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

No. 13-0961
TAMES

OCCIDENTAL CHEMICAL CORPORATION v. JASON JENKINS

Oral argument was held on September 3, 2015. The Court issued an opinion resolving the case on January 8, 2016. File Closed

In the news...

Tracking 1 article about this case.

August 31, 2015

Preview of the first September argument sitting

from SCOTXblog

This article also mentions 6 other cases.

The Court has issued opinions:

Opinion

January 8, 2016

Devine
Hecht
Green
Johnson
Willett
Guzman
Lehrmann
Boyd
Brown

Justice Devine delivered the opinion of the Court. PDF

 

Court of Appeals

Appellate District:1st Court of Appeals
Outcome Below:Reverse & Remand
COA Docket No.:01-09-01140-CV
Opinion Author:Honorable Harvey G. Brown

Trial Court

Trial Court:295th District Court
County:Harris
Trial Judge:Honorable Caroline E. Baker
Trial Docket:0773468

Entries on SCOTX Orders Lists

Docket Entries

Date Event Outcome  
  This case has been waiting for a possible rehearing motion.  
2016-02-18 Mandate issued  
2016-01-08 Court approved judgment sent to attorneys of record Issued
2016-01-08 Opinion issued   Court of Appeals' judgment reversed & judgment rendered
2015-12-14 Response to Brief filed (Petitioner)  
2015-11-20 Post submission brief filed (Respondent)  
  This case was awaiting the Court's decision after oral argument between September 3, 2015 and November 20, 2015.  
2015-09-03 Oral argument  
2015-09-02 Exhibits in case/cause filed (Respondent)  
2015-08-31 Supplemental Letter Brief (Petitioner)  
2015-08-25 Supplemental Letter Brief (Respondent)  
2015-08-05 Oral Argument Submission Form from Attorney received  
2015-07-15 Oral Argument Submission Form from Attorney received  
2015-07-03 Case set for oral argument   Case set for oral argument
  This case was waiting for oral argument between May 8, 2015 and July 3, 2015.  
2015-05-08 Amicus Curiae Brief received  
  This case was waiting for oral argument between March 13, 2015 and May 8, 2015.  
2015-03-13 Petition for Review granted
2015-03-13 Petition for Review disposed   Filing granted
2015-02-13 Amicus Curiae Brief received (Amicus Curiae)  
2015-02-12 Amicus Curiae Letter Received  
2015-02-10 Reply Brief (Petitioner)  
2015-01-08 Motion for Extension of Time disposed.   Filing granted
2015-01-07 Motion to Extend Time to File Reply filed  
2014-12-10 Motion for Extension of Time disposed.   Filing granted
2014-12-05 Motion for Extension of Time to File Brief filed  
2014-11-26 Brief on the Merits (Respondent)  
2014-10-27 Motion for Extension of Time to File Brief filed  
2014-10-27 Motion for Extension of Time disposed.   Filing granted
2014-09-25 Designation of Lead Counsel  
2014-09-25 Motion for Extension of Time to File Brief filed  
2014-09-25 Motion for Extension of Time disposed.   Filing granted
2014-09-05 Brief on the Merits (Petitioner)  
2014-08-11 Motion to withdraw disposed of   Filing granted
2014-07-31 Motion for Extension of Time disposed.   Filing granted
2014-07-31 Motion for Extension of Time to File Brief filed  
2014-07-25 Motion to Withdraw Filed  
2014-07-02 Motion for Extension of Time to File Brief filed  
2014-07-02 Motion for Extension of Time disposed.   Filing granted
2014-06-17 Case Record Filed  
2014-06-12 Record Requested in Petition for Review  
2014-06-06 Brief on the Merits Requested  
2014-04-25 Pro hac vice motion disposed   Filing granted
2014-04-25 Pro hac vice motion disposed   Filing granted
2014-04-24 Amicus Curiae Letter Received  
2014-04-23 Certification (various) in case received  
2014-04-23 Amicus Curiae Letter Received  
2014-04-22 Amicus Curiae Letter Received  
2014-04-22 Reply to Response (Petitioner)  
2014-04-21 Call received  
2014-04-21 Amicus Curiae Letter Received  
2014-04-18 Pro hac vice motion filed  
2014-04-18 Pro hac vice motion filed  
2014-04-08 Case forwarded to Court
2014-04-07 Response to Petition (Respondent)  
2014-03-06 Designation of Lead Counsel  
2014-03-05 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response  
2014-03-05 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response disposed   Filing granted
2014-02-06 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response disposed   Filing granted
2014-02-06 Call received  
2014-02-06 Electronic communication sent to Party  
2014-02-05 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response  
2014-01-06 Petition for Review (Petitioner)  
2013-12-04 Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review disposed   Filing granted
2013-12-03 Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review filed  

Parties

Party Counsel Role
Jenkins, Jason
Mr. Russell S. Post
Mr. David M. Gunn
Mr. Cory D. Itkin
Mr. Kurt Brynilde Arnold
Ms. Erin Hilary Huber
Mr. Jason A. Itkin
Mr. Charles Randall 'Chad' Flores
Mr. Wallace B. Jefferson
Mr. Douglas W. Alexander
Respondent
Occidental Chemical Corporation
Mr. Barry N. Beck
Mr. David Wayne Lauritzen
Mr. William Richard Thompson II
Mr. Rick G. Strange
Ms. Deborah G. Hankinson
Mr. Joseph B. Morris
Petitioner

Amici Curiae

Amicus Curiae Counsel
Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America
Mr. Richard A. Smith
Christopher Patton
Texas Chemical Council
Martha Landwehr
Texas Civil Justice League
Mr. George S. Christian
National Association of Manufacturers
Mr. Richard A. Smith
Christopher Patton
The American Chemistry Council
Mr. Richard A. Smith
Christopher Patton
Pacific Legal Foundation
Wencong Fa

Is the former owner of a chemical plant shielded from design-defect claims by the statute of repose?

limitations premises liability product liability

A technician at a chemical plant was injured by the failure of a device used to handle acid. The device had been built into the facility by its prior owner, Occidental, who fourteen years prior had designed the device and worked with a contractor to build it. Six years later, and eight years before the injury, Occidental sold the plant.

The lawsuit focused on the allegedly defective design, which was alleged to have been the work of an unlicensed very junior engineer. The question on appeal is what responsibility is owed by Occidental, as the former owner of the property who designed the device that caused the injury. Occidental frames this as a premises-liability concern, for which it says the former owner should not be liable. Occidental also argues that it should be protected by a 10-year statute of repose for those who construct improvements on real estate. Jenkins responds, in part, that Occidental's role in designing the device sets this case apart from situations where a contractor just implements another's design.

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