LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - No Coverage Owed For Damage To Oil, Gas Well, Texas Federal Judge Says

SAN ANTONIO - No coverage is owed to an insured seeking damages for the loss of an oil and gas well damaged while the insured was preparing the well for production because the claims alleged against the insured are precluded by the primary policy's "damage to property" exclusion and the umbrella policy's oil and gas industries limitation endorsement, a Texas federal judge said Oct. 16 in granting the insurers' motion for summary judgment (CBX Resources LLC v. ACE American Insurance Co., et al., No. 17-17, W.D. Texas).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Tribal Sovereign Immunity Defense For Patent Review Questioned By Judge

MARSHALL, Texas - Out of an abundance of caution, and with "serious concerns" about a drugmaker's attempt at shielding its patents from review by using an Indian tribe's sovereign immunity, a Texas federal judge on Oct. 16 joined the tribe as a plaintiff in the drugmaker's infringement lawsuit (Allergan, Inc. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., et al., No. 2:15-cv-1455, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170825).

Mealey's Insurance - Dismissal Sought In Reinsurers' RICO, Breach Of Contract Dispute Over Alleged Scheme

EL PASO, Texas - In a lawsuit alleging a scheme to take control over a dealership and to decline selling vehicle-protection products that are reinsured by the reinsurers, defendants argue in their Oct. 11 reply brief to a Texas federal court for dismissal in favor of a state probate court action (Richard C. Poe II, et al. v. Anthony E. Bock, et al., No. 17-00232, W.D. Texas).

Mealey's Insurance - Health Care Facilities CEO Sentenced To 41 Months For Stealing Medicaid Funds

ST. LOUIS - The former CEO of long-term health care facilities in Missouri, Kentucky and Texas was sentenced to 41 months in prison by a federal judge in Missouri on Oct. 6 and ordered to pay $667,201.85 in restitution after pleading guilty to two counts of health care fraud for stealing funds from Medicaid and using them to support his own lifestyle (United States of America v. John Mac Sells, No. 17cr178, E.D. Mo.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Court Says Statute Of Repose Bars Suit Over Retaining Wall

DALLAS - The builder of an allegedly defective retaining wall did not have the burden of showing that it did not engage in any willful misconduct that would prevent the application of the state's 10-year statute of repose, a Texas appeals panel ruled Oct. 9 in affirming the builder's summary judgment award (Charles Brooks v. CalAtlantic Homes of Texas, Inc., et al., No. 05-16-01203-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Texas App. LEXIS 9466).

Mealey's Insurance - 5th Circuit Denies Request To Certify Question To Texas High Court In Asbestos Suit

NEW ORLEANS - The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Oct. 5 denied an insurer's request to certify questions to the Texas Supreme Court regarding whether the "sudden and accidental" exception to the policies' pollution exclusion applies to afford coverage for the underlying asbestos claims and whether vertical exhaustion of the policies applies (Longhorn Gasket and Supply Co., et al. v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co., No. 15-41625, 5th Cir.).

Mealey's Insurance - Remand Of Water Damage Suit Is Appropriate, Texas Federal Judge Determines

HOUSTON - Remand of an insured's suit seeking coverage and damages related to the denial of a claim for water and storm damage is appropriate because the insured's claims against the adjusters are viable under the Texas Insurance Code, a Texas federal judge said Oct. 6 in rejecting the insurer's argument that the adjusters were fraudulently joined as defendants to defeat diversity jurisdiction (Lillie Jean Hooper v. Allstate Texas Lloyd's, et al., No. 17-2038, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165953).

Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurers Oppose Dismissal Of RICO, Breach Of Contract Claims Over Alleged Scheme

EL PASO, Texas - A shareholder of car dealerships and his reinsurance companies on Oct. 4 filed an opposition in Texas federal court to dismissal of their complaint alleging a scheme to take control over the dealership and to decline selling 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 PI/Product Liability - Appeals Panel Partially Affirms, Denies Judgment In Premises Liability Suit

EASTLAND, Texas - A panel of the 11th District of the Texas Court of Appeals on Oct. 5 affirmed summary judgment on premises liability and negligence claims against the owner of a gas lease in a premises liability suit; however, it reversed judgment granted in favor of the lease owner on a negligent hiring claim because the lease owner did not amend its motion for summary judgment to address those claims (Evelyn Cuevas, et al. v. Endeavor Energy Resources L.P., No. 11-15-00157-CV, Texas App., 11th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 9399).

Mealey's IP/Tech - California Contract Lawsuit Won't Be Dismissed Because Of Texas Patent Case

SAN FRANCISCO - In an Oct. 5 order, a California federal judge denied a motion to dismiss breach of contract allegations levied by Yahoo! Inc. in favor of an earlier-filed patent infringement action pending in Texas federal court (Yahoo! Inc. v. MyMail Ltd., No. 16-7044, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165642).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appeals Panel Orders Slip-And-Fall Claims To Be Dismissed

DALLAS - A panel of the Fifth District Texas Court of Appeals on Oct. 2 reversed a trial court's decision to deny the city of Dallas' plea for jurisdiction and dismissed a slip-and-fall suit after finding that the woman who sued the city did not show the city waived immunity because she did not show that the city had actual or constructive knowledge of the hazard (City of Dallas v. Leslie Papierski, No. 05-17-00157-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 9267).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Confirms $145.7M Swedish Award In Oil Field Development Dispute

HOUSTON - After finding that none of a Ukrainian entity's objections to an award issued in favor of a petroleum corporation by a Swedish arbitral tribunal applied, a Texas federal judge on Oct. 2 confirmed the $145.7 million award in the company's favor (OJSC Ukrnafta v. Carpatsky Petroleum Corp., et al., No. 09-891, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163064).

