LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Refuses To Remand Case, Finds Arbitration Clause Could Provide Defense

DALLAS - After finding that it is possible that an arbitration clause falling under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards could provide a defense to claims asserted by two entities against former employees, a Texas federal judge on July 21 refused to remand the case to state court (Valtech Solutions Inc., et al. v. Deborah Davenport, et al., No. 3:15-CV-3361, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95098).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Refuses To Remand Case, Finds Arbitration Clause Could Provide Defense

DALLAS - After finding that it is possible that an arbitration clause falling under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards could provide a defense to claims asserted by two entities against former employees, a Texas federal judge on July 21 refused to remand the case to state court (Valtech Solutions Inc., et al. v. Deborah Davenport, et al., No. 3:15-CV-3361, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95098).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: 'Your Work' Exclusion Bars Arbitration Award From Insured's Faulty Work

HOUSTON - An insurance policy's "your work" exclusion precludes damages awarded in arbitration to homeowners because the insured contractor's work caused the damages, which did not include damages to the pool or work performed by other subcontractors, a Texas federal judge ruled July 19 (Grier Patton and Camille Patton and David A. Fettner v. Mid-Continent Casualty Co., No. 15-1371, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93568).

Mealey's Insurance - Jury Finds Nurse Guilty For Role In $8M Health Care Fraud Scheme

HOUSTON - A nurse at a Texas home health care services company was found guilty on three counts of health care fraud by a unanimous jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas on July 19 for her role in an $8 million scheme that involved submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare (United States of America v. Precious Deshield, et al., No. 15cr319, S.D. Texas).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Court Won't Rehear Case Involving 9-Year Delay In Accepting Settlement

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on July 19 declined to rehear an asbestos case in which it found that a nine-year gap in accepting a settlement offer did not doom the claim, turning away Union Carbide Corp.'s warning that the ruling "risks creating a dangerous precedent" (Union Carbide Corp. v. Perry Jones, Rosemary Allegria, et al., No. 01-14-00574-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).

Special Deputy Receiver Asks Court To OK Settlement Of Home Fire Damage Claim

AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer asked a Texas court on July 15 to approve a settlement between a homeowner and the receivership estate of an insolvent insurer of the homeowner's fire damage claim (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Court Won't Rehear Case Involving 9-Year Delay In Accepting Settlement

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals court on July 19 declined to rehear an asbestos case in which it found that a nine-year gap in accepting a settlement offer did not doom the claim, turning away Union Carbide Corp.'s warning that the ruling "risks creating a dangerous precedent" (Union Carbide Corp. v. Perry Jones, Rosemary Allegria, et al., No. 01-14-00574-CV, Texas App., 1st Dist.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Judge Agrees: Unclean Hands, Estoppel Trademark Defenses Are Without Merit

SHERMAN, Texas - An infringement plaintiff's affirmative defenses of unclean hands and estoppel in response to a defendant's counterclaim for cancellation of various trademarks were properly rejected by a Texas federal magistrate judge, a Texas federal judge concluded July 16 (Neal Technologies Inc. v. Unite Motorsports Inc., No. 15-385, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92655).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Magistrate: Attorney Fees Not Warranted In Patent Case

MARSHALL, Texas - A defendant failed to prove that a patent plaintiff litigated its case in an unreasonable manner or that the claims presented "stand out" from others pursuant to Octane Fitness LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness Inc. (134 S. Ct. 1749, 1756 [2014]), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled July 18 (Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations LLC v. ADS Security LP, No. 15-1431, E.D. Texas.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92845).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Tesoro Corp., Subsidiaries To Pay $425M Over Allegedly Illegal Emissions

SAN ANTONIO - Tesoro Corp., Par Hawaii Refining and their subsidiaries on July 18 said in a consent decree filed in Texas federal court that they would pay $425 million to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) at six of their refineries in Alaska, California, Hawaii, North Dakota, Utah and Washington (United States of America v. Tesoro Corp., et al., No. 16-cv-722, W.D. Texas).

Mealey's Insurance - Special Deputy Receiver Wants Hearing On Disputed Claim

AUSTIN, Texas - The special deputy receiver (SDR) of an insolvent insurer asked a Texas court on July 13 to hold a hearing on a contested claim regarding compensation for certain losses of an insured due to a house fire (The State of Texas and the Texas Department of Insurance v. Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, et al., No. D-1-GN-002366, Texas Dist., Travis Co.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - 5th Circuit Denies EPA's Motion To Dismiss, Transfer Appeal Over Haze Plan

NEW ORLEANS - A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 denied a motion filed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to dismiss or transfer to the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals a petition filed by the State of Texas and a number of organizations challenging the agency's implementation of a regional haze plan, finding that it is the proper forum to hear the petitioners' case (State of Texas, et al. v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No. 16-60118, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 13058).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Judge: No Manifest Errors Of Law Exist In Securities Suit Ruling

