Dallas Metrocare Servs. v. Juarez

Defendant was a public nonprofit organization that provided mental health care to county residents. Plaintiff was a patient who sued Defendant after being struck by a falling whiteboard. Defendant pled immunity under the Texas Tort Claims Act, arguing that Plaintiff's alleged injury did not arise from Defendant's "use" of personal property. The trial court denied Defendant's plea. Defendant appealed, arguing for the first time that the property's "condition" did not cause the accident. The court of appeals declined to consider this argument because Defendant had not originally asserted it in the trial court. The court of appeals then affirmed the judgment of the trial court, thus rejecting Defendant's arguments that Plaintiff's pleadings failed to demonstrate a waiver of Defendant's immunity. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) pursuant to Rusk State Hospital v. Black, the appellate court should have considered all of Defendant's immunity arguments; and (2) the patient's alleged injuries were not caused by the "use" of the whiteboard, and the court of appeals erred to the extent it held otherwise. Remanded. View "Dallas Metrocare Servs. v. Juarez" on Justia Law