(Denton, Texas) – A unanimous 12-person jury in Denton County, Texas found that our clients, a national trucking company and their driver, were not negligent in an April 19, 2019 three-car accident on Interstate 35 North. Plaintiffs were seeking $1 million. The jury returned a verdict within 45 minutes, answering “No” on the separate negligence questions for each plaintiff, one, a 93-year-old World War II veteran, and the other, his 74-year-old caretaker. Tracy Freeman, Cox’s Houston office managing partner was lead counsel and he was assisted by Steven Shattuck (Of Counsel) and Dominique Johnson (Legal Assistant). The responding police officer ticketed our client driver for failure to control speed. Our client driver accepted responsibility for the accident. However, the jury, after hearing “the rest of the story” concluded they were not negligent. Cox PLLC will be filing a Final Judgment which will include, per the judge’s instructions, an assessment of court costs against Plaintiffs. This is a good reminder for existing and prospective clients that some cases must be tried. The courtroom is a battlefield. Cox PLLC has enduring courage to carry your banner into battle when you draw a line in the sand.
Marjorie Nicol, Partner, and co-author Jason McLaurin, offer differing opinions on the impact of a Texas Supreme Court decision related to the effect of the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act on appraisal. See Journal of Texas Insurance Law, Winter ed. 2022. Full article linked here: https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:73205711-2195-480e-9ff9-37d0543f80a8
The Texas Supreme Court issued the much-anticipated opinion in Monroe Guar. Ins. Co. v. BITCO Gen. Ins. Corp. (attached), recognizing an exception to the eight corners rule. Specifically, the Court held that if the underlying petition states a claim that could trigger the duty to defend, and the application of the eight-corners rule is not determinative of whether coverage exists, due to gaps in the pleading, Texas law permits consideration of extrinsic evidence so long as it: (1) goes solely to an issue of coverage and does not overlap with the merits of liability, (2) does not contradict facts alleged in the pleading, and (3) conclusively establishes the coverage fact to be proved. This is similar to the Northfield exception long recognized by the Fifth Circuit. While many questions remain to be answered, such as what constitutes a conclusively established coverage fact, this opinion should be considered a victory for insurers. See Link for opinion: https://www.txcourts.gov/media/1453575/210232.pdf