This week the Texas Supreme Court released no opinions and no grants; however, the Court released information on cases scheduled for oral argument in the next term. Three of these pending cases are of particular interest:
On September 13, 2016, the Court will hear oral arguments in Brady v. Klentzman, a case involving a defamation claim. The Court will address whether the evidence presented establishes a substantial disruption in daily routine sufficient to support an award of damages for mental anguish.
On September 15, 2016, the Court will hear arguments in UDR Texas Properties, LP v. Petrie on whether a property owner is liable for the criminal activities of a third party. Specifically, the Court will address (1) whether a court must conduct an independent analysis of the unreasonable risk of criminal activity and (2) whether the criminal activity in this case was foreseeable.
On October 4, 2016, the Court will hear oral argument in 4Front Engineered Solutions Inc. v. Carlos Rosales, et al, which is a case involving liability of property owners for acts of independent contractors under Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. The Court will tackle the issues of (1) whether property owners may be liable to employees of an independent contractor for negligent entrustment of equipment, (2) whether Chapter 95 applies to claims for negligent entrustment, (3) whether counsel’s reference to “slave master” in closing argument constitutes reversible error, and (4) whether broad form submission of comparative responsibility for both negligent entrustment and premises liability was a proper jury charge.