This week, the Texas Supreme Court issued no order, but issued twelve grants. Three of the cases for which oral arguments have been granted raise issues of particular interest.
First, the Court issued a grant to American K-9 Detection Services LLC and Hill County Dog Center LLC v. Latasha Freeman, from Bandera County and the Corpus Christi-Edinburg Court of Appeals. This dog-bite case comes from a military contractor employee who raised a claim against another contractor that supplied bomb-sniffing dogs. There are five issues that the Court will hear: (1) whether the trial court erred by designating the Army the responsible third party; (2) whether the Federal Tort Claims Act’s combatant-activities exception preempts the injury claims; (3) whether American K-9 has official immunity by delegation of a government function; (4) whether the trial court erred by denying the plaintiff her request to replead her claims; and (5) whether the appeals court erred by reversing dismissal of claims against Hill Country Dog Center, which supplied the dogs to American K9. The oral argument is set to be on December 7th.
The Court issued a second grant to Diamond Offshore Ltd. and Diamond Offshore Services Co. v. Willie David Williams, out of the Harris County and Houston’s First Court of Appeals. The case deals with a back-injury disability claim against an oil rig operator. The issues addressed by the Court are (1) whether post injury surveillance video should have been admitted and (2) whether evidence that Diamond paid Williams as much as 85 percent of his salary for several years to temper the jury’s award and not, as the trial decided, to be taken into accounting as an offset against the awarded damages. The oral argument is set for December 7th.
Third, in re Xerox Corp. and Xerox State HealthCare LLC from Travis Country and the Austin Court of Appeals, the Court will consider whether remedies the state seeks for Medicaid fraud should be considered damages subject to proportionate-responsibility calculations. The oral argument is set for December 6th.