LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Panel Affirms Verdict In Premises Liability Suit

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on April 6 affirmed a verdict in a premises liability suit in favor of a restaurant and its owner after finding that a woman who sued after her husband died from a fall on the restaurant's property did not present enough evidence to show that patio furniture was the dangerous condition that caused the fall (Margaret Kinsley v. Cartwright's Ranch House LLC, et al., No. 02-16-00149-CV, Texas App. 2nd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 3032).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court Remands Coverage Dispute Over Hurricane Ike Wind Damage

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court on April 7 held that a lower court erred when it disregarded a jury's answer to a question in a Hurricane Ike wind coverage dispute and the appeals court erred when it affirmed the trial court's judgment, reversing the court of appeals' judgment and remanding the case for a new trial (USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Gail Menchaca, No. 14-0721, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 361).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - 5th Circuit Denies Motion For Injunction Pending Appeal Of DOL Fiduciary Rule

NEW ORLEANS - With no comment, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 5 denied an emergency motion filed by a consortium of eight national and Texas-based trade associations that sell annuities and other life insurance products for an injunction pending appeal of the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) new fiduciary duty rule (Chamber of Commerce of the USA, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., No. 17-10238, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Judge Bars In Part Testimony On Terms In Patent Infringement Suit

TYLER, Texas - A Texas federal magistrate judge on April 1 granted and denied in part testimony from a noninfringement expert and an invalidity expert on the constructions of "metal film" and "gate wiring" in a patent infringement lawsuit (Eidos Display LLC and Eidos III LLC v. Chi Mei Innolux Corp., et al., No. 11-00201, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50167).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Preliminary Approval Of $100M Settlement In Halliburton Securities Suit Granted

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 31 granted preliminary approval of a $100 million securities class action settlement between investors and Halliburton Co. and its CEO who were alleged to have issued certain misrepresentations regarding the company's asbestos litigation liability, its financial condition and the benefits of a merger deal in violation of federal securities laws (The Erica P. John Fund Inc. v. Halliburton Co., et al., No. 02-1152, N.D. Texas).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Panel Affirms $700,000 Dog Bite Verdict

TEXARKANA, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on March 31 affirmed a $700,000 verdict in a dog bite case after finding that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient for the jury to find that dog owners were grossly negligent in training and keeping their dog in their yard (Paula Kaye Turner, et al. v. Jennifer Duggin, No. 06-16-00046-CV, Texas App., 6th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2786).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Preliminary Approval Of $100M Settlement In Halliburton Securities Suit Granted

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 31 granted preliminary approval of a $100 million securities class action settlement between investors and Halliburton Co. and its CEO who were alleged to have issued certain misrepresentations regarding the company's asbestos litigation liability, its financial condition and the benefits of a merger deal in violation of federal securities laws (The Erica P. John Fund Inc. v. Halliburton Co., et al., No. 02-1152, N.D. Texas).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Roadhouse Agrees To Pay $12 Million To Settle EEOC Age Bias Suit

BOSTON - A Kentucky-based steakhouse chain will pay $12 million to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of class of applicants who allegedly have been denied positions due to their ages, the EEOC announced March 31 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Texas Roadhouse, Inc., et al., No. 11-11732, D. Mass.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Finds Trust Is Party To Lawsuit, Remands Quiet Title Case To Texas Court

GALVESTON, Texas - After finding that the true party to a lawsuit filed by a borrower in relation to a lien on its property was a business trust and not bank, a Texas federal court remanded a case to state court for lack of jurisdiction (Pechua Inc. v. America's Wholesale Lender, et al., No. 3:16-CV-364, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47486).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Roadhouse Agrees To Pay $12 Million To Settle EEOC Age Bias Suit

BOSTON - A Kentucky-based steakhouse chain will pay $12 million to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of class of applicants who allegedly have been denied positions due to their ages, the EEOC announced March 31 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Texas Roadhouse, Inc., et al., No. 11-11732, D. Mass.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Awards $187,604.17 For Costs Associated With Insured's Work On Fuel Tank

HOUSTON - Granting a motion for final entry of judgment, a Texas federal judge ruled March 29 that a commercial general liability insurer owes a contractor $187,604.17 for costs associated with an insured subcontractor's work on a fuel tank (Mid-Continent Casualty Co. v. Petroleum Solutions, Inc., et al., No. 09-0422, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 46285).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Seismic Workers Granted Class Certification In Wage Dispute

HOUSTON - A Texas federal magistrate judge on March 27 certified a class of workers paid on a day-rate basis who allege that they worked more than their allotted 12 hours per day but were not paid overtime (Darnell Senegal, et al. v. Fairfield Industries, Inc., d/b/a Fairfield Nodal, No. 16-2113, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43830).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Secret Asbestos Settlement Acceptance No Acceptance At All, Texas Top Court Told

