In re H.E.B. Grocery Co, L.P. (Per Curiam)Annotate this Case
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, and shoulder. He received medical treatments, including two spinal surgeries. According to his expert witness, Rodriguez may require additional spinal surgery. While that suit was pending, Rodriguez was involved in an incident at a Sam’s Club in which he allegedly sustained head and neck injuries after a roll of artificial turf being carried by an employee fell on his head. Rodriguez has also filed suit against Sam’s Club. HEB retained an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Swan, as its medical expert. Though Swan routinely examines patients before formulating expert opinions, he did not examine Rodriguez before preparing his report. Based solely on review of Rodriguez’s medical records, Swan opined that Rodriguez suffered from a preexisting spinal condition, that his injury “was present with or without the fall,” and that “[n]othing about the MRI,” taken within a month after Rodriguez’s fall, suggested acute injury. HEB requested that Rodriguez be required to submit to a physical examination by Swan. The trial court denied HEB’s motion without explanation. The Supreme Court of Texas reversed, reasoning that Rodriguez’s condition and its cause are in controversy.