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The following verdict summaries were reported in Texas Blue Sheet,a weekly publication of The National Law Journal’s Litigation Services Network and an affiliate of Texas Lawyer. Texas Blue Sheetreports the latest verdicts and settlements across the state. More verdicts can be seen at www.VerdictSearch.com. BREACH OF CONTRACT County Gets $3.2 Million On Nov. 26, seven days into trial, Liberty County agreed to accept $3.2 million from its insurer, Texas Association of Counties Property and Casualty Self Insurance Fund (TAC), to settle its suit alleging breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, and violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Insurance Code. Liberty County’s claim for mold damage to the courthouse was denied by TAC without determining the cause of the mold, the plaintiff alleged. The trial was interrupted five days into testimony when TAC obtained an automatic stay from the Beaumont Court of Appeals based on the trial court’s denial of the plea to the jurisdiction. In its plea to the jurisdiction and its motion for stay, TAC claimed it was a governmental entity and, as such, had immunity on Liberty County’s contractual and extra-contractual claims, essentially arguing that counties should not be allowed to enforce their rights under TAC’s contract for insurance. Liberty County was able to have the stay lifted and trial resumed. Liberty County v. Texas Association of Counties Property and Casualty Self-Insurance Fund, No. 64,088 (75th District Court, Liberty County) Plaintiff’s attorneys: Fred Hagans, Paula Janacek and Jenn Rustay, Hagans, Bobb & Burdine, Houston; J. Clifford Gunter III, Ross Kennedy, Karen Lister and Tracy Temple, Bracewell & Patterson, Houston Defense attorneys: Rocky Little, Susan Abbott Schwartz and Steven R. Shattuck, Henslee, Fowler, Hepworth & Schwartz, Fort Worth; Allyson Mihalick and Collyn A. Peddie, Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, Houston; John W. Teague, Strasburger & Price, Houston EMPLOYMENT Mary Kay Hit With Punitives On Nov. 22, a jury found that Dallas-based Mary Kay cosmetics violated California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act by allegedly failing to accommodate the disability of a plaintiff employee, Claudine Woolf, who was suffering from an aggressive form of breast cancer. Woolf, who discovered she was pregnant two weeks after her cancer diagnosis, alleged that Mary Kay also failed to grant her leave during her pregnancy. During the pregnancy, Woolf underwent chemotherapy and a mastectomy; she lost the use of her Mary Kay car and was unable to meet the $4,000 monthly unit purchase requirement of her contract. The plaintiff’s total damages were $11,247,071, including $10 million in punitives, the jury found. The defense alleged that the plaintiff was an independent contractor, not an employee. The jury did find that the company made good-faith efforts to comply with the laws against discrimination, but that an agent allegedly acted contrary to those efforts. Claudine Woolf v. Mary Kay Inc., No. 00-5612-J (191st District Court, Dallas County) Plaintiff’s attorneys: Angela Alioto, Law Offices of Joseph Alioto & Angela Alioto, San Francisco; Pamela Pitt, Law Office of Pamela Pitt, San Francisco Defense attorneys: John F. McCarthy Jr. and Ellen LeGrand Perlioni, Littler Mendelson, Dallas

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