Justia Texas Supreme Court Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Agriculture Law
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals holding that the Texas Farm Animal Activity Act (the Act), Tex. Civ. Proc. & Rem. Code 87.001-87.005, does not apply to ranchers and ranch hands, holding that the court of appeals did not err.The Act limits liability for injury to "a participant in a farm animal activity or livestock show" that results from an "inherent risk" of those activities. Raul Zuniga worked full-time for Conway and Marlene Waak to work cattle on a ranch, landscape, and cut hay. Zuniga died after being trampled. Plaintiffs, Zuniga's family, sued the Waaks, on wrongful death and survival claims. The trial court granted summary judgment for the Waaks, concluding that the Act barred Plaintiffs' claims. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that Zuniga was not "a participant in a farm animal activity" for whose injuries and death the Act limits liability. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Act does not cover ranchers and ranch hands and, therefore, did not shield the Waaks from liability for their negligence resulting in Zuniga's death. View "Waak v. Rodriguez" on Justia Law

The Supreme Court reversed in part the judgment of the court of appeals applying Tex. Agric. Code 143.074 in holding that Plaintiff, the driver on a state highway that collided with an escaped bull in a county with a stock law, could recover against Defendant, the livestock owner, without showing the livestock owner knowingly permitted the bull to roam at large, holding that the court of appeals erred.Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) when cars collide with livestock on state highways in counties with stock laws, the differing standards of livestock-owner liability imposed by section 143.102 and section 143.074 cannot both apply; (2) section 143.102 provided the exclusive standard for the livestock owner's liability because the accident occurred on a state highway; and (3) because the plaintiff could not demonstrate the defendant violated section 143.102's liability standard, summary judgment was properly granted for the defendant on all claims. View "Pruski v. Garcia" on Justia Law

Posted in: Agriculture Law