by
In this contract dispute over an offset provision in an oil and gas lease the Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals reversing the trial court’s judgment in the lessee’s favor, holding that the court of appeals read a requirement into the lease that its unambiguous language did not support. In reversing, the court of appeals concluded that the lessee did not conclusively prove that it complied with the offset provision. The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment and reinstated the trial court’s judgment s modified to remove the award of appellate attorney’s fees, holding (1) the offset provision contained specific requirements, and the lessee met those requirements; and (2) the court of appeals’ reading of the offset provision to contain a proximity requirement constituted a significant deviation from the language the parties chose. View "Murphy Exploration & Production Co. v. Adams" on Justia Law

by
In this appeal from the court of appeals’ denial of a petition for mandamus relief from the trial court’s ruling on remand, the Supreme Court directed the trial court to render judgment for Castle Texas Production Limited Partnership with postjudgment interest accruing from the trial court’s final judgment issued in 2009 and further directed the trial court not to reopen the record in doing so, holding that the trial court exceeded its authority when it ordered the reopening of the record on remand. Four years ago, the Supreme Court clarified how to determine the accrual date for postjudment interest when a remand for further proceedings requires new evidence and then applied its holding to the facts before it in this case. On remand, the trial court indicated that the record must be reopened to determine postjudgment interest including the accrual period. Castle petitioned the court of appeals for mandamus relief, contending that the trial court exceed the scope of the Supreme Court’s mandate by indicating its intent to reopen the record. While the court of appeals concluded that the trial court’s decision to reopen the record was not inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s directive, the Supreme Court disagreed, holding that the trial court exceeded the scope of the mandate by reopening the record. View "In re Castle Texas Production Limited Partnership" on Justia Law

Posted in: Civil Procedure

by
The Supreme Court denied the defendant hospital’s petition for a writ of mandamus challenging a trial court’s order requiring the hospital to produce information regarding its reimbursement rates from private insurers and public payers for the services provided to the plaintiff, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in compelling production of the information. The plaintiff, who was uninsured, was treated by the hospital, which billed the plaintiff and filed a hospital lien for the cost of its services. The plaintiff sought a declaratory judgment that the hospital’s charges were unreasonable and its lien invalid to the extent it exceeded a reasonable and regular rate for services rendered. The plaintiff served requests for production and interrogatories on the hospital, including information about reimbursement rates from insurers and government payers. The hospital objected to the discovery requests, but the trial court ordered the hospital to produce the information. The hospital then filed a petition for a writ of mandamus, which the court of appeals denied. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the requested reimbursement rates were relevant to whether the hospital’s charges to the uninsured plaintiff were reasonable. View "In re North Cypress Medical Center Operating Co., Ltd." on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment that the statute of limitations barred a claim for breach of a recorded right of first refusal to purchase a mineral interest and reinstated the judgment of the trial court rendering judgment for the rightholders, holding that the discovery rule applied to defer accrual. The grantors of the right of first refusal to purchase the mineral interest in this case conveyed the mineral interest to a third party without notifying the rightholders. More than four years later, the holders sued the third party for breach, seeking specific performance. The trial court rendered judgment for the holders. The court of appeals reversed, holding (1) the rightholders’ cause of action accrued when the grantors conveyed the property without notice, and (2) the discovery rule did not apply to defer accrual. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a grantor’s conveyance of property in breach of a right of first refusal, where the rightholder has no notice of the grantor’s intent to sell, is inherently undiscoverable and that the discovery rule applies to defer accrual of the holder’s cause of action until he knew or should have known of the injury. View "Carl M. Archer Trust No. Three v. Tregellas" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals holding that a health care claimant’s expert report was insufficient as to causation with respect to one of her providers and dismissing her claims against that provider, holding that the expert report adequately addressed both causation and the standard of care. The health care claimant in this case sued a health care provider and two of its physicians for negligence. Only the claimant’s claim against the provider for vicarious liability based on the alleged negligence of its employee nurses was at issue in this appeal. The provider filed a motion to dismiss the claimant’s claims challenging the claimant’s expert report. The trial court denied the motion to dismiss. The court of appeals reversed and dismissed the claims against the provider. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings, holding that the report sufficiently identified the applicable standard of care and linked the provider’s nurses’ alleged breaches with the claimant’s injuries. View "Abshire v. Christus Health Southeast Texas" on Justia Law

