In re Texan Millwork (Per Curiam)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court conditionally granted Relator's mandamus petition seeking relief from an order of the trial court compelling Relator to produce a certain witness for oral deposition, holding that the trial court abused its discretion.
Jay Adashera, an employee of a wholesale granite purveyor, died when two 400-pound granite slabs fell off a contractor's truck at his workplace. His survivors sued the granite company and the truck owners, Lazaro Cabrera, for negligence and wrongful death. The survivors obtained a default judgment against Cabrera and then added claims against Texan Millwork, Inc., the company who had hired Cabrera to fabricate the slabs into countertops. At issue was whether Cabrera was an independent contractor and not an employee of Texan Millwork at the time of the accident. To secure Cabrera's testimony, the survivors filed a motion to compel Texan Millwork to produce Cabrera, "its agent and/or employee" for deposition. The trial court granted the motion to compel, and the court of appeals granted Texan Millwork's petition for mandamus relief. The Supreme Court conditionally granted the petition, holding that because there was no evidence of retention, employment, or control at the time discovery was sought, the trial court erred in compelling Texan Millwork to produce Cabrera for an oral deposition.