Supreme Court of Texas Decisions 2016

Byrdson Services, LLC v. South East Texas Regional Planning Commission (Opinion)  
Date: December 23, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0158

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a contract dispute between a local governmental entity that oversaw federal funded rebuilding projects in areas of Texas that were struck by Hurricane Ike and a construction contractor. After a dispute...

4Front Engineered Solutions, Inc. v. Rosales (Opinion)  
Date: December 23, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0298

Justia Opinion Summary: A subcontractor sued a premises owner for personal injuries the subcontractor suffered while working with a contractor on the owner’s premises. A jury found that the owner, contractor, and subcontractor all negligently c...

Laverie v. Wetherbe (Opinion)  
Date: December 9, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0217

Justia Opinion Summary: James Wetherbe, a Texas Tech professor and associate dean, filed a defamation action against Debra Laverie, a colleague, after Wetherbe was passed over for promotion. Laverie filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing...

In re Guardianship of Ryan Keith Tonner (Opinion)  
Date: December 2, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0940

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2003, the county court appointed Beatriz Burton guardian of the person and estate of Ryan Keith Tonner, who was incapacitated due to an intellectual disability. Burton died in 2007. In 2012, guardianship was transferr...

In re Red Dot Building System, Inc. (Opinion)  
Date: December 2, 2016
Docket Number: 15-1007

Justia Opinion Summary: Rigney Construction & Development, LLC contracted with Red Dot Building System, Inc. for a portion of a school construction project. A dispute arose as to the scope of the work Red Dot was to perform under the contract....

Ransom v. Eaton (Opinion)  
Date: December 2, 2016
Docket Number: 16-0079

Justia Opinion Summary: Jeanne Ransom sued dentist Jeanine Eaton, alleging that Eaton extracted two teeth in addition to the nine agreed on in a treatment plan. Ransom served Eaton with the required pre-suit notice and included an export report...

North Shore Energy, L.L.C. v. Harkins (Opinion)  
Date: October 28, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0552

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was the interpretation a land description in an option contract between Landowners and an oil and gas company (Company). Landowners argued that the description excluded a 400-acre tract. Company arg...

In re National Lloyds Insurance Co. (Opinion)  
Date: October 28, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0452

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, who owned insurance policies with National Lloyds Insurance Company, filed independent lawsuits against National Lloyds, claiming they were underpaid on claims following two hail storms in Hidalgo County. The...

Southwest Royalties, Inc. v. Hegar (Corrected)  
Date: October 21, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0743

Justia Opinion Summary: Southwest Royalties, Inc, an oil and gas exploration company, filed a tax refund claim with the Comptroller asserting that its purchases of casing, tubing, other well equipment, and associated services were exempt from s...

In re Carolyn Frost Keenan (Per Curiam)  
Date: September 30, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0777

Justia Opinion Summary: Homeowners’ association River Oaks Property Owners, Inc. (ROPO) sued homeowner Carolyn Keenan seeking an injunction requiring Keenan to remove improvements that allegedly violated a limit on impervious cover. The limit w...

In re City of Dallas (Per Curiam)  
Date: September 30, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0794

Justia Opinion Summary: The City of Corsicana, Navarro County, and Navarro College (collectively, Navarro) filed a Tex. R. Civ. P. 202 petition in the county court of Navarro County to investigate a potential tortious interference claim against...

In re Norma Heredia (Per Curiam)  
Date: September 30, 2016
Docket Number: 16-0270

Justia Opinion Summary: Norma Heredia filed a personal injury claim against Wal-Mart Stores, Texas. The trial court granted Wal-Mart’s motion for no-evidence summary judgment. Heredia then filed a notice of appeal and an affidavit of indigence...

RSL Funding, LLC v. Pippins (Per Curiam)  
Date: July 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0457

Justia Opinion Summary: RSL Funding, LLC had arbitration agreements with three individuals (collectively, Individuals) who owned annuity contracts they agreed to sell to RSL or its designee. Neither RSL nor the Individuals had arbitration agree...

In re Oceanografia, S.A. de C.V. (Per Curiam)  
Date: July 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0963

Justia Opinion Summary: A merchant vessel registered in Mexico and sailing with a Mexican crew was ferrying workers, all citizens of Mexico, from a Mexican port to an offshore drilling site when it sank off the coast of Mexico. One worker drown...

