- The Borrowed Servant Doctrine – At What Point Will the General Employer’s Liability Be Severed?
- Texas Tort Claims Act: Are Physicians Independent Contractors or Employees?
- Diamond Offshore Services Ltd. v. Williams—Courts Must View Video Evidence Before Ruling on Issues of Admissibility
- Reservation of Rights Letter and the Insured
- Permissive Interlocutory Appeals
- Graves Amendment
- United Scaffolding, Inc. v. Levine: Expanding Control for the Purpose of Premises Liability Claims
- Potential Barriers and Limitations to Successful Cyber Subrogation
- What is Cyber Subrogation?
- Increasing Scrutiny of Boilerplate Objections
Showing 55 posts in Legal Issues.
Introduction: The Borrowed Servant Doctrine
The borrowed servant doctrine is applicable to situations where one employer loans its employee to another employer. Whether the employee is a borrowed servant of another “hinges on whether the other employer or its agents have the right to direct and control the employee with respect to the details of the particular work at issue.” The doctrine is based upon respondeat superior, “the concept by which the master is vicariously liable for a servant’s torts committed in the course and scope of employment.” Read More ›
Introduction: Texas Tort Claims Act
In Texas, a hospital which is owned by a government and receives government funding is immune from lawsuits except under very limited circumstances described in the Texas Tort Claims Act (hereinafter “the Act”). The Act permits lawsuits against governmental entities only to the extent liability is imposed on an individual by state law and only upon the occurrence of particular fact patterns. A plaintiff may sue both the hospital and its physicians. However, if the physician is considered an employee of the hospital, they may be entitled to immunity under the Act. Read More ›
Diamond Offshore Services Ltd. v. Williams—Courts Must View Video Evidence Before Ruling on Issues of Admissibility
In Diamond Offshore Services Ltd. v. Williams, an employee sued his employer for injuries arising from a workplace accident. The employee ultimately prevailed and the jury awarded “$10 million in damages, including almost $4 million for pain and suffering.” The issue before the Texas Supreme Court was whether the Trial Court erred in excluding video surveillance of Plaintiff conducted by Defendant without first viewing the video. Plaintiff argued the video should be excluded under Texas Rule of Evidence 403, as the video was “unfairly prejudicial and misleading.” Without ever providing the reasoning behind her decision, the Trial Court Judge excluded the video from use at trial. Read More ›
Introduction: Reservation of Rights Letter
A reservation of rights is a means by which an insurer agrees to defend an insured against a claim or suit while simultaneously retaining its ability to evaluate, or even disclaim, coverage for some or all of the claims alleged by the plaintiff. Read More ›
Introduction & Overview
As a general rule, Texas appellate courts may only hear a case after judgment is finalized at the trial level. Consequently, interlocutory orders are typically not immediately appealable. This prevents a party in trial from delaying the proceeding to seek an appellate court’s opinion. However, § 51.014 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code enumerates different types of orders which a party may appeal prior to the final judgment at trial. Read More ›
When a plaintiff is injured on property owned by another two possible claims may arise—general negligence and premises liability. A crucial component of premises liability claims, absent in general negligence claims, is control. Owners of industrial workplaces often contract with multiple contractors to perform various operations on the premises. When an employee of the owner of the property is injured by a defective condition created by a contractor, courts must determine whether the contractor was in control of the premises. For a defendant to owe a duty to a plaintiff under a premises liability claim, the defendant must have been in control of the premises. If the defendant was not in control of the premises, there is consequently no responsibility for dangerous conditions existing on the property. Read More ›
The Eastern District Court of Texas joins a growing number of courts criticizing the use of boilerplate language in objections. Specifically, the commonly used “subject to” objections leave uncertain as to what, if any, information has been withheld. When responding to discovery, it is common practice to provide boilerplate objections to each request and include “subject to” language in the objection. This language is “manifestly confusing (at best) and misleading (at worst) and has no basis at all in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.” The use of “subject to” objections has created an ambiguity which is prohibited under Rule 34 and may result in courts overruling objections. Read More ›
Introduction: A Model for Insurance Fraud
In recent years, numerous public insurance adjusters, contractors illegally acting as public adjusters and attorneys have used severe weather events, like the 2012 Hidalgo County hailstorms, to manipulate a profit from the subsequent flood of insurance claims. A typical model used to maximize profit on fraudulent insurance claims starts with canvassers going door-to-door convincing homeowners they are entitled to more compensation than their insurance company provided. Read More ›
Historic flooding recently occurred as a result of Hurricane Harvey. This flood reached levels never before recorded, even eclipsing the record recently established during the Tax-Day Flood of 2016. As a result of this most recent flood, the Army Corps of Engineers and local officials decided to release water from the Addicks and Barker reservoirs. This release of water by a governmental agency presents a major legal hurdle for liability: governmental immunity. Read More ›
The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is derived from the Latin phrase “the thing speaks for itself.” Res ipsa loquitur is a mechanism by which a plaintiff can establish a defendant's negligence, absent sufficient evidence to prove such negligence. However, recent decisions indicate Texas courts are placing a heavier burden on plaintiffs attempting to prove negligence through res ipsa loquitur. Consequently, Texas courts are hesitant to infer a defendant's negligence merely on a plaintiff's assertion of res ipsa loquitur. Read More ›