LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Magistrate Judge Denies Broadcom Bid To Transfer Patent Litigation

MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas infringement plaintiff prevailed Feb. 27 in response to a motion by Broadcom Ltd. and several other defendants to transfer the dispute to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 v. Broadcom Ltd., et al., No. 16-134, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26755).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Broker Is Liable For Breach Of Implied Contract; Damages Are In Dispute

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 24 held that there is no genuine dispute of material fact regarding whether an insurance broker breached its implied contract to secure a total of $975,000 worth of federal flood insurance coverage for an insured, further finding that the amount of potential damages that the breach caused is in dispute (Hudson Henley v. Love Insurance Group, LLC, No. 15-3078, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26244).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court Reverses Ruling That Insured Vs. Insured Exclusion Is Inapplicable

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on Feb. 24 found that an appeals court majority incorrectly interpreted the plain language of an insured vs. insured exclusion in a directors and officers liability insurance policy, reversing the majority's ruling against the insurer (Great American Insurance Co. v. Robert Primo, No. 15-0317, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 212).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas High Court: Lower Court Should Decide If ExxonMobil Should Clean Up Site

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court held Feb. 24 that a lower court judge should determine if a landowner can seek an order requiring ExxonMobil Corp. to remediate two sites where it conducted oil drilling and production operations, finding that the issue was not properly raised on appeal (ExxonMobil Corporation v. Lazy R. Ranch, LP, et al., No. 15-0270, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 210).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Company To Settle Bias Claims After It Refused To Hire Deaf Applicants

DALLAS - A Fort Worth, Texas, cellphone repair company will pay $110,000 to settle claims that it engaged in discriminatory hiring practices when it refused to hire two hearing-impaired applicants due to their disability, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced Feb. 23 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. S&B Industry, Inc., No. 15-641, N.D. Texas).

Mealey's Insurance - Federal Judge Rejects Motorola's Request For Daubert Hearing

MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 21 partially granted a motion to exclude testimony on damages in a patent infringement case, but found that most of the expert's opinions did not justify exclusion under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc. before trial (Saint Lawrence Communications LLC v. ZTE Corp., et al., No. 2:15-cv-349, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23505).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Federal Judge Rejects Motorola's Request For Daubert Hearing

MARSHALL, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Feb. 21 partially granted a motion to exclude testimony on damages in a patent infringement case, but found that most of the expert's opinions did not justify exclusion under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms. Inc. before trial (Saint Lawrence Communications LLC v. ZTE Corp., et al., No. 2:15-cv-349, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23505).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 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 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.).