City of Dallas v. Sanchez (Per Curiam)  
Date: July 1, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0094

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, the parents of Matthew Sanchez, who died from a drug overdose, filed a wrongful death suit against the City of Dallas, alleging that a condition of the City’s telephone system proximately caused their son’s d...

Ochsner v. Ochsner (Opinion)  
Date: June 24, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0638

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2001, Preston and Victoria Oschner divorced. The trial court ordered that Preston pay Victoria monthly child support. The child support order required Preston to make payments to his daughter’s school and, when she sw...

McIntyre v. El Paso Indep. Sch. Dist. (Opinion)  
Date: June 24, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0732

Justia Opinion Summary: Michael and Laura McIntyre, along with their children that were homeschooled, were criminally charged with contributing to truancy and failure to attend school. The McIntyres sued the District and its attendance officer,...

Union Pacific Railroad Co. v. Nami (Opinion)  
Date: June 24, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0901

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, an employee of Union Pacific Railroad, contracted West Nile virus from a mosquito bite. Plaintiff sued Union Pacific under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) for failing to provide a safe workplace. T...

Tex. Dep’t of Ins., Div. of Workers’ Comp. v. Jones (Opinion)  
Date: June 24, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0025

Justia Opinion Summary: Bonnie Jones was injured during the course of her employment. Her employer’s comp carrier, American Home Assurance Company, paid her various benefits but did not pay her supplemental income benefits (SIBs) for the fourte...

Crosstex N. Texas Pipeline, LP v. Gardiner (Opinion)  
Date: June 24, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0049

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs filed suit against Crosstex North Texas Pipeline, LP asserting that Crosstex had both intentionally and negligently created a nuisance. Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that a compressor station built by Cross...

In re Nationwide Ins. Co. of Am. (Opinion)  
Date: June 24, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0328

Justia Opinion Summary: Brian Bresch entered into a contract with Nationwide Insurance Company that contained a forum-selection clause. The clause designated Franklin County, Ohio as the place to settle disputes arising from the agreement. Bres...

Stanfield v. Neubaum (Opinion)  
Date: June 24, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0387

Justia Opinion Summary: When Plaintiffs were sued, they hired Attorneys to represent them. During trial, the trial judge erred, and the error required a costly appeal to correct. Plaintiffs later sued Attorney for legal malpractice claiming tha...

Harris Cnty. Flood Control Dist. v. Kerr (Opinion)  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: 13-0303

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs, about 400 homeowners whose homes were located in the upper White Oak Bayou watershed of Harris County, filed suit against the County, asserting a takings cause of action. Plaintiffs claim that the flooding of...

Seger v. Yorkshire Ins. (Opinion)  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: 13-0673

Justia Opinion Summary: After Randall Seger died while working on a hydraulic-lift drilling rig when it suddenly collapsed, his parents obtained a judgment against the drilling company. The drilling company then assigned its rights against the...

Searcy v. Parex Resources, inc. (Opinion)  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Numbers: 14-0295, 14-0295

Justia Opinion Summary: ERG, a Texas entity, filed suit against a Canadian entity and a Bermudian shareholder in Texas for tortious interference with its share purchase agreement. ERG also filed suit against the Bermudian owner of the Colombian...

KBMT Operating Co., LLC v. Toledo (Opinion)  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0456

Justia Opinion Summary: The Texas Medical Board disciplined Minda Lao Toledo, a physician, for unprofessional conduct and issued a press release regarding the matter. After KBMT Operating Company aired a report of the Board’s action Toledo sued...

Ineos USA, LLC v. Elmgren (Opinion)  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0507

Justia Opinion Summary: After a burst of gas exploded out of a pipe and caused injury to Johannes Elmgren, a boilermaker for an independent contractor, he and his wife filed suit against Ineos and Jonathan Pavlovsky, an Ineos employee who the E...

Cornerstone Healthcare Grp. Holding v. Nautic Mgmt. (Opinion)  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Numbers: 14-0539, 14-0539

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants are three nonresident private-equity fund limited partnerships and their general partner. The funds invested in a newly created Texas subsidiary that purchased a chain of Texas hospitals from a Texas company....

Centerpoint Builders GP, LLC v. Trussway, Ltd. (Opinion)  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0650

Justia Opinion Summary: Centerpoint Builders was hired as the general contractor to build an apartment complex. Centerpoint contracted with a subcontractor to install wooden roof trusses. Centerpoint purchased the trusses directly from Trussway...