Mealey's IP/Tech - National Urban League Prevails In Trademark Dispute With Disaffiliate

DALLAS - Continued use by the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas Inc. (ULGD) of the "Urban League" trademark on social media and online after the National Union League Inc. (NUL) stripped ULGD of its affiliate status represents infringement, a Texas federal judge ruled Sept. 29 (National Urban League Inc. v. Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas Inc., No. 15-3617, N.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160608).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Affirms Vacatur Of Jury Verdict Of Patent Infringement

WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Texas federal judge's decision to vacate a jury's finding of patent infringement with regard to the "Express" coronary stent was affirmed by the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 29 (G. David Jang, M.D. v. Boston Scientific Corp., et al., No. 16-1275, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18825).

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

BEAUMONT, Texas - A panel of the Ninth District Texas Court of Appeals on Sept. 28 affirmed summary judgment to a marina after finding that a man who injured himself on a deck at the marina failed to show that the owner of the marina was responsible for the deck he injured himself on and that the owner did not have actual or constructive knowledge of the danger on the deck (Jessie Charles Horton v. Walden Marina, No. 09-15-00491-CV, Texas App., 9th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 9124).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Judge Dismisses Borrower's Foreclosure-Related Claims As Barred By Res Judicata

HOUSTON - A Texas federal judge on Sept. 26 granted a lender's motion for summary judgment on claims related to a foreclosure of a property, finding that a previous lawsuit filed by the borrowers involved the same claims and parties and barred the current action (Rafael F. Vazquez, et al. v. Selene Finance L.P., et al., No. 17-1793, S.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 156968).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge, Citing Convenience, Transfers Patent Case

MARSHALL, Texas - In what he deemed a "close case," U.S. Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas on Sept. 22 agreed to transfer allegations of patent infringement to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Oyster Optics LLC v. Ciena Corporation, No. 16-1302, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155586).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Allsup's Settles Pregnancy, Disability Discrimination Claims For $950,000

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Allsup's Convenience Stores Inc., the owner of more than 300 stores in New Mexico and Texas, agreed to pay $950,000 to settle a pregnancy and disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of 28 women, according to a consent decree signed by a New Mexico federal judge and filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico on Sept. 25 (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Allsup's Convenience Stores, Inc., No. 15-863, D. N.M.).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court Refuses To Revisit Take-Nothing Judgment In Hailstorm Coverage Suit

AUSTIN, Texas - According to its Sept. 22 pronounced orders, the Texas Supreme Court refused to disturb a lower court's finding that a church insured take nothing on its breach of contract, bad faith and conspiracy allegations against its insurer and a claims adjuster in a dispute over coverage for hailstorm damage to the roofs of two of its buildings (Richardson East Baptist Church v. Philadelphia Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-0347, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - 11th Circuit Asks Texas High Court When Discovery Rule Started In Pelvic Mesh Case

ATLANTA - The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 20 asked the Texas Supreme Court to rule whether a pelvic mesh plaintiff has to know of the defendant's alleged wrongdoing before her claim accrues under the Texas discovery rule (Ann Marie Bergin v. Mentor Worldwide LLC, et al., No. 16-14364, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 18199).

Mealey's Health Law - Texas Federal Judge Allows Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims To Proceed

SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Sept. 19 refused to dismiss a plaintiff's breach of fiduciary claims arising out of a health care plan's denial of coverage for autism treatments because the fiduciary claims are not disguised benefits claims and the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to support the breach of fiduciary claims (Amy Whitley, et al. v. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Health Plan, et al., No. 17-47, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152417).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - EEOC Sues Medical Practice For Firings For Opposing Bible Study

DALLAS - The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Feb. 20 filed a complaint against Shepherd Healthcare in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleging that the Texas medical practice violated federal law when it fired an employee due to her requests to be excused from a daily morning Bible study and fired three other workers for their opposition of the mandatory Bible studies (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Tim Shepherd MD, PA, No. 17-2569, N.D. Texas).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Federal Judge Allows Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims To Proceed

SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Sept. 19 refused to dismiss a plaintiff's breach of fiduciary claims arising out of a health care plan's denial of coverage for autism treatments because the fiduciary claims are not disguised benefits claims and the plaintiff alleged sufficient facts to support the breach of fiduciary claims (Amy Whitley, et al. v. Dr Pepper Snapple Group Health Plan, et al., No. 17-47, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 152417).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Federal Circuit Grants Mandamus Petition, Directs Transfer Of Patent Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In rejecting a Texas federal judge's interpretation of In re: Cordis Corp., 769 F.2d 733 (Fed. Cir. 1985), the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Sept. 21 granted a petition for mandamus and ordered a district court to determine on remand whether the case should proceed in Wisconsin or a different Texas federal court (In re: Cray Inc., No. 17-129, Fed. Cir.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - 4th DePuy Pinnacle Hip MDL Trial Under Way In Texas With 6 Plaintiffs

DALLAS - The fourth DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict trial got under way Sept. 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas with six New York plaintiffs (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 11-md-02244, Ramon Alicea, et al. v. DePuy Orthopaedics., Inc., et al., No. 15-03489, Uriel Barzel v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1245, Karen Kirschner v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 16-1526, Hazel Miura v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 13-4119, Michael A. Stevens v. DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., No. 14-1776, Eugene Stevens Jr. v. DePuy Orthopaedics, et al., No. 14-2341, N.D. Texas).