Occidential Chemical Corp. v. Jenkins (Opinion)Annotate this Case
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 chemicals, L.P., Jenkins’s employer, in 1998. Jenkins sued Occidental, among other defendants, alleging that Occidental’s negligent design of the acid-addition system caused his injuries. Occidental affirmatively pled two statutes of repose. After a jury trial, the trial court rendered judgment that Jenkins take nothing, concluding that the verdict supported at least one of Occidental’s repose defenses. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Jenkins’s claim was based on Occidental’s negligent design of the acid-addition system, a theory that survived Occidental’s sale of the property and continued independently of any premises-liability claim. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) a claim against a previous owner for injury allegedly caused by a dangerous condition of real property is a premises-liability claim, regardless of the previous property owner’s role in creating the condition; and (2) because the previous owner sold the property several years before Plaintiff’s accident and did not otherwise owe Plaintiff a duty of care, the court of appeals erred in holding Occidental liable for the dangerous condition and Jenkins’s injury.