Southwest Royalties, Inc. v. Hegar (Opinion)  
Date: June 17, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0743

Justia Opinion Summary: Southwest Royalties, Inc., an oil and gas exploration company, filed a tax refund claim with the Comptroller, arguing that it was entitled to a tax exemption for some of its equipment related to oil and gas production op...

Southwestern Energy Prod. Co. v. Berry (Opinion)  
Date: June 10, 2016
Docket Number: 13-0986

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a reservoir engineer, purported to identify ten localized areas in oil-and-gas formations in East Texas that offered optimized production. Plaintiff sued Southwestern Energy Production Company (SEPCO), an oil...

State v. One (1) 2004 Lincoln Navigator (Opinion)  
Date: June 10, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0692

Justia Opinion Summary: After arresting Miguel Herrera, police officers seized his Lincoln Nagivator. An inventory search of the vehicle revealed drugs in the vehicle. The state filed a notice of seizure and intended forfeiture, asserting that...

Sampson v. Univ. of Texas at Austin (Opinion)  
Date: June 10, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0745

Justia Opinion Summary: John Sampson injured his shoulder when he tripped on an improperly secured extension cord at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) campus. Sampson filed a negligence suit alleging that UT waived its sovereign immunity p...

First Texas Bank v. Carpenter (Opinion)  
Date: June 10, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0172

Justia Opinion Summary: While investigating a leak in First Texas Bank’s roof, Chris Carpenter fell, crushing two vertebrae. Carpenter sued the Bank, alleging that its ladder was defective. In response, the Bank argued that it could not be liab...

TIC Energy & Chem., Inc. v. Martin (Opinion)  
Date: June 3, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0143

Justia Opinion Summary: Union Carbide employed Martin at its Seadrift facility. Martin lost his leg in a workplace accident and recovered workers’ compensation benefits through an owner-controlled insurance program (OCIP) administered by Union...

Coyote Lake Ranch, LLC v. City of Lubbock (Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0572

Justia Opinion Summary: Coyote Lake Ranch, about 40 square miles, in the Texas Panhandle, is used for agriculture, raising cattle, and hunting. It is primarily grass-covered sand dunes, with some is irrigated cropland. Water comes from the Ogal...

Hebner v. Reddy (Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0593

Justia Opinion Summary: A baby died after being delivered by emergency caesarean section. About six months before actually filing suit, the plaintiffs voluntarily served an expert report concurrently with a pre-suit notice letter. After filing...

Linegar v. DLA Piper LLP (Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0767

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2004, Linegar, an Australian, formed KeyOvation, which eventually merged with Saflink and became IdentiPHI, in which Linegar was a major stockholder. DLA Piper law firm represented Saflink in the merger. Following the...

In re Christus Santa Rosa Health Sys. (Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 14-1077

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, Dr. Franklin performed surgery on Baird to remove the left lobe of her thyroid. Franklin removed thymus gland tissue instead of thyroid tissue. Baird needed another surgery. Christus Santa Rosa Health System con...

Town of Lakewood Village v. Bizios (Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0106

Justia Opinion Summary: The Town of Lakewood Village, a Type A general-law municipality in Denton County, has a population of 620; its extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) extends one half-mile beyond its boundaries. Tex. Loc. Gov’t Code 42.021(...

In re Lazy W Dist. No. 1 (Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0117

Justia Opinion Summary: The Tarrant Regional Water District supplies water to two million Texans across 11 counties and is a governmental agency with the power of eminent domain. In 2010, the Water District and the City of Dallas approved a fi...

Doctor Hosp. at Renaissance, Ltd. v. Andrade (Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0563

Justia Opinion Summary: Dr. Lozano treated Andrade during her pregnancy and delivered her daughter at Women’s Hospital at Renaissance in Edinburg. The delivery was complicated by the baby’s shoulder dystocia, and Dr. Lozano allegedly engaged in...

In re H.E.B. Grocery Co, L.P. (Per Curiam)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0625

Justia Opinion Summary: Rodriguez sued HEB for negligence, alleging that he tripped and fell over an unsecured metal plate in front of a grocery cart corral in a Brownsville HEB parking lot and sustained injuries to his knee, arm, face, neck, a...

In re J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. (Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0631

Justia Opinion Summary: J.B. Hunt’s tractor-trailer traveling on I-10 in Waller County struck a disabled vehicle that had entered the tractor-trailer’s lane. The vehicle’s occupants were injured; one ultimately died. J.B. Hunt sued the occupant...

