LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's PI/Product Liability - DePuy Pinnacle Hip MDL Judge More Than Halves $1B Punitives For 6 Plaintiffs

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.).

Mealey's Banking & Finance - Federal Judge Finds Foreclosure Claims Are Barred By Previous Suit

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Twitter Must Identify User Who Sent Seizure-Inducing Tweet To Writer

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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Twitter Must Identify User Who Sent Seizure-Inducing Tweet To Writer

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.).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Judge Excludes Testimony In Breach Of Contract Suit Over Supply Of Crude Oil

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).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Panel Upholds Finding Of No Negligence By Hospital, Doctor With Admission Of Testimony

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).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Panel Upholds Finding Of No Negligence By Hospital, Doctor With Admission Of Testimony

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).

Mealey's IP/Tech - Texas Federal Judge: Amending Copyright Complaint Would Be Futile

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).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Jury Renders Defense Verdict In Nursing Home Negligence Suit

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.

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Did Not Abuse Discretion In Terminating LTD Benefits, Judge Says

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).

Mealey's Securities/D&O Liability - Tender Of Settlement In Securities Suit Does Not Moot Claims, Judge Rules

HOUSTON - A tender of settlement by underwriter defendants in a securities class action lawsuit against an energy company and others does not make the suit moot because the lead plaintiff in the action refused to accept it and because the amount did not take the shareholder's legal fees and expenses into consideration, a federal judge in Texas ruled Dec. 9 (Joseph Pankowski v. BlueNRGY Group Ltd., f/k/a CBD Energy Ltd., et al., No. 15-1668, S.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170495).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New Trial Denied In $146.2M Pinnacle Hip Bellwether MDL Trial; Order Sealed

DALLAS - A Texas federal judge on Dec. 9 denied a defense motion for a new trial in a Pinnacle hip case that resulted in a $146.2 million judgment against DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. and parent company Johnson & Johnson (In Re: DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. Pinnacle Hip Implant Products Liability Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2244, No. 11-md-2244, Margaret Aoki v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 13-1071, Jacqueline Christopher v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 14-194, Donald Greer v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 12-1672, Susan Klusmann v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 11-2800, Robert Peterson v. Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc., et al., No. 11-1941, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).

Mealey's Insurance - Termination Of Benefits Supported By Evidence, Texas Federal Judge Says

BEAUMONT, Texas - A federal magistrate judge correctly found that a disability insurer's termination of disability benefits was not an abuse of discretion, a Texas federal judge said Dec. 6, noting that the evidence clearly supports the insurer's decision (Troy Arrington v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 14-549, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168120).

Mealey's Insurance - Coverage Owed For Vitamin E Supplement Claims, Texas Federal Judge Determines

WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Because an excess liability policy provides coverage for the negligent conduct of an insured arising from the manufacture and distribution of a vitamin E supplement, class plaintiffs are entitled to access $15 million held in the court's registry, a Texas federal judge said Dec. 2 in granting the class plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment (Victoria Klein et al., v. Federal Insurance Co. et al., No. 09-094, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166285).

Mealey's Insurance - Texas High Court Refuses To Rehear Stowers Action Arising From Wrongful Death

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Supreme Court has denied a motion to rehear a lawsuit alleging that insurers failed to act in good faith to settle a liability claim stemming from a wrongful death, according to its orders pronounced Dec. 2 (Roy Seger, et al. v. Yorkshire Insurance Co. Ltd., et al., No. 13-0673, Texas Sup.).

