With today’s orders list, the Texas Supreme Court issued opinions in five cases. It did not choose any new cases for oral argument.
I’ll be writing separate posts about some of today’s bigger cases. For now, here are quick summaries:
- , No. 10-0666 : Divided 6-3, the Court holds that unionized Texas public-sector workers — unlike federal public-sector workers or unionized private-sector workers — do not have the right to have union representation during an internal investigation.
, No. 12-0047 : In perhaps the most watched case of the term, the Texas Supreme Court holds that Texas common law does not include a claim for emotional damages for the loss of a pet. The opinion noted that the Legislature could create such a remedy, as some other states have done.
, No. 10-1020 : The Court resolved a disputed chain of title in favor of the state as landowner. The two relevant links in the title chain were judgments: a 2003 judgment (awarding the state an easement) and a 2004 judgment in the same case (eliminating the state’s interest in favor of a private party). The Court held that later-issued judgment was void because (on this record) it was a substantive change that exceeded the proper bounds of a nunc pro tunc correction of a prior judgment.
, No. 11-0473 : The Court examined the Texas statute that imposes a tax to fund the e911 system, concluding that the 1997 version of this statute was not broad enough to reach prepaid wireless plans (which had not yet been introduced in Texas). Accordingly, those prepaid wireless providers could obtain a refund of the taxes still in dispute between that time and the amendment of the statute in 2010.
Last October, the Texas Supreme Court held in , No. 11-0517 that the expert report filed in a medical-malpractice case only needed to address one valid theory for the plaintiff to move forward: “If a health care liability claim contains one viable liability theory, as evidenced by an expert report meeting the statutory requirements, the claim cannot be frivolous [and the claimant has a] right to have the entire case move forward.” (Page 10 of that slip opinion)
Today, in , No. 11-0630 , the Court applies that holding. The Court examined the expert report’s sufficiency as to the theory that the hospital was vicariously liable, found that it was sufficient to meet the statute as to that theory, and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings.