Petitions Granted

Today was a good day to be petitioning for review from the Dallas Court of Appeals. The Texas Supreme Court granted six petitions for review today, and the first four on the list all came from the Fifth Court of Appeals. Here are brief summaries of the four cases.

Georgia Pacific Corp. v. Bostic320 S.W.3d 588, is a wrongful death/asbestos case in which the court of  which the court of appeals reversed an $11.6 million plaintiff’s verdict. The court held that there was legally insufficient evidence that Georgia Pacific’s product was a “substantial factor” in causing the decedent’s mesothelioma, where the man had been exposed to multiple sources of asbestos and  the plaintiffs’ own expert could not say that he would not have developed the disease without that exposure. The petition for review challenges that rulling, arguing that an asbestos plaintiff need not establish that the exposure to the defendant’s product was the exposure that precipitated the illness.

Kia Motors Corp. v. Ruiz, 348 S.W.3d 465, is a products liability case in which the court of appeals affirmed a plaintiff’s judgment based on negligent design of a vehicle. The court rejected Kia’s contention that it should have a presumption of no liability because the car’s design complied with federal crashworthiness standards. The petition for review challenges that holding, as well as the evidence supporting the alleged defect.

Bioderm Skin Care, LLC v. Sok345 S.W.3d 189, concluded that laser hair removal for cosmetic purposes was not a healthcare service under Chapter 74 of the Civil Practice & Remedies Code, and that the plaintiff therefore did not need to produce an expert report within 120 days after the filing of her petition. Naturally, the petition for review asserts that laser hair removal is indeed the type of health care claim that requires an expert report.

Finally, in Martin K. Eby Construction Co. v. LAN/STV, 350 S.W.3d 675, the court of appeals affirmed a jury verdict awarding damages in favor of a general contractor and against its subcontractor, overruling both sides’ complaints about the judgment. The court rejected the general contractor’s claim that its own negligence and the negligence of DART should not have reduced its recovery against the defendant, while also sustaining the sufficiency of the evidence and denying the sub’s attempt to use the economic loss doctrine to bar the general contractor’s recovery. The petition for review focuses on the economic loss issue.

Surprisingly, both Georgia Pacific and Bioderm were granted on motion for rehearing after the petitions were originally denied last October.  Oral argument dates have not been set for any of the four cases.

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