Legal Updates

  • Dangerous Therapy
    (first released 2/07/2017)

    The New Year brings resolutions of all shape and sizes. Several (okay; most) are quickly dismissed and deemed insignificant by Valentine’s Day. But for many, sticking to a diet, losing weight, and getting in shape are all sincere and discerning goals to be realized by wannabe Texas health aficionados (especially those under doctor’s orders).

    So starting slow is the key. Dust off that 10-speed, hop on, and go for a short, sustainable ride. Take your pet out for an even-paced walk around-the-block. You can work up to the rolling hills and extended dog park excursions in due time. Moderation is the key – especially when your “activity button” hasn’t been pushed for a while.

    But what happens when bike meets dog? Who’s gonna win that confrontation – and who’s at fault? Is there any correlation between the speed

    Feb 19, 2017

    (first released 11/28/2016)

    Singer/songwriter Warren Zevon once wrote a song entitled by the headline of this article, and for those of us who recall, Mr. Zevon suddenly found himself in a bit of a “sticky wicket.” And I can’t think of a better place to apply his experience than the friendly confines of an East Texas watering hole.

    Regardless of size, brand, or caliber, make no mistake: Texans love their guns. Between updated gun laws and the fear of foreign terrorists on American soil, private gun ownership is more popular than ever. However, gun holders must be cognizant of both safety features and potential use of their prized firepower – especially when children are present.

    From a real Texas case: a family drove to a fishing lake, parked and locked their pickup. The truck was equipped with a loaded shotgun, displayed proudly on

    Dec 27, 2016

    (first released 9/24/2016)

    Country living in Texas inspires many unique customs and traditions. Side-of-the-road BBQ pits open to passersby. Weekend potluck picnics at the neighbor’s pond. Impromptu target practice in an open field. Front doors unlocked 24/7. And keys left in your auto ignition with regularity.

    Uh, you may want to rethink that last one.

    Liability in auto accident cases often goes beyond the negligent operator(s). A legal cause of action called negligent entrustment frequently holds the Owner of the automobile liable for “entrusting” his/her vehicle to another party if, among other elements, the Owner knew or should have known the driver was incompetent or otherwise reckless when placed behind the wheel.

    Factual case in point: Vehicle Owner visits his friend at the latter’s place of business. Wanting to leave,

    Dec 27, 2016
  • When Products Liability Isn’t

    The case Lopez v. Huron,San Antonio Court of Appeals, No. 04-15-00327-CV (Tex.App. Dist.4 02/03/2016)illustrates a fine line distinction between damages, a damaged product, and “damages arising out of personal injury, death, or property damage” within the realm of a products liability claim.

    Adam Huron (d/b/a Adam’s Mexican Food Products) makes and distributes masa to a variety of commercial Hispanic food sources. In 2010, Mr. Huron agreed to purchase plastic bags from Erick Lopez (aka: A.J. Plastics, Inc.) who agreed to ship the bags directly to Mr. Huron.

    In November, 2011, a customer of Mr. Huron informed him that a shipment of nearly 1,700 cases of masa was defective because the seams on the plastic bags were breaking, exposing the masa to the elements. The customer paid more than $19,300.00 for the spoiled masa; all

    Jun 04, 2016

    For decades, Texas law only permitted loss of use damages to cases involving partial destruction of property involved in motor vehicle accidents or other highway related property-loss collisions.

    No longer.

    The Texas Supreme Court has recently come down on the side of the plaintiff, reversing more than 60 years of case law that previously denied recovery for loss of use damages where the affected property was totally destroyed. J & D Towing, LLC v. American Alternative Insurance Corporation, No. 14-0574, 2016 WL 91201 (Tex. Jan. 8, 2016). In J & D Towing, an accident with a third party rendered the towing company’s only truck a total loss. J & D claimed its total losses exceed the third party insured’s offer of $19,000.00, which included loss of use damages based on its inability to conduct further business.

    J &

    Apr 24, 2016