A jury in a Dallas County truck wreck case delivered a whopping $37,900,000.00 verdict on July 18, 2016, for a wrongful death action resulting from a wreck on an icy Texas highway in February of 2015. The case was originally brought by the decedent's two children, with his wife and mother adding themselves as Intervenors to the case. Both the truck driver and his employer, O'Reilly Auto Parts (O'Reilly), were found liable for negligence and gross negligence.
The doctrine of ferae naturae is a common law defense limiting the liability of property owners for injuries caused by "animals of a wild nature or disposition." In Union Pacific Railroad v. Nami, the Texas Supreme Court examined this defense in the context of an employer liability lawsuit.
On July 6, 2016, the 8th Court of Appeals in El Paso released an opinion addressing the $100K damage cap in expedited actions under TRCP 169. The "Expedited Actions" rule allows for certain cases to benefit from streamlined discovery and trial requirements which "promote the prompt, efficient, and cost-effective resolution of civil actions when the amount in controversy does not exceed $100,000." In order to gain the benefits of the expedited action rule, a claimant may not (1) seek greater than $100K in his affirmative pleading or (2) recover in excess of $100K, excluding post-judgment interest.