Dallas Court of Appeals Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Purchasers of Estate Property.

June 13, 2018 in Case Summaries

In a long-running dispute between Stanley Graff and the purchasers of a multi-million-dollar apartment complex owned by the estate of Graff’s father, Levinger PC persuaded the Dallas Court of Appeals to affirm the probate court’s summary judgment rejecting Graff’s effort to rescind or recover damages arising from the October 2000 purchase of the complex.  Among other rulings, the Court held that Graff’s claims of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud accrued by August 2002 and thus were barred by the four-year statute of limitations; that the independent executor had the authority to sell the real property and thus the transaction should not be rescinded; and that Graff’s claims for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty against the purchasers failed because there was no evidence that they assisted an appraiser in his valuation of the property.  Graff v. 2920 Park Grove Venture, Ltd., No. 05-16-01411-CV, 2018 WL 2949158 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 13, 2018, pet. filed) (mem. op.).

Courts:  Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts

Subject Matter:  Business Litigation, Ethics & Professional Liability

By | November 14th, 2018|Case Summaries|0 Comments

$7.4 Million Judgment Against Contractor Reversed and Remanded for New Trial

August 29, 2018 in Case Summaries

Jeff Levinger led a successful effort to overturn a judgment of $6.2 million in actual damages and $1.2 million in attorney’s fees against The Brandt Companies in a long-running dispute with its subcontractor, Beard Industrial, over the construction of a semiconductor facility in New York. In reversing the judgment and remanding the case for a new trial, the Dallas Court of Appeals held that the evidence conclusively established the existence of a written subcontract between Brandt and Beard, even though a dispute existed between them over one aspect of the scope of Beard’s work. The Court also agreed with Brandt that Beard’s evidence failed to support the full amount of quantum merit damages awarded by the jury. Because the jury failed to answer several factual questions necessary to resolve the parties’ disputes, the Court remanded the entire case for a new trial. Subsequently, the case was resolved in a confidential settlement. The Brandt Companies, LLC v. Beard Process Solutions, Inc., No. 05-17-00780-CV, 2018 WL 4103210 (Tex. App.—Dallas Aug. 29, 2018, pet. granted, judgm’t vacated w.r.m.) (mem. op.).

Courts: Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts
Subject Matter: Business Litigation, Procedural & Evidentiary Issues

By | August 29th, 2018|Case Summaries|0 Comments

Fifth Circuit Reverses District Court’s Conclusion that MISSION BURRITO trademark Does Not Infringe on Gruma’s MISSION mark.

Fifth Circuit Reverses District Court’s Conclusion that MISSION BURRITO trademark Does Not Infringe on Gruma’s MISSION mark.

October 11, 2012 in Case Summaries

Fifth Circuit Reverses District Court’s Conclusion that MISSION BURRITO trademark Does Not Infringe on Gruma’s MISSION mark.

Jeff Levinger represented Gruma, the manufacturer of Mexican food products sold under the well-known trademark MISSION, in its appeal seeking to reverse a district court’s conclusion that a Mexican restaurant chain called MISSION BURRITOS was not infringing upon or diluting Gruma’s MISSION trademark. Despite the high level of deference that appellate courts ordinarily give to trial court’s findings of fact, the Fifth Circuit held that the district court here had clearly erred in finding no likelihood of confusion or dilution from the restaurant chain’s use of the MISSION BURRITO mark. The Fifth Circuit remanded the case to the lower court to determine the appropriate scope of injunctive relief against the future use of the MISSION BURRITO mark. Gruma Corp. v. Mexican Restaurants, Inc., 2012 WL 4842036 (5th Cir. Oct. 11, 2012).

Courts: Federal Courts of Appeals
Subject Matter: Intellectual Property
By | October 11th, 2012|Case Summaries|0 Comments

Dallas Court of Appeals Rules Again for DART Contractor in Dispute Against Architect

Dallas Court of Appeals Rules Again for DART Contractor in Dispute Against Architect

August 29, 2011 in Case Summaries
Dallas Court of Appeals Rules Again for DART Contractor in Dispute Against Architect
In a second appeal involving the same lawsuit, Jeff Levinger again successfully represented Martin K. Eby Construction Company in its negligent misrepresentation suit against LAN/STV, an architect and engineer that prepared faulty construction plans and drawings for an extension of the DART rail project.  Following the remand in the first appeal, Eby settled its administrative claim against DART for $4.7  million and proceeded to trial against LAN/STV.  The jury found that LAN/STV had committed negligent misrepresentations that caused Eby $5 million in damages, but the trial court reduced the award to $2,250,000 plus interest based on the jury’s additional finding that LAN/STV was 45% responsible.  On appeal, the Dallas Court of Appeals rejected LAN/STV’s arguments regarding the derivative governmental immunity statute, the economic loss doctrine, the evidence of negligent misrepresentations, and the effect of the DART settlement.  The court also declined to reinstate the full amount of the verdict, as Eby had requested.  Martin K. Eby Construction Co. v. LAN/STV, No. 05-09-00946-CV, 2011 WL 3795695 (Tex. App. — Dallas Aug. 29, 2011, no pet. hist.).

Courts: Texas Intermediate Appellate Courts
Subject Matter: Business Litigation, Procedural & Evidentiary Issues
By | August 29th, 2011|Case Summaries|0 Comments