In re J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. (Opinion)Annotate this Case
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 occupants in Waller County to recover property-damage costs. Days later, the occupants sued J.B. Hunt in Dallas County to recover personal-injury damages. The occupants of the car claimed, and the Dallas County court agreed, that exceptions to the first-filed rule applied, so the Dallas County court had dominant jurisdiction. The Supreme Court of Texas agreed with J.B. Hunt that the Waller County court has dominant jurisdiction. The occupants do not dispute whether their claims in the Dallas County suit were the subject of a pending action at the time of the Waller County petition, nor that the subject matter of the claims in the two suits otherwise satisfies the compulsory-counterclaim rule. Even if J.B. Hunt’s conduct was inequitable, the occupants failed to allege that the conduct caused their delay, if any, in filing suit. It would be odd and premature to require a potential litigant sit on his hands because his claim, viable though it may be, could be countered by an equally viable claim.