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).
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.).
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.).
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).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - Allegations by Volkswagen of America Inc. that a patented audio device integration system would have been obvious to one of ordinary skill in the art were rejected Jan. 13 by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (Volkswagen of America Inc. v. Blitzsafe Texas LLC, No. IPR2016-01448, PTAB).
HOUSTON - Although granting Viacom International Inc. summary judgment on allegations that a proposed "The Krusty Krab" restaurant would represent trademark infringement, a Texas federal judge on Jan. 11 denied Viacom's request as it relates to trademark dilution (Viacom International Inc. v. IJR Capital Investments LLC, No. 16-257, S.D. Texas.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3948).
SAN ANTONIO - A couple's lawsuit claiming that Volkswagen Group of America Inc. and a local car dealer misrepresented a vehicle's emissions and fuel efficiency should be remanded to state court, a federal judge in Texas ruled Jan. 10, finding that the plaintiffs do not allege that the manufacturer violated the Clean Air Act (CAA) (David L. Bullerwell, et al. v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc., et al., No. SA-16-CV-1199-XR, W.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3648).
NEW ORLEANS - In a Jan. 11 ruling, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a Texas federal judge's determination that a state law claim of unfair competition by misappropriation - levied in connection with allegations of stolen instructional drawings - is preempted by the Copyright Act (Ultraflo Corporation v. Pelican Worldwide, et al., No. 15-20084, 5th Cir.; 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 509).
MARSHALL, Texas - Efforts by patent infringement defendant Google Inc. to bar an expert witness from calculating reasonable royalty damages based upon the number of users who access Google Chrome in a seven-day period were unsuccessful on Jan. 9, when a Texas federal magistrate judge found that the methodology "appears sound" (Alfonso Cioffi, et al. v. Google Inc., No. 13-103, E.D. Texas; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2614).
HOUSTON - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Tyson Foods, Inc. v. Bouaphakeo (136 S. Ct. 1036 ) - a Fair Labor Standards Act case in which the high court, in its decision approving of the plaintiffs' reliance on representative evidence to satisfy the procedural requirements for class certification, expressly stated that it was not establishing any broad or categorical rules concerning the use of "representative evidence" in class cases - has no effect on a racial discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Bass Pro Outdoor World LLC, a Texas federal judge ruled Dec. 28 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, et al., No. 11-3425, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 179403).
HOUSTON - Fees awarded under Section 82.002(g) of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code are not "damages" covered by a commercial general liability insurance policy, a Texas federal judge ruled Dec. 30, finding that the ruling in Hollybrook Cottonseed Processing, L.L.C. v. Am. Guarantee & Liab. Ins. Co. (772 F.3d 1031 [5th Cir. 2014]) does not affect that conclusion (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Petroleum Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 09-0422, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180539).
DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Jan. 3 more than halved $1 billion in punitive damages for six plaintiffs in the second DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether trial, and the plaintiffs on the same day filed a notice that they will appeal the reduction (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 13-3631, Rosa Metzler, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 12-2066, Michael Weiser v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3631, Judith Rodriguez v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-3938, Linda Standerfer v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1730, Kathleen Davis, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-1767, Marvin Andrews, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 15-3484, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Dec. 30 found that a foreclosure-related case was barred by the doctrine of res judicata because the pleadings in the previous case were identical and already dismissed (Lester Anthony McPherson v. Bank of America, N.A., et al., No. 16-3498, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180115).
DALLAS - A journalist who suffered an epileptic seizure after receiving a tweet from an anonymous poster containing a strobe image was granted leave by a Texas judge on Dec. 19 to depose a representative of Twitter Inc. to obtain identifying information about the Doe poster for the purpose of pursuing legal action against him or her (In re: Petition of Kurt Eichenwald Requesting Pre-suit Deposition under Rule 202, No. DC-16-16077, Texas Dist., Dallas Co.).
HOUSTON - In a breach of contract lawsuit, a Texas federal judge on Dec. 20 excluded in part testimony from both parties involved in a dispute over an agreement for the supply of crude oil (Musket Corp. v. Suncor Energy [U.S.A.] Marketing Inc., No. 15-100, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175601).
TEXARKANA, Texas - Finding no error in the admission of two medical professionals' testimony concerning the medical care and treatment a patient received, a Texas appeals panel on Dec. 19 upheld a take-nothing judgment and finding of no negligence on the part of a hospital and one of its doctors (Kay Plunkett, et al. v. Christus St. Michael Health System, et al., No. 06-16-00010-CV, Texas App., 6th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 13427).
DALLAS - A request by a copyright infringement plaintiff for leave to amend its pleading to add an individual defendant's corporate identity was rejected Dec. 16 by a Texas federal judge, who deemed the proposed amendment futile pursuant to 17 U.S. Code Section 507(b) (RBH Energy LLC v. Stuart L. Brown, No. 16-830, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174072).
DALLAS - A Texas state jury on Dec. 16 found that a nursing home and hospital were not responsible for the death of an elderly woman whose family filed a wrongful death and negligence suit after she developed bed sores and died from pneumonia (Greg Frausto v. Pennsylvania Rehab LP., et al., No. DC-12-13131, Texas, 68th Jud. Dist., Dallas Co.). VIDEO FROM THE TRIAL IS AVAILABLE.
SHERMAN, Texas - A disability insurer did not abuse its discretion in terminating a claimant's long-term disability (LTD) benefits because the evidence supported the termination, a Texas federal judge said Dec. 12, noting that the insurer conducted an independent medical exam and four independent peer reviews before terminating benefits (Martha Shindoll v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co., No. 15-759, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171166).