The court’s order list for this week is available here.
The Court issued two opinions, one a per curiam and the other authored by Justice Brister. In Ansell Health Care Products & Becton, Dickinson, and Co. v. Owens & Minor, Inc., and Minor Medical, Inc., No. 06-0386, the court issued a per curiam opinion reversing the court of appeals’s decision as inconsistent with last week’s decision resolving the certified question in Owens & Minor, Inc., v. Ansell Healthcare Products, Inc., No. 06-0322. The Court restated its earlier holding: â€œa manufacturer that offers to defend or indemnify a distributor for claims relating only to the sale or alleged sale of that specific manufacturerâ€™s product fulfills its obligation under Section 82.002 [of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code].â€ [opinion here]
The certified question in Owens & Minor was a splintered decision — 4 justices joined Justice Green’s plurality opinion [here], 4 Justice O’Neill’s dissent [here], and Justice Brister was left as the swing vote between what he described as “two ships passing in the night.” [here] Whether this split could finally require the Court to clarify whether it follow the Marx rule will have to wait for further coverage.
In Texas Mutual Insurance Co. v. Ledbetter, No. 06-0814, [opinion here] concluded that the Labor Code requires any money awarded in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by an employee who was covered by worker’s compensation must be used to satisfy the workers’ comp carrier before being applied to attorney’s fees or distributed to the worker’s estate. Justice Johnson declined to join part IV of the opinion, which addressed the scope of the plaintiffs’ right to nonsuit.