University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston v. Rios (Opinion)Annotate this Case
If a plaintiff sues both public employees and their employer, section 101.106(e) of the Texas Tort Claims Act requires that the employees be immediately dismissed upon the employer’s motion, and this statutory right to dismissal accrues when the motion is filed and is not impaired by later amendments to the pleadings or motion.
Respondent sued a government unit and some of its employees. The Attorney General moved to dismiss all but the tort claims against the employer, arguing that Respondent's contract claim against the employer, a state agency, was barred by sovereign immunity and that the tort claims against the employees were required to be dismissed under section 101.106(e). Thereafter, Respondent amended his petition to drop his tort claims against the employer, leaving the employees as the only tort defendants. The amended petition’s only claim against the employer was for breach of contract. The trial court dismissed Respondent's contract claim against the employer but denied dismissal of his tort claims against the employees. On appeal, the Supreme Court rendered judgment dismissing Respondent's state-law tort claims against the employees, holding that, following Respondent's amended petition, Defendants remained entitled to dismissal of the tort claims asserted against the employees in Respondent's original petition, as requested in Defendants’ original motion to dismiss.