Helping Trial Lawyers Navigate the Appellate System

Texas Supreme Court Orders & Opinions 4/4/08

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” column_margin=”default” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” overlay_strength=”0.3″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column_text]After last week’s barrage (from which I’m not the only one still recovering), the Texas Supreme Court issued just two decisions with this week’s orders.

In Ansell Healthcare Products, Inc. v. Owens & Minor, Inc. (06-0386) (per curiam), the Court followed last week’s decision involving the same parties and issues, Owens & Minor, Inc. v. Ansell Healthcare Products, Inc. (No. 06-0322).  There, the Court held that, under Section 82.002 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, manufacturers must indemnify an “innocent seller” only for the portion of the defense associated with the seller’s own products.  Because the court of appeals’ decision conflicted with that rule, the Court reversed and remanded to the trial court for further proceedings.

In Texas Mutual Insurance Co. v. Ledbetter (No. 06-0814), the Court concluded that an insurance carrier should have been allowed to intervene and assert its statutory subrogation claim to the “first money” paid out in a court-approved wrongful-death settlement.  Although the plaintiffs had an absolute right to nonsuit their own claims, the carrier’s intervention was a pending claim for affirmative relief that could not be prejudiced by a nonsuit.  The Court affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment reinstating the intervention, but otherwise reversed and remanded the case to the trial court to sort out the details.

In other noteworthy developments, the Court granted rehearing in Entergy Gulf States, Inc. v. Summers (No. 05-0272), a controversial decision publicly rebuked by legislators.  No date has been set for oral argument.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

D. Todd Smith
About the Author

D. Todd Smith is an Austin-based civil appellate specialist who works with trial teams from the earliest stages of litigation. In trial courts, he takes the lead on strategic analysis and briefing, jury charges, and potentially dispositive motions, all with a focus on preserving error and positioning cases for appellate review.

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