CHRISTUS Health Gulf Coast v. Carswell (Opinion)  
Date: May 20, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0362

Justia Opinion Summary: Carswell’s estate alleged that CHRISTUS St. Catherine Hospital and others committed medical malpractice causing him to die in the hospital in 2004 and that the hospital took post-mortem actions to cover up the malpractic...

Wood v. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. (Opinion)  
Date: May 20, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0714

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2004, the Woods obtained a $76,000 home-equity loan secured by their homestead. Nearly eight years later, the Woods notified the note holder, HSBC, and loan servicer, Ocwen that the loan did not comply with the Texas...

In re M-I, L.L.C. (Opinion)  
Date: May 20, 2016
Docket Number: 14-1045

Justia Opinion Summary: M-I and NOV compete, providing solid-control equipment to the oil-and-gas industry, including mesh screens that filter solid matter from drilling fluid. In 2012, Russo became business development manager of M-I’s screen...

Hoskins v. Hoskins (Opinion)  
Date: May 20, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0046

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties were litigating a dispute involving an estate and family trusts when a family corporation filed for bankruptcy. The parties signed an agreement with a provision stating that they would attempt to settle any d...

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Forte (Opinion)  
Date: May 20, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0146

Justia Opinion Summary: The Texas Optometry Act prohibits commercial retailers of ophthalmic goods from attempting to control the practice of optometry; authorizes the Optometry Board and the Attorney General to sue a violator for a civil penal...

In re: DePinho and Dennis (Per Curiam)  
Date: May 20, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0294

Justia Opinion Summary: From 2003-2014, Bornmann directed a research laboratory that synthesized cancer drugs at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In 2013, Bornmann’s team apparently discovered an antibiotic with the potential to t...

Garofolo v. Ocwen Loan Serv., L.L.C. (Opinion)  
Date: May 20, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0437

Justia Opinion Summary: Garofolo took out a $159,700 home-equity loan. She made timely payments and paid off the loan in, 2014. Ocwen had become the note’s holder. A release of lien was promptly recorded in Travis County, but Garofolo did not r...

Philadelphia Indem. Ins. Co. v. White (Opinion)  
Date: May 13, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0086

Justia Opinion Summary: After Tenant moved into her apartment, her apartment and several adjoining units were severely damaged in a fire that originated in Tenant’s clothes dryer. Insurer paid Landlord’s insurance claim and then sued Tenant for...

Morath v. Texas Taxpayer & Student Fairness Coalition (Opinion)  
Date: May 13, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0776

Justia Opinion Summary: More than half of the State’s school districts and various entities and individuals brought this school funding challenge arguing, among other things, that the current school finance system violates the adequacy and suit...

In re Phillips (Opinion)  
Date: May 13, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0797

Justia Opinion Summary: Steven Phillips was convicted of and pled guilty to several crimes. A DNA test conducted several years later excluded Phillips as the perpetrator. The trial court granted habeas relief. Thereafter, Phillips applied to th...

BCCA Appeal Group, Inc. v. City of Houston (Opinion)  
Date: April 29, 2016
Docket Number: 13-0768

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was amendments to a Houston air-quality ordinance (the Ordinance). BCCA Appeal Group filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment that Ordinance was invalid and unenforceable under the Texas Clean Air...

BNSF Railway Co. v. Phillips (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 15, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0530

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff began working for BNSF Railway Company’s predecessor-in-interest in 1974 and, approximately five years later, began to ride on locomotives as a breakman. While riding on the locomotives, Plaintiff alleged that...

Greer v. Abraham (Opinion)  
Date: April 15, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0669

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff, a public official, sued Defendants, a politically oriented blog and its executive director, for libel. The trial court dismissed the action under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, concluding that Plaintiff...

Sullivan v. Abraham (Opinion)  
Date: April 15, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0987

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sued Defendant for defamation. The trial court dismissed the suit under the Texas Citizens Participation Act, which provides for the award of attorney’s fees and expenses, as well as sanctions “sufficient to de...

Hallmark Marketing Co., LLC v. Hegar (Opinion)  
Date: April 15, 2016
Docket Number: 14-1075

Justia Opinion Summary: The Texas Tax Code provides that “only the net gain” from the sale of investments should be included in a key component of the statutory franchise-tax formula. In implementing Texas’ statutory franchise-tax liability sch...

