law federal preemption
FEDERAL PREEMPTION DECISIONS BY THE TEXAS SUPREME COURT
Missouri Pacific RR Co. v. Limmer, . 06-0023 (Tex. Oct. 23, 2009)(Hecht) (jury verdict in wrongful death
case arising from train-truck collision reversed based on federal preemption)
MISSOURI PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY D/B/A UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY v. PATRICIA
LIMMER, BILLYE JOYCE SMITH, AND BOBBY JEAN NOTHNAGEL; from Harris County;
14th district (14-02-00688-CV, 180 SW3d 803, 11-29-05) 2 petitions
The Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment and renders judgment.
Justice Hecht delivered the opinion of the Court in which Chief Justice Jefferson, Justice Wainwright,
Justice Medina, Justice Green, Justice Johnson, and Justice Willett joined.
(Justice O'Neill and Justice Guzman not sitting)(Newly appointed Justice Eva Guzman is the author of the
opinion in the court of appeals)
DART v. Amalgamated Transit Union Local No. 1338, No. 06-0034 (Tex. Dec. 19, 2008)(Hecht)
(federal preemption issue)
DALLAS AREA RAPID TRANSIT v. AMALGAMATED TRANSIT UNION LOCAL NO. 1338; from Dallas
County; 5th district (05-05-00241-CV, 173 SW3d 896, 10-14-05)
The Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment and dismisses the case.
Justice Hecht delivered the opinion of the Court.
In Re Global Santa Fe Corp., No. 07-0040 (Tex. Dec. 5, 2008) (Willett) (mandamus granted)
(silica litigation, Jones Act preemption issues)
IN RE GLOBALSANTAFE CORPORATION; from Harris County; 14th district (14-06-00625-CV, ___ SW3d
The Court conditionally grants the petition for writ of mandamus.
Justice Willett delivered the opinion of the Court.
FEDERAL PREEMPTION CASES FROM TEXAS COURTS OF APPEALS
FORT BEND COUNTY, TEXAS v. THE BURLINGTON NORTHERN AND SANTA FE RAILWAY COMPANY;
from Fort Bend County; 14th district (14-05-01106-CV, 237 SW3d 355, 06-21-07, pet. denied Jun 2008)
(Justice O'Neill not sitting)(condemnation eminent domain, road easement, federal preemption)
Appellant, Fort Bend County, appeals the judgment awarding the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe
Railroad Company $90,756.51 as reimbursement of expenditures in the adjustment and relocation of an
eligible utility facility, required by the County's condemnation of land for a larger railroad crossing. In its
sole issue, the County argues the trial court erred in ordering the County to reimburse Burlington for its
costs in improving the crossing. Burlington contends that, assuming the court had jurisdiction, the award
for the crossing was proper. In four cross-issues, Burlington argues: (1) the trial court erred in denying its
plea to the jurisdiction because the condemnation of a roadway easement across an active passing
track/staging facility is preempted under the Interstate Commerce Commission Termination Act ("ICCTA");
 (2) the County's failure to authorize the acquisition by condemnation of the easement caused a lack of
condemnation jurisdiction; (3) the trial court erred in granting injunctive relief; and (4) the trial court erred
in the statutory construction of Section 251.102 of the Texas Transportation Code. Because we find the
County is federally preempted under the ICCTA from condemning a public crossing that cuts Burlington's
passing track, we vacate the trial court's judgment and dismiss the case.
Medicare Reimbursement Dispute - Suit alleging State Law Causes of Action
By enacting the exclusive review provisions of the Medicare Act, Congress expressly limited the remedies
that can be sought by dissatisfied claimants from fiscal intermediaries. While this may, in some cases,
foreclose avenues of relief generally available to civil litigants, it is also the system Congress clearly
intended to implement. Any decision to modify this aspect of the system must be made by Congress, not
by the courts. Id. at 490.
DRALVES GENE EDWARDS, M.D. v. BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF TEXAS, A DIVISION OF HEALTH
CARE SERVICE CORP.; from Dallas County; 5th district (05-07-01281-CV, ___ SW3d ___, 12-19-08, pet.
denied June 2009) (federal preemption, Medicare reimbursement dispute brought under state law
theories, summary judgment on the pleadings without evidence) (We conclude Edwards's pleadings
affirmatively show his state law claims are “inextricably intertwined” with Medicare benefits determinations,
and are preempted by the Medicare Act. Thus, we affirm the trial court's judgment.
We conclude Edwards's pleading and the record establish his claims are preempted as a matter of law and
this impediment to his suit cannot be corrected by amending his pleadings. See Footnote 14 Because
this ground is sufficient to support the trial court's summary judgment, we need not address the remaining
sub-issues raised in Edwards's appeal. Tex. R. App. P. 47.1. We overrule Edwards's sole issue on appeal.
We conclude that the trial court would have to review each of Edwards's Medicare reimbursement claims
and Blue Cross's decisions to deny them in order to determine if there was a good faith or non-tortious
basis for Blue Cross's actions. Even though Edwards has now received an administrative review, he wants
to go further and recover amounts in addition to the benefits. To do so, he must prove the original denial
was not only incorrect, but was also tortious or a breach of a contractual or statutory duty. However,
Medicare only permits a judicial review after exhaustion of administrative reviews and an adverse decision.
Marsaw, 133 Fed. Appx. at 948. When the administrative review results in payment or a favorable decision
for the provider, the statute permits no further review. Id. Thus we conclude that, like Marsaw's claims,
Edwards's claims “arise under the Medicare Act (and are not collateral to it) because they are 'inextricably
intertwined' with plaintiffs' substantive claims for entitlement under Medicare.” Id.
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