The Case of the Missing Certificate of Merit

The developer of a condominium project in Fort Worth sued the general contractor it had hired to construct a rooftop pool and deck. Inevitably, the general filed third party claims and cross-claims against various other participants, including engineers and subcontractors, seemingly all of whom filed claims, cross-claims, and counterclaims against everyone else. Two of the defendants moved to dismiss some of third party claims on the basis that the claimants had not complied with the certificate of merit requirement for suits against licensed architects, engineers, and surveyors.  See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 152.002. Applying recent authority from the Texas Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals held that a certificate of merit is only required to initiate suit, not for defendants or third-party defendants who assert claims for relief within a lawsuit. However, the Court also ordered the dismissal of the plaintiffs’ fifth amended petition as to one of the two defendants on the basis that they had failed to attach a certificate of merit to the amended petition before the deadline.

Hydrotech Engineering, Inc. v. OMP Dev., LLC, No. 05-13-00713-CV

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