Wheelabrator Air Pollution Control, Inc. v. City of San Antonio (Opinion)  
Date: April 15, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0029

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff entered into an agreement with Defendant, a municipality, to install pollution control equipment at a power plant. Plaintiff fully performed the agreement, but Defendant withheld the retainage from Plaintiff. C...

IN RE STATE OF TEXAS (Concurring)
Date: April 15, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0139
IN RE STATE OF TEXAS (Concurring)
Date: April 15, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0139
Caffe Ribs, Inc. v. State (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0193

Justia Opinion Summary: Caffe Ribs, Inc. (Caffe) purchased condemned property that was contaminated. After the property was placed into the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s (TCEQ) Voluntary Cleanup Program, two of the property’s prev...

Campbell v. Wilder (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0379

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners were six individuals who sued for divorce in Tarrant County between 2008 and 2012. Petitioners filed uncontested affidavits of indigence in lieu of paying costs pursuant to Tex. R. Civ. P. 145, but Petitioner...

Houston Belt & Terminal Ry. Co. v. City of Houston (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0459

Justia Opinion Summary: Shortly after the City of Houston enacted a drainage-free ordinance, Houston Belt & Terminal Railway, BNSF Railway, and Union Pacific Railway (collectively, the Railroads) received notices of proposed charges for their p...

Wasson Interests, Ltd. v. City of Jacksonville (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0645

Justia Opinion Summary: In the 1990s, the Wassons assumed an existing ninety-nine-year lease of property owned by the City of Jacksonville that specified that the property was to be used for residential purposes only. In 2009, the Wassons conve...

Hegar v. Texas Small Tobacco Coalition (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0747

Justia Opinion Summary: During nationwide tobacco litigation in the 1990s, the State individually settled its lawsuit against several of the largest tobacco companies over smoking-related Medicaid costs. In return for the manufacturers’ commitm...

Clint Indep. Sch. Dist. v. Marquez (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0903

Justia Opinion Summary: Three parents of children who attend schools within the Clint Independent School District filed suit alleging that the District unconstitutionally distributes its funds among the schools within the District. The trial co...

Lira v. Greater Houston German Shepherd Dog Rescue, Inc. (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0964

Justia Opinion Summary: Alfonso and Lydia Lira owned a German Shepherd named Monte Carlo. After Monte escaped from Lydia’s property, the City of Houston’s animal control department, known as BARC, picked up Monte and gave him to a Greater Houst...

In re Bent (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 14-1006

Justia Opinion Summary: Stacey and Mark Bent sued USAA for breach of their homeowners’ policy and violations of the Texas Insurance Code. The Bents subsequently stopped making mortgage payments, and their lender foreclosed on their home. The Be...

McLean v. Livingston (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0100

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner, a state-prison inmate, filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment that he was eligible for mandatory release and that three Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) officials failed to discharge their duty...

In re P.M. (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0171

Justia Opinion Summary: After a retrial, a jury found that Mother had endangered her daughter and that termination of Mother’s parental rights was in the daughter’s best interest. The court of appeals affirmed. The attorney in Mother’s second a...

Ex Parte N.C. (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0184

Justia Opinion Summary: N.C., a state-prison inmate, filed a petition to expunge criminal records. The trial court denied the petition. N.C. appealed but failed to include two filings required by Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. 14. The court o...

Janvey v. Golf Channel, Inc. (Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0489

Justia Opinion Summary: The Golf Channel, Inc. entered into an agreement with Stanford International Bank Limited (Stanford) under which Golf Channel received $5.9 million in exchange for media-advertising services. It was later discovered that...

C.S.F. v. Dep’t of Family & Protective Servs. (Per Curiam)  
Date: April 1, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0546

Justia Opinion Summary: In In re P.M., the Supreme Court concluded that, in government-initiated parental rights termination proceedings, the statutory right of indigent parents to counsel endures until all appeals are exhausted. In this case,...

Stephens v. Beard (Per Curiam)  
Date: March 18, 2016
Docket Numbers: 14-0407, 14-0406

Justia Opinion Summary: The nearly identical wills of Vencie Beard and Melba Beard contained a provision stating that if both the husband and wife died in a “common disaster or under circumstances making it impossible to determine [who] died fi...