DALLAS - Ruling that defendants in a Securities and Exchange Commission civil enforcement action have failed to show that a federal district court committed manifest errors of law or fact, a federal judge in Texas on July 13 denied the defendants' motion for reconsideration of his ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Arcturus Corp., et al., No. 13-4861, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88410).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge Won't Release 2 Studies In Pinnacle Hip MDL; No Good Cause Shown

DALLAS - The Texas federal judge overseeing the Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation on July 8 denied a request by plaintiffs to remove the confidentiality designations from two clinical studies, saying defendant DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. showed good cause for continuing the confidential designation for the study data (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insured Can't Maintain Bad Faith Claims After Appraisal Award Paid

FORT WORTH, Texas - A federal judge in Texas on July 5 granted an insurer's motion for summary judgment in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit, ruling that an insured can no longer bring her claims because the appraisal process has been completed and the insurer timely paid her the appraisal award (Yolanda Aguilar v. State Farm Lloyds, et al., No. 15-565, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87600).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas Panel Affirms Jury's Verdict Against Insurer In Wind Coverage Dispute

HOUSTON - A Texas appeals panel on June 30 found that an insurer breached the policy when it refused to cover the physical loss to an insured's roof that was caused by a wind event, affirming a jury's award of $12,878 for damages and $70,000 for attorney fees (State Farm Lloyds v. Ginger Hanson, No. 14-15-00093, Texas App., 14th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6937).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Judge Allows Testimony On Dry Green Pea Transportation Market

DALLAS - An agricultural transportation expert may testify about the dry green pea transportation market along the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad in a breach of contract lawsuit over the sale of dry green peas, a Texas federal magistrate judge held June 30, finding that the testimony is both reliable and relevant (HostingXtreme Ventures, LLC v. Bespoke Group, LLC, et al., No. 14-1471, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84895).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Federal Judge Says Hospital Makes Plausible Claim To Recover Benefits

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on June 28 granted in part and denied in part United HealthCare Services Inc.'s motion to dismiss claims that it either did not pay or underpaid claims for services provided by a Texas hospital to United subscribers (Texas General Hospital LP, et al. v. United HealthCare Services Inc., et al., No. 3:15-CV-02096, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84082).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Court Upholds Builder's Summary Judgment Ruling Over Defects

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas appellate court panel on June 30 affirmed a ruling awarding summary judgment to a home builder accused of construction defects, finding that the plaintiffs failed to explain how their evidence presented in opposition to summary judgment supported their allegations (Peter Payne, et al. v. Highland Homes Ltd., No. 02-14-00067-CV, Texas App., 2nd Dist.; 2016 Texas App. LEXIS 6987).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Magistrate Judge Grants Cisco Motion To Stay Patent Case

MARSHALL, Texas - Citing a plaintiff's stated intent to seek only monetary damages in connection with its patent infringement lawsuit, a Texas federal magistrate judge on June 28 found that a stay of the case pending resolution of an inter partes review (IPR) by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the board) would not result in undue prejudice (SSL Services LLC v. Cisco Systems Inc., No. 15-433 E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83370.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Substantially Denies Dismissal Motion In Third-Party Insurance Dispute

DALLAS - A federal judge in Texas on June 28 substantially denied an insurer's motion to dismiss in a third-party insurance dispute with a for-profit hospital, ruling that the hospital has properly pleaded all but two of its claims, which it conceded required dismissal (Texas General Hospital LP, et al. v. United Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. 15-2096, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84082).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Court Will Decide Jurisdiction In Asbestos Claims Collusion Case

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on June 24 agreed to decide whether personal jurisdiction arises from out-of-state plaintiff Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co. Inc.'s allegation that out-of-state defendants attended two in-state meetings involving the resolution of Pneumo Abex LLC asbestos claims (M&F Worldwide Corp., et al. v. Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Company Inc., No. 15-0083, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Court Will Decide Jurisdiction In Asbestos Claims Collusion Case

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on June 24 agreed to decide whether personal jurisdiction arises from out-of-state plaintiff Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Co. Inc.'s allegation that out-of-state defendants attended two in-state meetings involving the resolution of Pneumo Abex LLC asbestos claims (M&F Worldwide Corp., et al. v. Pepsi-Cola Metropolitan Bottling Company Inc., No. 15-0083, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Vacates Dismissal Of Dispute Over Content-Filtering Patent

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge erred in dismissing, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 12(b)(6), a patent infringement case based upon her determination that the patent in suit is invalid under 35 U.S. Code Section 101, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals concluded June 27 (BASCOM Global Internet Services Inc. v. AT&T Inc., et al., No. 15-1763, Fed. Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 11687).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Federal Judge Partially Grants, Denies Dismissal In Car Rollover Suit

SAN DIEGO - A federal judge in Texas on June 22 partially granted and partially denied two separate motions to dismiss from General Motors LLC and U-Haul International Inc. in a suit in which the surviving family members of a woman and her younger brother alleged that design defects in a car and a trailer caused their car to roll over, which led to their deaths (Maria Barragan, et al v. General Motors LLC, et al., No. SA-15-CV-854-DAE, W.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80984).