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You searched for: Torts
Searching cases from 5/2013
- Hancock v. Variyam
In a letter sent to colleagues and others, a physician accused a fellow physician of lacking veracity and speaking in half truths, resulting in an award of $90,000 in actual damages for mental anguish and loss of reputation and $85,000 in exemplary damages. Because the statements did not ascribe the lack of a necessary skill that is peculiar or unique to the profession of being a physician, the statements did not defame the physician per se. There is no evidence of actual damages, and the physician cannot recover exemplary damages. The court of appeals' judgment is reversed and rendered that the physician take nothing. Texas Supreme Court, No. 11-0772, 05-17-2013.
- Ramirez v. Martinez
The appellant, a police officer, challenges the district court's denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity on the plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. §1983 claims and state-law official immunity on the plaintiff's state-law claims. Regarding the false arrest claim, if an officer reasonably but mistakenly believes that probable cause exists, he is entitled to qualified immunity. The plaintiff's version of the facts as supported by the summary judgment record is sufficient to establish under the Graham factors that the officer used excessive force. The district court's judgment is reversed in part and the case is dismissed in part. 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, No. 11--41109, 05-15-2013.
- Newspaper Holdings Inc. v. Crazy Hotel Assisted Living Ltd.
The trial court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss under the Texas Citizens' Participation Act. The newspaper defendants satisfied their burden under the TCPA to show that Miller and the hotel's claims against them are based on statements they made in the exercise of rights to free speech and to petition the government. The trial court's denial of the motion to dismiss is reversed and remanded. Houston's 1st Court of Appeals, No. 01-12-00581-CV, 05-02-2013.
- Andrew Shebay & Company P.L.L.C v. Bishop
An accounting firm appeals a judgment finding it 50 percent responsible for damages allegedly caused by unreported income. A criminal conviction for alleged income tax evasion and knowingly filing a false tax return bars a subsequent civil claim alleging accounting malpractice that arises out of the preparation and filing of the return. The trial court's judgment is reversed and rendered that the plaintiff take nothing against the accounting firm, and affirmed that the plaintiff take nothing against a firm employee. Houston's 1st Court of Appeals, No. 01-12-00118-CV, 05-02-2013.