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Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 1933-2020

September 20th, 2020 By Catherine Hanna

“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg Like many fellow Americans I was heartbroken to learn on Friday evening that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died at age 87. For many reasons, this loss hit American women especially hard.  Justice Ginsburg spent her entire career advocating for the rights of women to be treated equally at home and at work. Her legacy can be
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Breaking News on UM/UIM

August 31st, 2020 By Catherine Hanna

On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court set an underinsured motorist (UIM) mandamus case – Cause No. 19-0791, In re State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. and Terecina Shahan – for oral argument on December 2, 2020.  The case revisits an issue presented to the Court in Weber v. Progressive Cty. Mut. Ins. Co., 2018 W. 564001 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2018, pet. denied) on Petition for Review.   In Weber, the Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of extracontractual UIM
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Welcome New Attorneys Ana and Erin to Hanna & Plaut

July 14th, 2020 By Catherine Hanna

We are thrilled to welcome Ana Navarette and Erin Holmes to the Hanna & Plaut family. Erin comes to us from Skelton & Woody where she represented insurance carriers and their insureds, primarily defending lawsuits arising from auto accidents involving claims of negligence, UIM coverage, breach of contract, DTPA, Texas Insurance Code, and bad faith.  Erin was awarded her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School-Madison in 2002. She has been licensed to practice law in Texas since
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Texas Supreme Court finds for carriers in Air Ambulance decision.

July 6th, 2020 By Robert Josey

On June 26, 2020, in a 7/2 ruling, the Texas Supreme Court issued its decision in Texas Mutual Insurance Company v. PHI Air Ambulance, reversing the Austin Court of Appeals and holding that: (1) federal law does not pre-empt the Texas Department of Insurance – Division of Workers’ Compensation (the Division) from determining fair and reasonable rates for air ambulance services; and (2) federal law does not require the Division to mandate Carriers pay more than a fair and reasonable
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Fourth Court of Appeals Imposes New Post-Accident Duty on Auto Insurers

May 31st, 2020 By Catherine Hanna

            On April 1, 2020, a divided en banc Fourth Court of Appeals imposed a new post-accident duty on auto insurers. In a case of first impression, the Court reversed a Bexar County trial court’s summary judgment in favor of an auto insurer. The Appellate Court found that the auto insurer had a duty to exercise reasonable care when it instructed its insured driver to take photographs of her vehicle immediately following a one-car accident because of the special relationship
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Texas Supreme Court Recognizes Eight-Corners Exception for “Collusive Fraud”

May 3rd, 2020 By David L. Plaut

For the first time, the Texas Supreme Court has recognized an exception to the eight-corners rule and allowed the consideration of “extrinsic evidence” when assessing a carrier’s duty to defend its insured under a liability policy.  In Cause No. 18-0837, Loya Insurance Company v. Osbaldo Hurtado Avalos et al. (Tex. May 1, 2020), the Texas Supreme Court adopted “an exception to the eight-corners rule” finding a trial court “may consider extrinsic evidence regarding whether the insured and a third party
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Show Me the Money? Not So Fast!

April 26th, 2020 By Sheila Tan

In a personal injury case, tort claimants typically submit medical bills showing treatment received for injuries. Settlements paid out of insurance policy benefits are often meant to cover such expenses. After settling, plaintiffs’ attorneys routinely negotiate a reduction of the submitted bills directly with the medical providers, leading to a bigger share of the recovery for their clients.What happens when a carrier pays a hospital’s bill directly? Such direct payments generally reflect a reduction in the original billed amount. We’ve
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It’s A Round-Up, Y’all!

March 29th, 2020 By Lauren Burgess

Ed. Note: At Hanna & Plaut we encourage attorney involvement in practice organizations like the Texas Association of Defense Counsel. We’re also not ashamed to take advantage of the good work they do as part of their responsibilities. Today, we are pleased to present a case round-up that Lauren Burgess prepared as part of her role as a Director-at-Large for TADC. Alcala v. Republic Lloyds, No. 13-18-00026-CV, 2020 WL 830840 (Tex. App.–Corpus Christi Feb. 20, 2020) Holding: Timely payment of
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WEBINAR ALERT

March 21st, 2020 By Catherine Hanna

Catherine will be presenting an Insurance Section Webinar on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. CDT on the hot topic of recent developments in UM/UIM litigation. (Ok, maybe not the hottest topic currently, but let’s be real. Don’t you want to think about something other than Coronavirus for an hour? Plus it’s the perfect CLE for social distancing. You can get without leaving your house!). Shawn Mechler, of the Crosley Law Firm in San Antonio, is
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The View From My Office: How Hanna & Plaut is Handling COVID-19

March 16th, 2020 By Catherine Hanna

In keeping with CDC guidance, Hanna & Plaut attorneys and staff will be working from home for the next two weeks. Many Hanna & Plaut attorneys already work from home several days out of the week so we know that our remote capacity is good and we will be available to handle your cases productively and efficiently. We expect to have a skeleton crew on hand to handle phone calls and filing deadlines, but you can always reach attorneys by
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