Trial Verdicts and Appellate Decisions

2014


Jessica Grigg, et al. v. LG Electroncis USA, Inc., et al.

On interlocutory appeal, MGA obtained a reversal of the trial court's denial of its client's motion for summary judgment. The Plaintiffs in the underlying litigation brought wrongful death claims in Angelina County related to the death of their biological father. Many years before the incident, however, the decedent's parental rights as to each of the Plaintiffs had been terminated by court orders. MGA sought summary judgment from the trial court on the Plaintiffs' wrongful death claims on the grounds that the orders terminating parental rights divested the Plaintiffs of standing to assert wrongful death claims related to the decedent's death. The trial court denied the motion for summary judgment, but, finding existing caselaw created a substantial ground for difference of opinion on that issue, entered an order permitting an interlocutory appeal. After considering the parties' briefs and hearing oral arguments, the Court of Appeals agreed with MGA that a court order terminating parental rights divests the affected parties of certain legal rights with respect to one another, including the right to bring statutory wrongful death claims for one another's death. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals entered judgment reversing the trial court's order denying summary judgment.

Court of Appeals Opinion (pdf)

Terance Murnane v. Sony Electronics, Inc.

MGA obtained summary judgment for its client in federal court in a products liabilty case where it was alleged that a house fire was caused by a manufacturing defect in a television. The Plaintiff sought to prove his product liability claim by relying on the "malfuntion theory," which theorizes that a product which fails must have been defective. The trial court rejected the Plaintiff's "malfunction theory" and granted Defendant's motion for summary judgment, finding that there was no other evidence that supported Plaintiff's allegation of a manufacturing defect.

2013


McQuay v. UPS Ground Freght, Inc.

MGA obtained a defense verdict at trial in Harris County in a personal injury case involving an alleged auto-pedestrian accident. The Plaintiff alleged that he was severely injured when he was struck by a vehicle that was backing up at a freight terminal. Defendant disputed that the accident occurred and disputed the extent of the Plainiff's alleged injuries. At trial the Plaintiff sought in excess of $8,000,000 for his alleged damages. The jury returned a defense verdict and a take nothing judgment was entered by the trial court.

2012


Smith vs. Red Roof Inns, Inc.

MGA obtained a defense verdict at trial in Bexar County for its client in a premises liability case where the Plaintiff claimed she was injured when she tripped and fell at the front entry of a downtown San Antonio hotel. Plaintiff alleged that the fall was the result of a dangerous condition on the property that the owner knew or should have known of. After hearing the evidence the jury returned a defense verdict, finding Plaintiff was solely at fault for the incident.

2011


Huston vs. United Parcel Service, Inc.

MGA successfully defended a personal injury case arising from a rear-end autmobile accident. Plaintiff alleged that as a result of the accident she sustained severe personal injuries to her head, neck, back and knee. Subsequent to the accident Plaintiff had knee surgery, back surgery and neck surgery. She also claimed to have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the accident. Plaintiff's medical bills were in excess of $300,000. At trial Plaintiff asked the jury to award her more than $18 million for her injuries. MGA argues that Plaintiff's injuries were grossly exaggerated and/or unrelated to the accident. After trial Plaintiff obtained a judgment for only $33,000, which was significantly less than the amount that had been offered prior to trial.

Weingarten Realty Mgmt. Co. and Scottsdale Ins. Co. vs. Liberty Mutual Fire Ins. Co.

MGA successfully defended, at both the trial and appellate levels, a subrogation claim stemming from an insurer's refusal to defend and indemnify a stranger to its policy even though, under the Eight Corners Doctrine, the facts plead against that stranger in the underlying lawsuit, if they had been true, would have brought them within the coverage of the policy. In affirming the trial court's granting of summary judgment, the Court of Appeals found, for the first time by a Texas state court, that an insurer, in evaluating its duty to defend, may look beyond the eight corners of the petition and the insurance policy to answer the fundamental question of whether the party seeking the defense qualifies as an "insured" under the policy.

Court of Appeals Majority Opinion (pdf)
Texas Supreme Court Denial of Petition for Review (pdf)