This week the Texas Supreme Court issued two grants and no opinions. This blog discusses one of those grants.
On February 2nd, the Court will hear oral arguments in Catholic Diocese of El Paso and Heritage Operating L.P. v. Rita Porter et al., a case from the El Paso Court of Appeals. This case arose after individuals suffered burn injuries from a fire at a church fundraiser. At trial, the jury awarded each Plaintiff zero damages, finding no party’s negligence caused the fire. The Court of Appeals reversed in part finding that the jury’s no-liability finding for the Church was against the great weight and preponderance of evidence. There are four issues on appeal that the Supreme Court of Texas will consider, including (1) whether under premises-liability law, volunteers for a vendor on the church property are invitees; (2) whether it is reversable error that the trial court failed to instruct jurors to disregard a “nobody’s responsible” argument when unavoidable accident was not pleaded; (3) whether any challenge to the evidence was waived by the injured parties because they did not contest the jury’s zero-damages finding; and (4) whether, in reviewing the no-liability verdict, the court of appeals applied the correct factual-sufficiency standard.