Arnold & Placek Obtains Dismissal of Claims for Death Benefits on Plea to Jurisdiction.

Written by A&P News on October 15th, 2015. Posted in Judicial Review

Arnold & Placek, P.C. today obtained a dismissal of all of a plaintiff’s claims for death benefits against Texas Mutual in Harris County Probate Court. The claimant originally filed for workers’ compensation death benefits after the decedent was killed when he fell from a ladder while cleaning gutters at a residence. Texas Mutual disputed the claim on the basis that the decedent was not in the course of employment to Texas Mutual’s policyholder, but rather was employed by a co-worker’s side business which performed handyman services. At the time of the accident, the decedent was performing those services while working on the residential premises of the policyholder’s owner. Texas Mutual prevailed at the Division of Workers’ Compensation.

After the claimant appealed to the probate court, Arnold & Placek filed a plea to the jurisdiction on behalf of Texas Mutual, arguing that the probate’s court is limited to only certain matters related to the decedents estate. Arnold & Placek further argued that the judicial review action, which by law can only be brought by the purported beneficiary, was wholly unrelated to any claim by the estate– therefore, the probate court had no jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s claims against Texas Mutual. The court agreed and dismissed all the claims against the insurer. The probate court litigation was handled by Scott Placek, Kyle Jones and Jonathan Chaltain. Kyle Jones argued the plea the jurisdiction for Texas Mutual.

Arnold & Placek obtains mandamus relief directing district court to dismiss employer’s coverage suit against Texas Mutual Insurance Company.

Written by A&P News on August 15th, 2015. Posted in Appeals

Ninth Court of Appeals, Texas

When an injury occurs during an alleged gap between two workers’ compensation insurance policies, the Division of Workers’ Compensation has exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether a carrier must pay benefits or reimburse the employer for medical expenses incurred in connection with the injury. That was the opinion of the Beaumont Court of Appeals on Texas Mutual Insurance Company’s petition for writ of mandamus, after the district court abused its discretion in denying Texas Mutual’s motion to dismiss a coverage lawsuit brought by the employer. The per curiam opinion was the first appellate decision applying the Texas Supreme Court’s seminal holding in In re Crawford & Company that the Workers’ Compensation Act’s process and remedies for disputes over benefits or the “investigation, handling or settlement of a claim” are “exclusive” of all other remedies. Texas Mutual was represented by Scott Placek and Matthew Foerster at both the district and appellate levels. The petition for writ of mandamus was conditionally granted without oral argument.

In re Texas Mutual Ins. Co., No. 09-15-00265-CV, 2015 WL 4760174 (Tex. App.—Beaumont Aug. 13, 2015, orig. proceeding).

Arnold & Placek Secures Voluntary Dismissal of All Claims Against Local Hotel Owner.

Written by A&P News on June 15th, 2015. Posted in News

Arnold & Placek, P.C. today obtained a dismissal of all of a plaintiff’s claims against a local hotel owner in Williamson County Court. The plaintiff originally claimed that the hotel had violated an agreement under which the plaintiff agreed to help renegotiate a large SBA loan obtained by the hotel owner. The hotel owner claimed that, due to the plaintiff’s unconscionable actions, it had to fire the plaintiff and renegotiate the terms of repaying the loan itself. The hotel owner further claimed that the plaintiff’s improper acts excused the hotel from having to compensate plaintiff.

Unsatisfied with the progress made by its original counsel, the hotel retained Arnold & Placek, P.C. to represent it. Arnold & Placek immediately engaged in intensive discovery and motion practice, resulting in the Court ordering monetary sanctions against the plaintiff. As a direct result of obtaining those sanctions, Arnold & Placek was able to negotiate a settlement of the entire litigation which involved the hotel paying no money to the plaintiff and getting a dismissal of all claims against it. The litigation was handled by Scott Placek and Kyle Jones. Kyle Jones argued the motion for sanctions and handled the negotiations.

Arnold & Placek Welcomes Jonathan Chaltain to its Team of Attorneys

Written by A&P News on September 12th, 2013. Posted in News

Arnold & Placek is proud to announce that Jonathan Chaltain is joining the firm as an associate attorney. Jon graduated with honors from both the University of Texas at Austin (with a degree in Asian Studies) and the University of Texas School of Law where he was a member of the Texas Law Review . For the past two years, Jon served as a briefing attorney for the Honorable Justice Terry Jennings of the Texas First Court of Appeals, where he assisted in drafting numerous opinions covering a variety of legal issues . Jon’s strong academic and professional credentials reflect Arnold & Placek’s commitment to excellence in its professional staff. Please join us in welcoming Jon to the firm.

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.