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Texas Supreme Court Orders & Opinions 6/13/08

Posted in Supreme Court Orders

The Texas Supreme Court issued four new decisions and one substituted opinion with today’s regular orders.

In General Electric Co. v. Moritz (No. 0871), the Court reaffirmed that a landowner owes an independent contractor’s employees no duty to warn of obvious hazards they already know about, rejecting the plaintiff’s argument that his knowledge of the hazard was simply a factor for the jury to consider in assessing comparative negligence.  Justice Green (joined by Chief Justice Jefferson and Justice Johnson) dissented.

In Frymire Engineering Co. v. Jomar International, Ltd. (No. 06-0755), the Court held that the subrogation doctrine applies to a subcontractor seeking to recover contractual payments from alleged third-party tortfeasors, provided the doctrine’s traditional requirements are satisfied. 

In Leland v. Brandal (No. 06-1028), a health-care liability case, the Court determined that a plaintiff may receive a 30-day extension to cure a deficient expert report after a ruling that the report is adequate has been reversed on appeal.  Justice Brister dissented

In Kao Holdings, L.P. v. Young (No. 07-0197) (per curiam), a restricted appeal, the Court reversed a default judgment granted against an individual who was not named as party to the suit, modified the judgment, and affirmed as modified.

In Evanston Insurance Co. v. ATOFINA Petrochemicals, Inc. (No. 03-0647), the Court denied the motions for rehearing, withdrew its February 15, 2008 opinion and judgment (which were themselves issued on rehearing), and issued a substitute opinion reaching mostly the same result.  Rather than render a complete judgment, however, the Court remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings on some of the insured’s claims for attorney’s fees and its prejudgment interest claim.