Mealey's IP/Tech - 5th Circuit Vacates Injunction, Overturns $340 Million Antitrust Award

NEW ORLEANS - A Texas federal judge erroneously denied Becton Dickinson & Co. (BD) judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) on allegations by a plaintiff that BD attempted to monopolize the market for safety syringes through various deceptive practices, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Dec. 2 (Retractable Technologies Inc. v. Becton Dickinson & Company, No. 14-41384, 5th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21556).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - $1B Verdict Returned In 6-Plaintiff Pinnacle Hip MDL Bellwether Trial

DALLAS - A Texas federal jury on Dec. 1 returned a verdict of more than $1 billion in favor of six plaintiffs in the second DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether trial (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.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Plaintiffs In Pinnacle Hip Bellwether Trial Will Seek State Consumer Law Penalties

DALLAS - Six plaintiffs in an ongoing DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether trial on Nov. 28 told a Texas federal court that after the verdict, they intend to ask the court to determine that defendant DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and to order equitable relief (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.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Plaintiffs In Pinnacle Hip Bellwether Trial Will Seek State Consumer Law Penalties

DALLAS - Six plaintiffs in an ongoing DePuy Pinnacle hip multidistrict litigation bellwether trial on Nov. 28 told a Texas federal court that after the verdict, they intend to ask the court to determine that defendant DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. violated California's unfair competition law (UCL) and to order equitable relief (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.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Federal Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against DOL Wages Rule

SHERMAN, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 22 issued a nationwide preliminary injunction requested by the state of Nevada and 20 other states barring the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) wage rule that was to increase the minimum salary level for executive, administrative and professional (EAP) employees who are exempt from receiving overtime pay from $23,660 per year to $47,892 per year from taking effect on Dec. 1 (State of Nevada, et al. v. United States Department of Labor, et al., No. 16-731, E.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162048).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Texas Federal Judge Withholds Ruling On Proposed $8.8 Million ERISA Class Action Settlement

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 18 withheld ruling on a plaintiffs' motion for conditional certification and preliminary approval of an $8.8 million Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action settlement, saying that he did not have enough information to conclude that the proposed settlement should be approved as being fair, reasonable and adequate to the members of the proposed class (Salvador Ortiz, et al. v. American Airlines Inc., et al., No. 4:16-cv-151, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160588).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Texas Federal Judge Withholds Ruling On Proposed $8.8 Million ERISA Class Action Settlement

FORT WORTH, Texas - A Texas federal judge on Nov. 18 withheld ruling on a plaintiffs' motion for conditional certification and preliminary approval of an $8.8 million Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action settlement, saying that he did not have enough information to conclude that the proposed settlement should be approved as being fair, reasonable and adequate to the members of the proposed class (Salvador Ortiz, et al. v. American Airlines Inc., et al., No. 4:16-cv-151, N.D. Texas; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160588).

Mealey's Litigation Procedure - Medical Examiner's Opinion Shows Death By Gunshots, Texas Appeals Panel Finds

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Expert testimony by a medical examiner showed that a defendant's fired gunshots, along with a victim's genetic medical condition, caused the victim's death, a Texas appeals panel ruled Nov. 17, also holding that accomplice witness testimony corroborated by evidence supported the finding that the defendant committed the alleged offense (Johnny Juarez v. The State of Texas, No. 13-15-00248, Texas App., 13th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 12299).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Texas Appellate Panel Affirms Premises Liability Ruling For Theater Owner

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas appeals panel on Nov. 16 affirmed summary judgment for a movie theater owner in a premises liability case, saying that a moviegoer who says she slipped on a wet substance and fell in the theater could not identify the substance, prove how long it had been on the floor and show whether the theater owner should have had knowledge of the hazard (Melissa Fontenette-Mitchell v. Cinemark USA Inc., No. 03-16-00201-CV, Texas App., 3rd Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 12255).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge Will Not Order Lift Of Stay Enjoining Litigation Against Insolvent Insurer

AUSTIN, Texas - A Texas judge on Nov. 10 denied a creditor's motion to lift an automatic stay of litigation involving an insolvent insurer in liquidation (The State of Texas v. Millennium Closing Services LLC d/b/a Millennium Title, No. D-1-GN-16-000360, Texas, 53rd Dist., Travis Co.).