Supreme Court of Texas Blog: Legal Issues Before the Texas Supreme Court

No. 12-0830
TAMES

TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF AGING AND DISABILITY SERVICES A/K/A BRENHAM STATE SCHOOL, ANTHONY v. WATSON, DWANE B. HUBBARD, AND ARETHA L. TURNER v. MARY CANNON, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ESTATE OF PATRICK TATE DYESS, DECEASED

Oral argument was held on September 16, 2014. The Court issued an opinion resolving the case on January 9, 2015. It then denied rehearing on October 18, 2013 File Closed

In the news...

Tracking 6 articles about this case.

January 14, 2015

Texas SC rules governmental immunity not applicable to claims brought outside act

from Southeast Texas Record

The Court has issued opinions:

January 11, 2015

Two opinions: when a fraudulent representation contradicts a contract and whether the Tort Claims Act forces a party to give up Section 1983 claims [Jan. 9, 2015]

from SCOTXblog

The article also mentions:
  • NATIONAL PROPERTY HOLDINGS, L.P., MICHAEL PLANK AND RUSSELL PLANK v. GORDON WESTERGREN
  • September 15, 2014

    What’s on the SCOTX argument calendar for September?

    from SCOTXblog

    June 16, 2014

    Three opinions, one grant [Jun. 13, 2014]

    from SCOTXblog

    This article also mentions 18 other cases.

    June 11, 2014

    Seven opinions and two grants [June 6, 2014]

    from SCOTXblog

    This article also mentions 8 other cases.

    October 18, 2013

    Three grants of review and one rehearing grant [Oct. 18, 2013]

    from SCOTXblog

    This article also mentions 4 other cases.

    Opinion

    January 9, 2015

    Lehrmann
    Hecht
    Green
    Johnson
    Willett
    Guzman
    Boyd
    Devine
    Brown

    Justice Lehrmann delivered the opinion of the Court. PDF

     

    Court of Appeals

    Appellate District:14th Court of Appeals
    Outcome Below:Aff/Pt and Rev & Ren/Pt
    COA Docket No.:14-11-00751-CV
    Opinion Author:Honorable Charles W. Seymore

    Trial Court

    Trial Court:21st District Court
    County:Washington
    Trial Judge:Honorable Terry Flenniken
    Trial Docket:34,370