AUSTIN, Texas - At some point not declaring acceptance of a settlement crosses the line into unreasonable, and asbestos plaintiffs' eight- and nine-year delay constitutes a long trip past the line, Union Carbide Corp. told the Texas Supreme Court March 28 (Union Carbide Corp. v. Perry Jones, Rosemary Allegria, et al., No. 16-0648, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Seismic Workers Granted Class Certification In Wage Dispute

HOUSTON - A Texas federal magistrate judge on March 27 certified a class of workers paid on a day-rate basis who allege that they worked more than their allotted 12 hours per day but were not paid overtime (Darnell Senegal, et al. v. Fairfield Industries, Inc., d/b/a Fairfield Nodal, No. 16-2113, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43830).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Secret Asbestos Settlement Acceptance No Acceptance At All, Texas Top Court Told

AUSTIN, Texas - At some point not declaring acceptance of a settlement crosses the line into unreasonable, and asbestos plaintiffs' eight- and nine-year delay constitutes a long trip past the line, Union Carbide Corp. told the Texas Supreme Court March 28 (Union Carbide Corp. v. Perry Jones, Rosemary Allegria, et al., No. 16-0648, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Allows Amended Claims For Declaratory Relief Against Ocwen

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on March 28 partially granted a motion filed by former property owners to amend their complaint against a loan servicer in relation to a foreclosure action, finding that amendment of their common-law fraud claim would be futile (Roger Law, et al. v. Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, No.16-2675, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45758).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 5th Circuit: Volitional Conduct Needed For Direct Copyright Infringement

NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge did not err in granting a defendant summary judgment on the question of direct copyright infringement because the judge properly found an absence of volitional conduct, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled March 27 (BWP Media USA, et al. v. T&S Software Associates, No. 16-10510, 5th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5340).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Decision-Making Authority Does Not 'Arise Out Of' Tangible Property Damage

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on March 23 found that an insurance policy's property damage exclusion does not bar directors and officers and entity liability coverage for at least two underlying claims against a homeowners association insured stemming from Hurricane Ike damage (The Landing Council of Co-Owners v. Federal Insurance Co., No. 15-1902, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42087).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Texas Appeals Panel: Tobacco Tax Does Not Violate U.S. Constitution

AUSTIN, Texas - On remand from the Texas Supreme Court, a state appellate panel on March 24 found that a tax enacted on nonparticipating manufacturers in a statewide tobacco settlement does not violate the equal protection and due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution and reversed summary judgment granted to the small tobacco companies (Glenn Hegar, et al. v. Texas Small Tobacco Coalition and Global Tobacco Inc., No. 03-13-00753-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2547).

Mealey's Insurance - Expert Allowed To Opine On Compliance Of Insurance Marketing Industry Standards

SAN ANTONIO - An expert is qualified to testify on independent marketing organizations (IMOs) in the insurance industry and regarding an IMO's "compliance or lack of compliance with industry standards," a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled March 24 (Wealthmark Advisors Inc. and David Shields v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co. and PHL Variable Insurance Co., No. 16-00485, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42978).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Expert Allowed To Opine On Compliance Of Insurance Marketing Industry Standards

SAN ANTONIO - An expert is qualified to testify on independent marketing organizations (IMOs) in the insurance industry and regarding an IMO's "compliance or lack of compliance with industry standards," a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled March 24 (Wealthmark Advisors Inc. and David Shields v. Phoenix Life Insurance Co. and PHL Variable Insurance Co., No. 16-00485, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42978).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Magistrate Judge Allows Testimony On Claimed Process In Patent Infringement Suit

TYLER, Texas - In a patent infringement lawsuit, an expert may provide opinions "based on his technical knowledge and expertise" as to the technical advantages of a claimed process of forming circuitry used in controlling liquid crystal displays (LCDs), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled March 22 (Eidos Display LLC and Eidos III LLC v. Chi Mei Innolux Corp., et al., No. 11-00201, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41040).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Insurance Groups' Emergency Injunction Motion Over DOL Fiduciary Rule Denied

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on March 20 denied a coalition of insurance associations' emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal of a ruling that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has not exceeded its authority in formulating its new "fiduciary rule" and that the new rule does not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying that the plaintiffs have not met their burden to satisfy four factors required to obtain an injunction pending appeal (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 39806).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Magistrate Judge Allows Testimony On Claimed Process In Patent Infringement Suit

TYLER, Texas - In a patent infringement lawsuit, an expert may provide opinions "based on his technical knowledge and expertise" as to the technical advantages of a claimed process of forming circuitry used in controlling liquid crystal displays (LCDs), a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled March 22 (Eidos Display LLC and Eidos III LLC v. Chi Mei Innolux Corp., et al., No. 11-00201, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41040).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Agrees With Special Master, Finalizes Receivership Disallowance Of Claim

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas judge on March 20 approved an application by an insolvent insurer's special deputy receiver (SDR) and declared the disallowance of a certain house fire claim final (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.).