Posts Tagged ‘Texas Mutual’

Arnold & Placek Obtains Complete Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Statutory and Common-Law Bad Faith Claims

Written by A&P News on July 2nd, 2012. Posted in Bad Faith

98th District Court, Travis County

Arnold & Placek, P.C. today prevailed on special exceptions which resulted in the Court striking all of Plaintiff’s claims against Texas Mutual. The Plaintiff, James Jones, filed claims including breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, violations of the insurance code, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Mr. Jones’ claims stemmed from a dispute Texas Mutual filed at the Division of Workers’ Compensation regarding whether the Plaintiff’s compensable injury extended to one of his shoulders. Even though Mr. Jones did not seek treatment for his shoulder for many months after the accident, he claimed that Texas Mutual’s administrative dispute delayed him from seeking treatment when he was ready to finally have surgery performed on it.

On special exceptions, Arnold & Placek successfully argued to the Court that all of Mr. Jones’ statutory and common law bad faith claims were precluded, as a matter of law, under the Texas Supreme Court’s recent decision on rehearing in Ruttiger v. Texas Mutual Insurance Company, which was issued only ten days prior to the hearing. The Court agreed, striking all of Mr. Jones’ bad faith claims, and also finding that his allegations of delays in claims handling were insufficient to support his intentional infliction of emotional distress claim. As a result, all of Mr. Jones’ claims against Texas Mutual were struck. Texas Mutual was represented by Scott Placek and Kyle Jones of Arnold & Placek. Kyle Jones argued and obtained the ruling on special exceptions for Texas Mutual.

Arnold & Placek Obtains Judgment of $148,000 for Additional Premium

Written by A&P News on May 22nd, 2012. Posted in Premium

419th District Court, Travis County 

Arnold & Placek, P.C. successfully obtained a judgment today of nearly $150,000 on behalf of Texas Mutual Insurance Company.  The case arises from Texas Mutual’s claims that Covington Wireless, Inc., a satellite television installation company, did not report the payroll for a significant portion of their installers, thus obtaining workers’ compensation insurance at an artificially reduced price.  On summary judgment, Arnold & Placek demonstrated that the payroll that should have been properly disclosed and included in the premium calculations resulted in an additional premium of over $100,000.  The Court agreed, entered summary judgment for Texas Mutual and awarded it attorney’s fees on its breach of contract claims for a total judgment of just over $148,000.  Texas Mutual was represented by Scott Placek and Kyle Jones of Arnold & Placek. Kyle Jones argued and obtained the ruling on summary judgment for Texas Mutual.

Arnold & Placek, P.C. Secures Another Dismissal on Mandamus

Written by A&P News on November 12th, 2010. Posted in Appeals, Judicial Review

11th Court of Appeals, Eastland, Texas

In an opinion handed down earlier today, the Eastland Court of Appeals granted the Petition for Writ of Mandamus filed by Arnold & Placek on behalf of its client, Texas Mutual Insurance Company. The case, In re Texas Mutual Ins. Co., et al, arose out of a suit for judicial review in the 188th District Court for Howard County. The employer intervened into an existing judicial review suit, attempting to seek review of DWC determination of non-compensability for other employees in the same accident. After Judge Robert Moore denied Texas Mutual’s Plea to the Jurisdiction, mandamus proceedings were instituted. The 11th Court of Appeals held that an employer has no standing to challenge the denial of compensability by their carrier, or to appeal a determination of non-compensability at the DWC. As a result, the court dismissed the petition in intervention of Amerimex Drilling I, Ltd., and ordered the trial court to dismiss the intervention by December 1, 2010.

This case is significant because it is the first case to directly examine the full scope of an employer’s standing to contest DWC determinations. The Eastland court looked first and foremost to the plain language of the statute to determine that no general standing exists for employers. In its opinion, the Eastland court considered, and rejected, each of the major arguments typically asserted by employers who attempt to institute judicial reviews. They further distinguished the Tyler Asphalt case, that many employers improperly rely upon for the proposition that payment of workers’ compensation premium establishes general standing for the employer to litigate claims before the DWC and in district court. The full opinion is available here.

Dallas County Jury Returns Unanimous Carrier Verdict in LIBS Case

Written by A&P News on June 20th, 2010. Posted in Judicial Review, Trial

14th District Court for Dallas County, Texas

Arnold & Placek, P.C. obtained a unanimous jury verdict for Texas Mutual Insurance Company, overturning the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s award of Lifetime Income Benefits to Javier Esparza.  Mr. Esparza, who was one of two survivors of a 10 fatality auto accident, suffered the amputation of one leg and an injury to his right arm.  The DWC found that Esparza had total loss of use of the right arm, and awarded lifetime income benefits – an estimated future expense of over $1,000,000.  Based on the medical evidence and surveillance video, Arnold & Placek was able to establish that, in fact, Esparza had sufficient use of his right arm that he could get and keep employment requiring the use of the arm.  Scott Placek and Kyle Jones represented Texas Mutual at trial.  Javier Esparza was represented by Randell Johnson.  Judge Eric Moyé presided over the trial.