Judge tosses Linklater’s suit against insurer
A Travis County district judge has thrown out filmmaker Richard Linklater’s lawsuit against an insurer that refused to pay for property destroyed in the 2011 Bastrop County wildfires.
Linklater, who wrote and directed “Dazed and Confused,” claimed he tried unsuccessfully for more than a year to collect on a $239,000 insurance policy issued by Truck Insurance Exchange, a part of the Farmers Insurance Group. Items lost when flames engulfed a storage building on a piece of property that Linklater owned in Paige included a variety of film memorabilia.
Mark Kincaid, an attorney for Linklater, estimated the belongings were valued at $500,000 or more and said Truck Insurance Exchange should have paid Linklater $239,000, the full value of the policy. But in several letters to the filmmaker, the insurance company said it wasn’t obligated to pay Linklater because the items were “at a location that you own that is not a described location in the policy.”
Kincaid said he intends to file an appeal.
Unclear if ESPN layoffs will affect Longhorn Network
The ESPN cable network announced Tuesday that it will eliminate an unspecified number of jobs by implementing layoffs and cutting some vacant positions.
As part of a 20-year deal with the University of Texas, ESPN operates the Longhorn Network, which is based in Central Austin near the UT campus. The network wouldn’t say Tuesday whether LHN would be affected by the workforce reduction.
ESPN has about 7,000 employees worldwide, according to the Associated Press.
“We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs,” the network said in a written statement provided to the American-Statesman. “While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive.”
Housing recovery boosts Home Depot 1Q results
ATLANTA — Even though the weather was poor, Home Depot posted an 18 percent increase in its net income for the first quarter thanks to the ongoing housing recovery.
Its quarterly results topped Wall Street’s view and the world’s biggest home improvement chain boosted its full-year earnings and revenue forecasts Tuesday.
For the three months ended May 5, Home Depot Inc. earned $1.23 billion, or 83 cents per share. That’s up from $1.04 billion, or 68 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts predicted earnings of 76 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.
Best Buy reports loss on restructuring costs
MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy Co. on Tuesday reported a loss for its fiscal first quarter as it sold its stake in Best Buy Europe and works on a turnaround plan that includes cutting costs and closing some stores.
Its adjusted earnings beat Wall Street expectations, as cost cuts helped offset tough pricing competition during the quarter. But shares fell 5 percent in midday trading.
The company has been working on a turnaround plan as it faces increased competition from online retailers and discount stores. The plan includes closing stores, cutting costs and investing in training for its employees. In April it also said it would sell its 50 percent stake in its European joint venture to streamline its business and strengthen its balance sheet.