General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section of the State Bar of Texas





Pruski v. Garcia, W.L. 499768; Lexis 50 (Tex. 2020)


Two Statutory Provisions on Point with Different Standards: At issue was the applicability of two statutes prohibiting livestock owners from allowing their animals to roam. Both found in Tex. Agric. Code Chapter 143, Section 143.102 prohibits “knowingly permit[ting]” such roaming, while Section 143.074 provides that in counties that have enacted stock laws, “a person may not permit” roaming. It was alleged: “a driver on a state highway collide[d] with an escaped bull in a county with a stock law . . . .Held: Reversed. The court of appeals applied the latter section and allowed recovery by the driver with no required showing of knowing permission to roam. The Court noted that Section 143.107 specifies that Section 143.102 “prevails to the extent of any conflict with another provision of this chapter.”  Hence, the heightened mental-state provision would be the correct standard to apply in a livestock accident on a state highway. The Court therefore reversed in part the court of appeals opinion and reinstated summary judgment for the defendant.



Glenn v. Leal, W.L. 854922; Lexis 141 (Tex. 2020)


At issue in this health care liability case was the applicability of a willful and wanton negligence standard under Tex. Civ. Prac. & Remedies Code Section 74.153, which applies in the provision of emergency medical care. The defendant, Dr. Glenn, delivered plaintiff Leal’s baby with some apparent haste when the baby’s shoulder lodged within the mother’s pelvis while simultaneously experiencing the umbilical cord’s wrapping around the baby’s neck. The baby suffered permanent injury from the hasty delivery. Leals sued Glenn, and at trial, the trial court denied Glenn’s motion for a directed verdict and refused his requested jury instructions as to whether emergency medical care had been provided and whether he had acted with willful and wanton negligence. The jury returned a verdict for the Leals under an ordinary negligence standard. The trial court denied Glenn’s motion for JNOV. Held: Reversed and remand for new trial. The court of appeals relied on a 2018 Second Court of Appeals decision that refused to apply the willful and wanton standard to cases that did not originate in the emergency department before moving to the obstetrical unit. However, in that case, this Court then reversed, construing the statutory language and applicability of the willful and wanton standard as requiring origin of care in the emergency department only for care later completed in the surgical suite, but NOT requiring that same origin of care for care completed in the obstetrical unit. (See Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Denton v. D.A., 569 S.W.3d 126 (Tex. 2018)). Citing its decision in Texas Health, the Court held that the court of appeals erred in its application of the section 74.153 standard. Therefore, as the error went directly to the jury instruction that resulted in the verdict against Dr. Glenn, the Court reversed the court of appeals and remanded for a new trial.


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