Can contractors sue property owners for personal injury when they are injured by the same object they were hired to repair? Please read this entry to learn how a recent El Paso, Texas, case interpreting Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code may affect your future claims.
Will an employee post-injury waiver hold up in Court? As explained by the Tyler Court of Appeals in Gunn v. Baptist/St. Anthony's Health Network, 2013 WL 2446429 (Tex. App.-Amarillo May 31, 2013, no. pet. h.), if you follow the Texas Labor Code, it very well could.
The Dallas Court of Appeals, in a case decided August 20, 2012, held that a litigant in arbitration who had information relevant to its post arbitration claim of "evident bias" waives that argument by failing to object to bias during the arbitration process. Ponderosa Pine Energy, LLC v. Tenaska Energy, Inc., No. 05-10-00516-CV, 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 6915 (Tex. App. Dallas Aug. 20, 2012, nph). The Fifth Circuit reached a similar conclusion a week earlier in Dealer Computer Servs. v. Michael Motor Co., No. 11-20053, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17162 (5th Cir. Tex. Aug. 14, 2012) (unpublished).
In Pipkin v. Kroger, the Houston Court of Appeals decided that an affidavit executed by a child could be competent evidence to defeat a summary judgment. Shea Pipkin was shopping at a Kroger store with his ten-year old son, Roman, when he slipped and fell on water. Shea sued Kroger alleging that he had suffered a broken hip requiring surgery. However, Shea died of an unrelated condition a few months after filing his lawsuit, and his father, Roy Pipkin, became executor of the Estate.
Recently, in the case of Gann v. Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and Falls Distributing, no. 08-11-00017-CV, 2012 WL 3026369 (Tex. App.-El Paso July 25, 2012), the El Paso Court of Appeals addressed a Plaintiff's product liability claim against Anheuser-Busch and Falls Distributing, the manufacturer and distributor, alleging that a long neck beer bottle was a dangerous weapon. Based on their analysis, the Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's ruling on a Motion for Summary Judgment against the Plaintiff. The Court of Appeals discussed the factors needed to prevail in a product liability case and determined that the Plaintiff did not meet her burden in proving the factors needed.
The Fort Worth Court of Appeals attempted to clarify the sometimes confusing law concerning the damages available when a victim of negligence dies. Cunningham v. Haroona, NO. 02-07-00231-CV, 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 7053 (Tex. App. Fort Worth Aug. 23, 2012, no pet.) (the Court denied motion for reconsideration en banc on October 18, 2012).