I constantly read the countless decisions issued by the Texas Supreme Court and our state’s 14 Courts of Appeal (and those from the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appeals courts, and selected governmental agencies) to stay on top of rulings which affect the rights of my clients to recover their damages.
The Fort Worth Court of Appeals alone issued at least 100 decisions this month.
Here are 10 of its rulings that directly affect Texas automobile and truck accident lawsuits and appeals. They will give you an idea how complicated litigation is and why you need to hire an experienced board certified personal injury attorney.
1. Rocamontes v. Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries, Inc.: Held that the summary judgment for the defendant, whose part time nursing home employee fatally crashed into a 15 year old pedestrian as the worker was driving from one assisted living home to another, is affirmed. Result: family receives no money for its loss other than from the driver.
2 Speegle v. Harris Methodist Health System, Inc.: Held that a hospital is not required to seek payment from Medicare when third party liability insurance exists. Result: paintiffs may now receive less money.
3. Markel Ins. Co. v. Muzyka: Held that plaintiff’s medical expense for his injuries claim is not excluded by his insurance policy. Result: the company finally has to pay his claim.
4.Cunningham v. Haroona: Held that appellants were not entitled to submission of their survival cause of action because they presented no evidence of a distinct, nonfatal injury proximately caused by the negligence of appellee; any survival damages would have been cumulative of the wrongful death damages already found by the jury. Result: plaintiff lost his survival damages.
5. Crowson v. Bowen: Held that submission of appellant’s negligence to the jury was harmless because the jury found that defendant did not proximately cause the auto accident and the jury awarded plaintiff zero dollars. Result: plaintiff’s loss at trial was affirmed.
6. Vargas de Damian v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc: Held that the evidence supported the jury’s finding of design defect in the helicopter’s passenger restraint system, but appellants presented insufficient evidence of a design defect or safer alternative design for the helicopter’s door mounts or a safer alternative design of the helicopter’s windshield. Result: plaintiff’s loss was affirmed.
7. Pena v. Smith: Held that the trial court erred by rendering a judgment enforcing the disputed settlement agreement because appellee failed to support his action.
8. Cunningham v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co., Held that because appellees established that no signed settlement agreement, the trial court did not err by granting summary judgment. Result: plaintiff loses his attempt to enforce his settlement.
9. City of Wichita Falls v. Jenkins: Held that the trial court did not err by denying the City’s plea to the jurisdiction because the evidence shows that the City received both the required Tort Claims Act statutory notice and actual notice of appellees’ personal injury claims arising from a car accident. Result: plaintiff can now proceed with his lawsuit.
10. Barnes v. Athens: Held that the take nothing summary judgment against a pro se (not represented by an attorney) plaintiff, who obtained a small $2,000 judgment in small claims court after being injured in a car wreck, is affirmed. Result: plaintiff receives no money.
If you have any questions about the above decisions or about a Texas car wreck or truck wreck that you have been involved in, please call or email me.