Attorney's Estate Entitled To Client Emails In Fees Dispute, Texas Panel Rules

DALLAS - The estate of a deceased attorney was properly granted access to his emails related to a lawsuit at the heart of an unpaid fee dispute, a Texas appeals panel ruled July 25, finding that attorney-client privilege did not bar discovery because the estate stood in the attorney's shoes (In re Cokinos, Boisien & Young, No. 05-16-01331-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 6911).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge Cuts Fees For Salon Franchisor In Breach Of Contract Suit

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on July 27 awarded a hair salon franchisor $26,900 in attorney fees and $8,649.42 in litigation expenses and court costs, less than the $62,344 the franchisor was seeking, in a case against a former franchisee alleging breach of contract, unfair competition and trademark and trade dress infringement, finding duplication of effort between the two law firms that worked on the case (Fantastic Sams Franchise Corporation v. Gerald Mosley, No. 16-2318, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177941).