Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts

Judgment Against General Contractor Is Reversed Based On Erroneous Jury Charge Submission

Judgment Against General Contractor Is Reversed Based On Erroneous Jury Charge Submission

October 27, 2016 in Case Summaries

 

Led by the advocacy of Carl Cecere, Levinger PC persuaded the Dallas Court of Appeals to reverse a judgment of nearly $1.5 million against general contractor Viking Healthcare in favor of Zeig Electric, a subcontractor, in connection with the construction of a specialty hospital in Sherman, Texas. The appellate court determined that no evidence supported the liability question submitted to the jury, which asked whether Viking and a project manager that was not a party to the subcontract “failed to comply with the Agreement” with Zeig. Despite the absence of evidence, the court remanded the case for a new trial “in the interest of justice.” The Supreme Court denied review after requesting briefing on both Zeig’s petition and its motion for rehearing. Viking Healthcare, LLC v. Zeig Electric, Inc., No. 05‑15‑00835‑CV, 2016 WL 7448335 (Tex. App. — Dallas Oct. 27, 2016, pet. denied) (mem. op.).

 

Courts: Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts, Supreme Court of Texas

Subject Matter: Business Litigation, Procedural & Evidentiary Issues

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Lender Liability Suit Revived After Dismissal by Summary Judgment

Lender Liability Suit Revived After Dismissal by Summary Judgment

July 7, 2016 in Case Summaries

The Dallas Court of Appeals reversed the summary judgment dismissal of a lender liability lawsuit brought by Levinger PC clients David Bagwell and The Bagwell Trust against BBVA Compass and its loan officer. Bagwell alleged that the defendants had defrauded him by representing that it would renew and not sell three promissory notes securing valuable real estate, when in fact it had secretly negotiated to sell the notes to a competitor of Bagwell. The defendants raised five defenses  statute of frauds, res judicata, collateral estoppel, estoppel by contract, and the economic loss rule  and the trial court granted summary judgment without specifying which defense supported its ruling. The Dallas Court of Appeals concluded that none of these defenses warranted the grant of summary judgment, and remanded the case for further proceedings. Bagwell v. BBVA Compass, No. 05-14-01579-CV, 2016 WL 3660403 (Tex. App.-Dallas July 7, 2016, no pet.) (mem. op.).

Courts: Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts
Subject Matter: Business Litigation, Oil & Gas/Real Estate

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Dallas Court of Appeals Sets Aside New Trial Order Based on Claimed Violation of Disciplinary Rule

Dallas Court of Appeals Sets Aside New Trial Order Based on Claimed Violation of Disciplinary Rule

May 6, 2016 in Case Summaries

Assisted by trial counsel Ken Chaiken and appellate co-counsel Carl Cecere, Jeff Levinger convinced the Dallas Court of Appeals to grant mandamus relief compelling the trial court to set aside its order granting a new trial in a hotly-contested real estate dispute. Following a week-long trial, a Dallas County jury found that Levinger PC clients Douglas Hickok and VSDH Vaquero Venture did not defraud or breach their contract with the plaintiffs. The trial court, however, granted the plaintiffs a new trial, finding that Vaquero’s trial counsel had violated Texas Disciplinary Rule 3.08 by acting as both an advocate and a witness at trial. Invoking the recent Texas Supreme Court trilogy of cases allowing mandamus review of orders granting new trials, Hickok and Vaquero claimed that a purported violation of Rule 3.08 was not a legally appropriate basis for granting a new trial. The Court of Appeals agreed, and ordered the trial court to render a take-nothing judgment on the jury’s verdict. In re VSDH Vaquero Venture, Ltd., No. 05-15-0513-CV, 2016 WL 2621073 (Tex. App.-Dallas May 6, 2016, pet. denied).

Courts: Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts
Subject Matter: Ethics & Professional Malpractice, Procedural & Evidentiary Issues

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Court of Appeals Tosses Developer’s $9 Million Inverse Condemnation Award Against City of McKinney

Court of Appeals Tosses Developer’s $9 Million Inverse Condemnation Award Against City of McKinney

May 3, 2016 in Case Summaries

Jeff Levinger successfully represented the City of McKinney in its appeal of a judgment of over $9,000,000 stemming from a developer’s claim that the City had committed an “inverse condemnation” by violating a restriction in a deed. In its 2009 lawsuit, Eldorado Land Company contended that the City’s construction of a library on a portion of a 32 acre tract that Eldorado had conveyed to the City for use as a community park violated the deed restriction, which provided that the property could be used only as a “park and recreational facility.” The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of El Dorado on the liability issue, and a jury assessed damages of over $7,500,000 (exclusive of interest), representing the difference in the property’s value with and without its deed and zoning restrictions. In reversing the summary judgment on liability and rendering a take-nothing in favor of the City, the Court of Appeals held that the City’s community library fit squarely within the “plain, ordinary, and generally accepted meaning” of a park and recreational facility, and thus did not violate the restriction in the deed. City of McKinney v. Eldorado Land Co., LP, No. 05-15-00067-CV, 2016 WL 2349371 (Tex. App.-Dallas May 3, 2016, pet. denied).

Courts:Supreme Court of Texas, Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts
Subject Matter: Business Litigation, Oil & Gas/Real Estate

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Dallas Court of Appeals Affirms that Child-Placing Agency Is Not a “Health Care Provider”

Dallas Court of Appeals Affirms that Child-Placing Agency Is Not a “Health Care Provider”

March 14, 2016 in Case Summaries

Working closely with trial counsel from the Houston firm of Abraham Watkins, Jeff Levinger first persuaded the trial court to reconsider its dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the parents of a brain-damaged infant, and then convinced the Dallas Court of Appeals to uphold the trial court’s determination on rehearing that one of the two defendants is not a “health care provider” entitled to the protections of Chapter 74 of the Texas Medical Liability Act. In a thorough analysis of the Texas statutes and regulations governing Lutheran Social Services of the South  a child-placing agency that had placed the child with foster parents before the injury-causing incident  the Court held that LSSS had not met its burden of proving that it was “licensed, certified, registered, or chartered by the State of Texas to provide health care.” Meanwhile, the case against the second defendant, a home nursing company, is proceeding in the trial court, after Levinger also persuaded it to reconsider its previous ruling that the plaintiffs’ expert reports were inadequate under Chapter 74. Lutheran Social Services of the South, Inc. v. Blount, No. 05-15-00380-CV, 2016 WL 1019191 (Tex. App.-Dallas Mar. 14, 2016, pet. denied).

Courts: Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts
Subject Matter: Products Liability & Personal Injury

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