by
In this case concerning where taxes on compressors were due, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals, holding (1) Tex. Tax Code 23.1241 and 23.1242 controlled the taxable situs of the compressors at issue in this case; and (2) further proceedings were necessary to determine where taxes for the compressors were due. Valerus Compression Services owned and leased out compressor stations used to deliver natural gas into pipelines. Some of those compressors were in use in Reeves and Loving counties. In response to a 2012 amendment to the Tax Code, Valerus began paying taxes to Harris County, Valerus’s principal place of business. Reeves and Loving counties continued placing the compressors on their appraisal rolls at full market value, asserting that the compressors’ presence within the counties fixed taxable situs there. The appraisal review boards agreed with the counties. The trial court also sided with the counties, concluding that sections 23.1241 and 23.1242 were unconstitutional. The court of appeals held (1) the statutes are constitutional, and (2) the compressors’ taxable situses are Reeves and Loving counties. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) sections 23.1241 and 23.1242 control the taxable situs of the compressors; and (2) remand was necessary to determine where taxes were due. View "Reeves County Appraisal District v. Valerus Compression Services" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

by
In this case concerning where taxes on compressors were due, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals, holding (1) Tex. Tax Code 23.1241 and 23.1242 controlled the taxable situs of the compressors at issue; and (2) Midland County was the taxable situs of the compressors. EXLP Leasing owned and leased out compressor stations used to deliver natural gas into pipelines. In response to a 2012 amendment to the Tax Code, EXLP began paying taxes on the compressors located in Loving County to Midland County. Loving County continued placing the compressors on its appraisal rolls at full market value, asserting that the compressors’ presence within the counties fixed taxable situs there. The appraisal review board sided with the county. The trial court agreed with the county, concluding that sections 23.1241 and 23.1242 were unconstitutional. The court of appeals held (1) the statutes are constitutional, and (2) the compressors’ taxable situs is Loving County. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) sections 23.1241 and 23.1242 control the taxable situs of the compressors; and (2) Midland County is the taxable situs of the compressors. View "Loving County Appraisal District v. EXLP Leasing LLC" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals, holding that Texas Tax Code 23.1241 and 23.1242 controlled the taxable situs of the compressors at issue in this case and that Midland County, rather than Ward County, was the taxable situs of the compressors. EXLP Leasing owned and leased out compressor stations used to deliver natural gas into pipelines. While some of the compressors were in use in Ward County, EXLP paid taxes on those compressors to Midland County in response to a 2012 amendment to Tax Code sections 23.1241 and 23.1242 that included leased heavy equipment in a statutory formula used to value heavy equipment held by dealers for sale. An appraisal review board agreed with Ward County that the compressors' presence in the county fixed taxable situs there. The trial court concluded (1) sections 23.1241 and 23.1242 are unconstitutional; (2) taxes on the compressors were due to Ward County; and (3) the compressors fell under the challenged statutory framework as “heavy equipment.” The court of appeals concluded that the statues were constitutional but otherwise affirmed. The Supreme Court held (1) the statutes are constitutional; (2) EXLP properly paid taxes on compressors in Midland County; and (3) the compressors met the statutory definition of “heavy equipment.” View "Ward County Appraisal District v. EES Leasing LLC" on Justia Law

by
In this case challenging where taxes on compressors were due, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals, holding (1) Tex. Tax Code 23.1241 and 23.1242 controlled the taxable situs of the compressors at issue in this case; and (2) there was no basis to remand the case to determine whether taxable situs in Loving and Reeves counties was proper under the governing statutory provisions. MidCon Compression owned and leased out compressor stations used o deliver natural gas into pipelines. Some of those compressors were in use in Reeves and Loving counties. In response to a 2012 amendment to the Tax Code, MidCon began paying taxes to Ector and Gray counties. Reeves and Loving counties continued placing the compressors on their appraisal rolls at full market value, asserting that the compressors’ presence within the counties fixed taxable situs there. The appraisal review boards agreed with the counties. The trial court also sided with the counties, concluding that sections 23.1241 and 23.1242 were unconstitutional. The court of appeals held (1) the statutes are constitutional, and (2) the compressors’ taxable situses are Reeves and Loving counties. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding that sections 23.1241 and 23.1242 control the taxable situs of the compressors. View "Reeves County Appraisal District v. MidCon Compression, LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Tax Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals determining that Musa “Moses” Musallam failed to preserve error to challenge the jury’s finding that he agreed to sell his business to Amar Ali, holding that Musallam was not precluded from challenging the jury's finding. Musallam and Ali entered into a written agreement relating to the sale of Musallam’s business to Ali. Musallam refused to close and, instead, sought a declaratory judgment that the agreement was unenforceable. During trial, Musallam requested a jury question asking whether he and Ali had agreed to the sale of the business and did not object to the trial court’s including the question in the jury charge. The trial court rendered judgment for Ali based on the jury’s findings. On appeal, Musallam challenged the jury’s finding that he agreed to sell the business to Ali. The court of appeals determined that because Musallam did not object to the jury question at issue, he failed to preserve error to challenge either its inclusion in the charge or the jury’s answer to it. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding that Musallam’s requesting the jury question did not preclude him from later challenging the jury’s answer to the question. View "Musallam v. Ali" on Justia Law

Posted in: Contracts