Monthly Archives: March 2010

Immigration Status not a factor in Negligent Entrustment/Hiring

In a negligent entrustment/negligent hiring case against a company whose driver causes an auto accident, the driver’s immigration status is not admissible at trial to prove these causes of action against the company. TXI Transp. Co. v. Hughes, No. 07-0541 (Tex.2010). The Texas Supreme Court has held: We have said a claim for negligent hiring or entrustment cannot lie if “[t]he risk that caused the entrustment to be negligent did not cause the collision,” and if a “defendant’s negligence did no more than furnish a condition which made the injury possible.” Here, Rodriguez’s immigration status did not cause the collision, and was not relevant to the negligent entrustment or hiring claims—even if TXI’s failure to screen, and thus its failure to discover his inability to work in the United States, “furnished [the] condition” that made the accident possible. We agree with the court of appeals “that neither Rodriguez’s status as an illegal alien or his use of a fake Social Security number to obtain a commercial driver’s license created a foreseeable risk that Rodriguez would … Continue reading

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Touchstone Bernays attorney Darrell Wayne Calvin Jr. has been named a 2010 Texas Rising Star for personal injury defense. This honor is awarded to no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in Texas. Calvin’s practice focuses on commercial motor vehicle accident litigation, employer non-subscriber cases, and construction accidents as well as personal injury cases such as premises liability, motor vehicle accidents, trucking accidents, electrocution, products liability and construction cases. Prior to joining Touchstone Bernays in 2001, Calvin served the community of Dallas County as an Assistant District Attorney in the felony division. He earned his law degree from Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, summa cum laude, where he was a notes and comments editor for Law Review. Law & Politics magazine produces the Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Rising Stars are the top up-and-coming lawyers who are 40 years old or younger, and have been practicing for 10 years or less. Rising Stars is published in 18 states. Links

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New Rules for Insurers – Child Support Liens

Insurers now have a duty to cooperate with the Texas Attorney General to identify insurance claimants with past-due child support arrearages. In 2009, the Texas Legislature amended Section 231.015 of the Texas Family Code to make it mandatory for insurers doing business in Texas to participate in an insurance intercept program. The Office of the Attorney General has adopted new rules in the Texas Administrative Code implementing these changes, and the new rules take effect March 16, 2010. Insurance companies doing business in Texas should coordinate with the Insurance Service Office (ISO) or the Child Support Lien Network (CSLN) to participate in the program, which entails performing either automated data matches or interactive look-ups of almost all personal injury claimants prior to payment of their claims.

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Naturally-Accumulating Ice is NOT an Unreasonably Dangerous Condition

The Texas Supreme Court issued a new opinion today in a premises liability case involving a slip and fall on ice after a rare Texas snow storm. The Texas Supreme Court held that ice that accumulates naturally outside a business due to a winter storm does not pose an unreasonable risk of harm. The Court also noted that the business owner’s application of a deicer does not create a substantially more dangerous condition than the ice in its natural state. Even if the owner uses a deicer to melt the ice, the owner does not create an unnatural condition if the ice refreezes after melting, because ice that melts and then refreezes is still considered natural accumulation. See, Scott and White Mem. Hosp. and Scott, Sherwood and Brindley Foundation v. Fair, No. 08-0970, (Tex.May 7, 2010).

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