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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Texas Mutual Insurance Co., which issues workers’ compensation insurance policies, and Surety Bank, which provides financing for policies, got into a dispute over whether Texas Mutual was required to refund unearned premiums Surety had paid to Texas Mutual. Surety sued Texas Mutual. Due to the litigation, Texas Mutual stopped doing business with Surety. Texas Mutual then began telling Texas insurance agents via fax that it would no longer accept premium finance agreements from Surety. Surety then filed another lawsuit alleging tortious interference with prospective business relationships. Surety secured a temporary injunction against Texas Mutual. The injunction prohibited Texas Mutual from refusing to issue or cancel insurance policies during the prior litigation, from discouraging others not to purchase insurance through Surety, and from defaming Surety in any way. The trial court granted Texas Mutual’s motion to modify the injunction to delete the discouragement prohibition and to modify the defamation prohibition. That provision prohibits Texas Mutual from “[c]ommunicating or implying to any insurance agent or broker or any business known to be a customer or potential customer of Surety, or an entity or individual who utilizes Surety’s financial services or such services of other financial companies or recommends such services to others (including all employees and agents of all of the foregoing businesses or individuals) that Surety is in some sort of financial trouble or that Surety has committed a misfeasance or malfeasance or was somehow unfit or unable to finance insurance premiums.” Texas Mutual appeals the constitutionality of this modified provision. HOLDING:Affirmed as modified. The court agrees with Texas Mutual that, as written, the modified provision amounts to a prior restraint on speech. Even defamatory statements are provided constitutional protection in most cases, the court adds. Scrutinizing this prior restraint, the court finds that the provision, on its face, is too broad, as it effectively prohibits Texas Mutual from communication with anyone concerning Surety, even truthful communications. The provision is not the least restrictive means of protecting against the harm alleged by Surety, tortious interference with prospective business relationships and business disparagement. The court rejects Surety’s argument that provision is necessary, because the faxed letter may give readers the impression that Surety is in financial trouble. The court notes that the “impression” that a reader may draw from something will be resolved at trial. In the meantime, the court declines to hold that a possible negative interpretation of the letter would render it false or misleading and worthy of being curtailed. OPINION:Sue Walker, J.; Holman, Walker and McCoy, JJ.

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