Doubling down on a ruling earlier this year that intent governs whether employee lawsuits are excepted from the restrictions of the Texas Workman’s Compensation Act, a unanimous SCOTX tossed a $43.5 million jury verdict for a worker who lost a leg in what the court itself described as “an avoidable, unjustifiable, and grossly negligent accident.” Janet Elliott explains.
In HouseCanary v. Title Source, a scrap over source code pits a 2013 law designed to protect trade secrets against a longstanding rule of Texas Civil Procedure that presumes that court records are open to the public. At stake is not only a jury verdict of more than $700 million, but a longstanding vision of public trust.
Less than four months after its controversial “tired trucker” ruling absolved an employer whose employee died after being required to work excessive hours, the Texas Supreme Court is weighing a $43.5 million jury verdict tossed on appeal because of the court’s broadened limits on a worker’s right to sue.
The journey to the top for Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman has been an unusual one, filled both with obstacles and firsts. As she takes her place this fall as senior justice, Janet Elliott profiles the rise of a woman who embraces her non-traditional path as part of her belief in the law.
The state’s highest court dealt with a number of issues this past term — a COVID-19 pandemic, changes in personnel and a ransomware attack. But the court also heard a few cases, and a quartet of appellate experts from Beck Redden and Haynes and Boone discussed those cases in a recent panel hosted by The Texas Lawbook.
As a justice on the Texas Supreme Court Deborah Hankinson helped create the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. Although no longer on the court, she is now board chair of the foundation she helped create.
A ransomware attack May 8 from a Russian IP address crashed access to the state’s appeals court records. But it didn’t stop the business of the courts. Janet Elliott looks back at what happened and how the state responded to the unprecedented attack.
In a big win for private insurance companies, the Texas Supreme Court said more than $50 million in disputed air ambulance fees were covered by Texas Workers Compensation standards, not federal aviation rules.
Workers’ Comp Exemption Requires Intent to Kill ‘Particular Individual’ SCOTX Rules in ‘Tired Trucker’ Case
A calculated disregard for safety by Mo-Vac Service Company may have contributed to the death of one of its drivers, but that isn’t enough to allow an exception to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, the court ruled. The likelihood of death has to be “substantially certain” to a “particular individual” for a wrongful death claim to be excepted from the exclusive authority of TWC. Janet Elliott explains.
The 7-1 decision is a win for Austin lawyer Kevin Dubose in the first Texas case argued via Zoom. Janet Elliott has the details.