The penalty, the second largest of its kind in U.S. history, ends a federal investigation that began after two nurses at Clements University Hospital were found dead from opioid overdoses.
Scores of wrongful death, personal injury and property damage cases are pending against ERCOT since last February’s crippling winter storm. None of those cases can move forward until the appellate courts decide whether ERCOT is a state governmental agency protected from litigation under the doctrine of sovereign immunity.
Two Texas courts of appeals — the Fourth Court in San Antonio and the Fifth Court in Dallas — recently heard oral arguments from lawyers on both sides of the issue. The Texas Lawbook has the details.
Houston trial lawyers say Judge Sylvia A. Matthews is smart, fair, well-prepared, smart, organized, hard-working, smart, efficient, decisive … and smart. Those traits well serve Matthews, an experienced commercial litigator and trial judge, as she presides over pretrial matters in more than 150 (and counting) lawsuits stemming from one of the deadliest, costliest disasters in Texas history – Winter Storm Uri, the icy blizzard that paralyzed Texas and its electric grid last February.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Houston rejects claim by defendants that “through no fault of their own” they can’t access needed records and witnesses because of political upheaval in the South American nation.
A hearing Friday on plaintiff lawyer Randy Sorrels’s motion for entry of judgment dealt only with relatively minor calculations of a just sum – an indication that both sides expect District Judge Ravi Sandill to uphold in whole or large part last week’s jury verdict on behalf of Ulysses Cruz, who sued Allied Aviation Fueling Co. of Houston.
If anything, the noted Houston plaintiffs’ lawyer claims, jurors should have given Ulysses Cruz, a paralyzed airport service worker, more for the lifetime of pain and anguish he faces after being hit by a van on a tarmac at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. And Sorrels believes the verdict exceeding one-third of a billion dollars will survive appeal.
The dispute, which stems from emergency pricing for electricity imposed during February’s devastating Winter Storm Uri, could have far-ranging implications for other electric providers who were forced to pay up to $9,000 per megawatt hour – 300 times the normal rate – during the winter storm.
A federal jury in U.S. District Court Judge Alan Albright’s court ruled this week that Texas-based Profectus Technology failed to prove that Google infringed on Profectus’s patent for a “digital picture display frame,” an internet visual interface, in developing the Google Nest Hub.
A veteran of high-profile criminal prosecutions, Chad Meacham will serve as the second interim U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Texas since January, succeeding Prerak Shah, who is leaving the office. There has been no public indication of when the Biden administration will nominate a permanent top prosecutor for the district.
After 12 years of litigation, a federal judge rules Susman’s client, the Dutch energy company Vitol, is entitled to keep the money it received for supplying fuel oil to Puerto Rico’s state-run electric utility between 2005 and 2009.