TV Azteca, S.A.B. de C.V. v. Ruiz (Opinion)  
Date: February 26, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0186

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners in this case were Mexican citizens who broadcast television programs on over-the-air signals that originated in Mexico but traveled into parts of Texas. Respondents were residents of Texas who alleged that Pe...

Apache Deepwater, LLC v. McDaniel Partners, Ltd. (Opinion)  
Date: February 26, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0546

Justia Opinion Summary: Four oil and gas leases were assigned in one instrument. At issue in this case was how to calculate a production payment reserved in the assignment of the four leaseholds. When two of the leases terminated, the payor ass...

Cardwell v. Whataburger Restaurants LLC (Per Curiam)  
Date: February 26, 2016
Docket Number: 14-1019

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner sued Respondent, her employer, to recover damages for an injury she received during the course of her employment. Respondent moved to compel arbitration based on its employee handbook. Petitioner opposed arbit...

In re Interest of J.Z.P. (Per Curiam)  
Date: February 26, 2016
Docket Number: 14-1072

Justia Opinion Summary: When Mother and Father divorced, the decree gave Mother the exclusive right to determine the primary residence of the couple’s two sons and ordered Father to pay monthly child support. After Mother moved to another city...

McMillen v. Tex. Health & Human Servs. Comm’n (Per Curiam)  
Date: February 26, 2016
Docket Number: 15-0147

Justia Opinion Summary: Michael McMillen, an attorney who served as Deputy Counsel for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), prepared a memorandum concluding that the Commission’s practice of ob...

Chesapeake Exploration, LLC v. Hyder (Opinion)  
Date: January 29, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0302

Justia Opinion Summary: In general, an overriding royalty on oil and gas production must bear its share of postproduction costs unless the parties agree otherwise. The Hyder family leased 948 mineral acres to Chespeake Exploration, LLC. The Hyd...

Matthews v. Kountze Indep. Sch. Dist. (Opinion)  
Date: January 29, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0453

Justia Opinion Summary: Middle school and high school cheerleaders, through their parents, sued Kountze Independent School District after the District prohibited them from displaying banners at school-sponsored events containing religious messa...

R.R. Comm’n of Texas v. Gulf Energy Exploration Corp. (Opinion)  
Date: January 29, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0534

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2008, the Railroad Commission of Texas issued orders to plug a number of inactive offshore wells operated in the Gulf of Mexico. Gulf Energy Exploration Corporation was the lessee of the offshore area that included on...

Staley Family P’ship, Ltd. v. Stiles (Opinion)  
Date: January 29, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0591

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved two Collin County properties - the Staley Tract, which was landlocked, and the Stiles Tract, the property adjacent to the Staley Tract. Both properties were once part of an 1853 land grant from the Sta...

Hysaw v. Dawkins (Opinion)  
Date: January 29, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0984

Justia Opinion Summary: More than fifty years ago, various real-property interests were distributed to three children under their mother’s will. Heirs of the original devisees argued over the proper construction of the will provisions and the q...

Occidential Chemical Corp. v. Jenkins (Opinion)  
Date: January 8, 2016
Docket Number: 13-0961

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2006, Jason Jenkins was injured while using an acid-addition system at a chemical plant. The acid-addition was added to the plant in 1992 by Occidental Chemical Corporation. Occidental sold the plant to Equistar chemi...

Fischer v. CTMI, LLC (Opinion)  
Date: January 8, 2016
Docket Number: 13-0977

Justia Opinion Summary: Ray Fischer transferred his business assets to CTMI, LLC pursuant to a written asset-purchase agreement. CTMI later filed a second amended petition alleging that portions of the asset-purchase agreement were unenforceabl...

J&D Towing, LLC v. Am. Alternative Ins. Corp. (Opinion)  
Date: January 8, 2016
Docket Number: 14-0574

Justia Opinion Summary: J&D Towing, LLC, a towing company, owned only one tow truck that was rendered a total loss when a negligent motorist collided with the truck. J&D filed a claim with American Alternative Insurance Corporation (AAIC) under...

Sloan v. Law Office of Oscar C. Gonzalez, Inc. (Per Curiam)  
Date: January 8, 2016
Docket Number: 14-1015

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff sued Defendants, attorneys Eric Turton and Oscar Gonzalez and the Law Office of Oscar C. Gonzalez, alleging that they misappropriated $75,000 in trust funds that Turton received after settling a case on Plainti...

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