    Docket Entries

    Date Event Outcome  
    2015-05-07 Case Stored  
      This case was waiting for a possible rehearing motion between February 19, 2015 and May 7, 2015.  
    2015-02-19 Mandate issued  
    2015-01-09 Opinion issued   Court of Appeals' judgment affirmed
    2015-01-09 Miscellaneous motion disposed. See Remarks.   Filing dismissed as moot
    2015-01-09 Court approved judgment sent to attorneys of record Issued
      This case was awaiting the Court's decision after oral argument between September 16, 2014 and January 9, 2015.  
    2014-09-16 Oral argument  
      This case was waiting for oral argument between July 7, 2014 and September 16, 2014.  
    2014-07-07 Oral Argument Submission Form from Attorney received  
    2014-06-24 Oral Argument Submission Form from Attorney received  
    2014-06-13 Case set for oral argument   Case set for oral argument
    2014-06-11 Letter Filed  
    2014-06-06 Petition for Review disposed   Filing granted
    2014-06-06 Petition for Review granted
      This case was waiting for a possible rehearing motion between February 14, 2014 and June 6, 2014.  
    2014-02-14 Phone call from Clerk's Office  
    2014-02-14 Certification (various) in case received  
    2014-02-14 Phone call from Clerk's Office  
    2014-02-12 Surreply filed (Respondent)  
    2014-02-12 Motion for leave to file brief  
    2014-01-22 Reply Brief (Petitioner)  
    2014-01-08 Brief on the Merits (Respondent)  
    2013-12-06 Motion for Extension of Time disposed.   Filing granted
    2013-12-06 Motion for Extension of Time to File Brief filed  
    2013-11-21 Designation of Lead Counsel  
    2013-11-19 Designation of Lead Counsel  
    2013-11-18 Brief on the Merits (Petitioner)  
    2013-11-05 Case Record Filed  
    2013-10-21 Record Requested in Petition for Review  
    2013-10-18 Brief on the Merits Requested  
    2013-10-18 Petition Reinstated
    2013-10-18 Previous Order of the Court withdrawn  
    2013-10-18 Motion for Rehearing - Disposed Filing granted
    2013-08-30 Reply to Response to Motion for Rehearing filed (Petitioner)  
    2013-08-26 Response to Motion for Rehearing (Respondent)  
    2013-08-16 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response  
    2013-08-16 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response disposed   Filing granted
    2013-08-15 Phone call from Clerk's Office  
    2013-07-17 Supreme Court of Texas Requested Response  
      This case was waiting for a decision about a pending motion for rehearing between May 7, 2013 and July 17, 2013.  
    2013-05-07 Case forwarded to Court
    2013-05-06 Motion for Rehearing  
    2013-04-19 Petition for Review disposed Denied
    2013-03-25 Reply to Response (Petitioner)  
    2013-03-08 Response to Petition (Respondent)  
    2013-02-22 Supreme Court of Texas Requested Response  
    2013-01-22 Case forwarded to Court
    2012-12-20 Petition for Review (Petitioner)  
    2012-11-30 Designation of Lead Counsel  
    2012-11-16 Second Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review disposed   Filing granted
    2012-11-14 Designation of Lead Counsel  
    2012-11-14 Second Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review filed  
    2012-10-17 Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review disposed   Filing granted
    2012-10-15 Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review filed  

    Parties

    Party Counsel Role
    Cannon, Mary
    Mr. Gaines F. West II
    Mr. Bennie D. Rush
    Mr. Robert George II
    Ms. Jennifer D. Jasper
    Respondent
    Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services
    Mr. Daniel T. Hodge
    Mr. Jonathan F. Mitchell
    Attorney General Greg W. Abbott
    Ms. Bridget Lynn McKinley
    Mr. Lawrence J.C. VanDyke
    Mr. Andrew Oldham
    Mr. Douglas D. Geyser
    Petitioner
     
     

    Section 101.106 election of remedies does not foreclose a federal claim against state officials

    Justice Lehrmann delivered the opinion for a unanimous court, affirming the court of appeals.

    Section 101.106 of the Texas Tort Claims Act makes plaintiffs choose whether to sue the government entity or the state officials. If a plaintiff tries to have it both ways by suing both categories of defendant, “the employees shall immediately be dismissed.” Tex. Civ. Proc. & Rem. Code §101.106(e).

    This petition asked the Court to clarify two situations:

    • Is a plaintiff barred from filing an amended petition after the State files a motion under Section 101.106(e)?

    • Does Section 101.106(e) also require the dismissal of claims that a plaintiff might have against state officials under federal law, such as a Section 1983 claim?

    On the first, the Court held that this statute does not prevent a plaintiff from amending its petition to add a new claim. The Court distinguished its recent opinion in a health-care-liability case that a plaintiff could not dismiss its claim in an effort to avoid the penalty for not filing a timely expert report. See Op. at 10 (discussing AUSTIN STATE HOSPITAL, DR. VIKAR NUZHATH AND DR. ERIK LINDFORS v. JOEL GRAHAM, No. 10-0674 ). Here, the Court holds that the wording of the Tort Claims Act (using the word “immediately”) does not change the normal background rules of Texas procedure that would generally permit a party to amend its petition.

    On the second, the Court held that Section 101.106(e) does not bar federal claims because they are not brought “under” the Tort Claims Act. See Op. at 6-7. The Court reached that result as a matter of statutory construction and so did not consider questions related to preemption or constitutionality. See Op. at 13.

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