In a big win for private insurance companies, the Texas Supreme Court said more than $50 million in disputed air ambulance fees were covered by Texas Workers Compensation standards, not federal aviation rules.
Workers’ Comp Exemption Requires Intent to Kill ‘Particular Individual’ SCOTX Rules in ‘Tired Trucker’ Case
A calculated disregard for safety by Mo-Vac Service Company may have contributed to the death of one of its drivers, but that isn’t enough to allow an exception to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, the court ruled. The likelihood of death has to be “substantially certain” to a “particular individual” for a wrongful death claim to be excepted from the exclusive authority of TWC. Janet Elliott explains.
The 7-1 decision is a win for Austin lawyer Kevin Dubose in the first Texas case argued via Zoom. Janet Elliott has the details.
In a case closely monitored by oil and gas interests, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled that contract clauses designed to perpetuate royalty interests from lease-to-lease can violate the rule against perpetuities. But the outcome of the case itself is less explicit, as Janet Elliott, who has been following the case, explains.
The City of Fort Worth’s decades-old struggle with the “fuzzy animal” exception to state gaming laws entered a new phase Friday when a unanimous Texas Supreme Court sent its case back to the Second Court of Appeals. The state’s highest court asked the lower court to make the constitutionality of Fort Worth game rooms less…well, fuzzy. Janet Elliott explains.
The custody dispute was closely watched for its potential implications to allow challenges to other final custody rulings. It also attracted attention for the lineup of high-powered legal talent involved in the appeal. Janet Elliott has the details.
The two-fisted beating of an coronavirus shutdown and an oil market crash is begetting yet another crisis on the horizon in Texas: the need for legal aid. Zero interest rates and dwindling tax revenues are sapping low-income legal resources, even as the need for them is set to explode. “That’s the next big story,” says SCOTX Chief Justice Nathan Hecht. Janet Elliott explains.
The Supreme Court of Texas took the unusual step of vacating a lower court decision in an already moot case involving the Texas Education Agency. In a per curiam decision, the court said it wanted to avoid future “gamesmanship” on issues of public importance. Janet Elliott has the details.
When the Texas Supreme Court convened for oral argument Wednesday, it wasn’t in the familiar halls of the court, but in virtual space. Honoring COVID-19 stay-at-home directives, the court conducted oral arguments in three cases via teleconferencing, becoming only the second state supreme court in the nation to do so (Ohio apparently beat them by a day). Bottom line: The technology performed smoothly for the most part, appellants got their virtual day in court and some of the justices got to wear their robes at home. Janet Elliott describes the court’s first argument in W&T Offshore v. Fredieu
A seemingly mundane child custody battle between two divorced parents has attracted an extraordinary collection of Texas appellate talent. It has also attracted the amicus attention of the Texas attorney general. Janet Elliott explains.