Mary Barrow Nichols, senior vice president and general counsel for Texas Mutual Insurance Co., has been awarded the 2012 Magna Stella Award for Major Litigation from the Texas General Counsel Forum.
The Magna Stella Awards program recognizes in-house excellence in Texas corporations, organizations and government agencies. The finalists were nominated by peers and selected by a panel of independent judges. Several hundred corporate counsel, as well as six Texas Supreme Court Justices, attended the dinner where the Magna Stella winners were announced.
Nichols was awarded a Magna Stella for Major Litigation based on three significant legal initiatives she has closed for Texas Mutual within the last year. Under her leadership:
- The Texas Supreme Court closed the book on a “bad faith” suit that was seriously disruptive to the workers’ compensation industry, as well as the jurisprudence of the state. Nichols recognized that a victory was not only important for Texas Mutual, but also for the entire workers’ compensation industry.
- Texas Mutual also enjoyed great success in its legal battles with a hospital that has filed hundreds of medical fee disputes, with the amounts of individual cases totaling more than $6.5 million. Nichols developed a cost-effective method of handling these disputes, and Texas Mutual obtained maximum results without maximum expenses.
- Texas Mutual was also victorious in a case involving one of its policyholders, Port Elevator. The plaintiffs filed a wrongful death suit on the theory that Port Elevator did not have workers’ compensation insurance and originally obtained a $2.8 million judgment that was affirmed by the court of appeals. The Supreme Court of Texas reversed and rendered judgment for Port Elevator, holding that the workers’ compensation policy it purchased covered its temporary employees and barred the negligence suit.
Source: Texas Mutual Insurance Co.