Supreme Court Update: Kia Motors & Bioderm Skin Care

Early last year, the Texas Supreme Court granted four petitions for review out of the Dallas Court of Appeals on the same day. Today, the Supreme Court issued opinions in two of those cases, reversing them both. In Kia Motors Corp. v. Ruiz, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals’ holding that the manufacturer was not entitled to a presumption against liability due to the vehicle’s compliance with federal crashworthiness standards. However, the Court reversed and remanded for a new trial because the trial court should not have admitted a spreadsheet containing summaries of many different warranty claims on vehicle airbag circuitry, most of which were dissimilar to the plaintiffs’ claimed defect. And in Bioderm Skin Care v. Sok, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ holding that the victim of a botched laser hair removal procedure was not required to submit an expert report, holding that the claim was indeed subject to the Texas Medical Liability Act because the laser could only be purchased by a licensed medical practitioner and required extensive training to operate. The case was therefore remanded for consideration of the defendants’ attorney fees and costs.

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