In the face of varied and robust opposition to the proposal to create a new, statewide appellate court with exclusive jurisdiction over disputes involving the state or a state agency, lawmakers last week voted to send the bill to the full senate for a vote. Texas for Lawsuit Reform has championed the bill as an opportunity to establish a court with specialized expertise to hear matters of statewide importance.
PUC Appeals Court Decision Striking Down $9K Electric Rates During Winter Storm Uri
The Public Utility Commission of Texas claims that a decision issued 11 days ago by a Texas appeals court declaring that the emergency pricing orders issued by the agency in 2021 during Winter Storm Uri were unlawful needs to be immediately reversed because it “has thrown Texas’s electricity and associated markets into confusion.”
Lawyers for the PUC filed an official petition for review with the Texas Supreme Court on Friday arguing that the Third Court of Appeals in Austin “had no jurisdiction to validate or invalidate already-expired orders.”
Litigation Roundup: Wins for Baylor, A&M in Immunity Rulings, Cinemark Loses Covid Biz Interruption Fight with Insurer
In this edition of Litigation Roundup, the Texas Supreme Court upholds Texas A&M’s governmental immunity in a crash suit, and Cinemark loses a Covid business interruption claim against an insurer while Baylor University beats back a Covid-related breach of contract claim brought by two students.
Texas Justices Mull TCPA’s Reach in Winstead Malpractice Suit
The state’s high court will have to decide if the filing of an allegedly deficient motion for default judgment is a “communication” as Winstead argues, which would end USA Lending’s lawsuit, or if USA Lending is correct that the basis of its suit is the failure to communicate. The case implicates the Texas Citizens Participation Act and asks whether it applies in legal malpractice suits.
OAG Says Whistleblowers Knew $3.3M Settlement OK Could Take Years
In a nine-page response to a request from the whistleblowers to lift an abatement in the case after they alleged a bait-and-switch on the $3.3 million settlement deal, the Office of the Attorney General told the Texas Supreme Court the case should stay paused while the Legislature considers approval.
Wal-Mart May Pursue Case Against Xerox Over Food Benefit System Outage Losses
The Supreme Court has reinstated Wal-Mart’s lawsuit against Xerox over $4 million in denied reimbursements for food purchases made during a prolonged outage of the electronic benefit transfer system.
Pro Se Plaintiff Whiffs at Fifth Circuit in Case Against MLB
Former professional baseball player and sports nutrition vendor Neiman Nix lost his appeal of a case he filed in Texas against Major League Baseball — arguing that the league’s ban of a growth hormone discriminated against his business selling products that included it. It’s a case he’d filed, and lost, elsewhere. And that was the problem, the Fifth Circuit said.
Litigation Roundup: OAG Gets Deadline in Whistleblower Suit, Omni Hit with $25M Verdict in Sex Discrimination Suit
In this edition of Litigation Roundup, a Dallas lawyer secures a $29 million jury verdict in a talc case and the Texas attorney general gets a deadline to respond to a request from whistleblowers to reinstate their case pending before the Texas Supreme Court.
Lack of Evidence Dooms Farmers’ Spray-Drift Suit
Friday morning the Texas Supreme Court determined that Robert Cox and a group of nine other cotton farmers presented insufficient evidence to proceed with their lawsuit alleging Helena Chemical Company’s negligent aerial application of Sendero damaged their crops. A trial court had tossed the suit on summary judgment, but the Eastland Court of Appeals partially revived it, teeing up the high court battle.
Litigation Roundup: Irvin, Marriott Lawyer Up in $100M Suit, Dell Beats $450M Patent Case, 5th Circ. OKs Landry’s Data Breach Loss
In this edition of Litigation Roundup, a $100 million defamation lawsuit against Marriott gets rolling, Dell Technologies gets a win in a $450 million patent infringement lawsuit and the Fifth Circuit agrees Landry’s is on the hook for data breach damages.