Rusk State Hosp. v. BlackAnnotate this Case
In this health care liability claim, the trial court denied Rusk State Hospital's challenge to the plaintiffs' expert reports. The hospital filed an interlocutory appeal from that ruling. On appeal, the hospital, for the first time, asserted it was immune from suit. The court of appeals refused to consider the immunity issue because it had not been presented to the trial court. After addressing the merits of the hospital's challenge to the expert reports, the court of appeals remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the court of appeals erred by refusing to consider the immunity claim because immunity from suit implicates courts' subject-matter jurisdiction; but (2) the case was properly remanded, as (i) the pleadings and record neither established a waiver of the hospital's immunity nor conclusively negated such a waiver, and (ii) the hospital had not shown conclusively that either the plaintiffs had a full, fair opportunity in the trial court to develop the record as to immunity and amend their pleadings, or that if the case was remanded and the plaintiffs were given such an opportunity they could not show immunity had been waived.