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"That But For" Rule Struck Down

Fri, 07/11/2014

Bostic v. Georgia-Pacific Corporation: In court cases relating to collecting damages for harm done in the past, it has often been expected of plaintiffs to prove that their injuries were exclusively caused, without doubt, by the defendant or the defendant’s product. In this case, Bostic died from mesothelioma and his family filed suit against Georgia-Pacific claiming that their drywall, which was in a home that Bostic lived in, contained asbestos.


The Supreme Court of Texas reversed the decision of the lower courts by ruling that Bostic’s estate did not have to prove “that but for Bostic’s exposure” to the compound in the drywall he would not have contracted mesothelioma. However, based on the other factors of the case, the court ruled in favor of Georgia-Pacific.

Read the full decision here

Government Gets Away With $5 Million Taking

Thu, 07/03/2014

Porretto v. Texas General Land Office: The Porretto’s have acquired acreage since the 1950s that has since come under water due to a Seawall. The Seawall is public property which has resulted in some of Porretto’s land changing status between private and public over the last few years. This confusion of ownership has made it difficult for the Porretto’s to sell their land, leading them to file suit against the State claiming that the government has conducted a Taking of their land and they are owed compensation.


The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the lower court, ruling in favor of the State. After the lower court determined that the taking would amount to $5.012 million, the Supreme Court ruled that even though the government actions were concerning, they did not constitute a taking because the government claim was based in leases versus ownership.

Read the full decision here

Government Forced to Honor Its Contract

Thu, 07/03/2014

Lubbock County Water Control & Improvement District v. Church & Akin, LLC: Church leased a marina from the government and randomly, the government terminated the lease. Church’s business sued the government for breach of contract but the government argued that under the Texas Local Code, it gets full immunity. The trial and circuit court agreed.


The Supreme Court of Texas ruled in favor of Church & Akin, stating that under the Code, government can gain immunity with written contracts and, in the Court’s opinion, the lease is not a written contract. Therefore, the government is not immune in this situation from their breach of contract.

Read the full decision here

Fair Market Value Not Guaranteed for Minority Shareholders

Fri, 06/20/2014

Ritchie v. Rupe: After the death of her husband, Rupe failed in attempting to sell their 18% stock holding in RIC because the majority stock holders would not meet with the potential buyers to discuss future financial plans. Rupe sued the majority holders. The Dallas District Court ruled in favor of Rupe requiring the majority stock holders to pay over $7 million to buy the stock away from Rupe.


In a 6-3 decision, the Texas Supreme Court overturned the District Court’s ruling, establishing that majority shareholders are not required to fulfill demands of minority shareholders when it comes to the buying or selling of stock. This decision has placed a limit on Texas companies by setting a precedent that companies cannot sue in order to receive fair market value for their stock. This decision greatly affects minority shareholders within the state and their negotiating abilities when it comes to managing their holdings.

Read the full decision here