Second Court of Appeals
Summaries of Civil Opinions and Published Criminal Opinions Issued - Week of November 10, 2014
NOTE: Summaries are prepared by the court's staff attorneys and law clerks for public information only and reflect his or her interpretation alone of the facts and legal issues. The summaries are not part of the court's opinion in the case and should not be cited to, quoted, or relied upon as the opinion of the court.
Links to full text of opinions (PDF version) can be accessed by clicking the cause number.
QuikTrip Corp. v. Goodwin, No. 02-12-00064-CV (Nov. 13, 2014) (Livingston, C.J., joined by Meier and Gabriel, JJ.).
Held: In this premises liability case, Appellant QuikTrip had no legal duty to protect its customer from the abduction, rape, and murder committed by a third party against the customer. Considering all of the facts that QuikTrip's employee knew or should have known before those crimes occurred, the crimes were not foreseeable as a matter of law.
Held: While the evidence is legally sufficient to support the jury's finding that Appellant's compressor station created a negligent nuisance next to Appellees' ninety-five acre pasture, it is too weak to support the verdict when Appellant showed that it built its compressor station at a location on its pipeline where it appeared to affect the fewest people and there was no other testimony about the standard of care required in compressor station site selection; Appellant's evidence showed that post-mitigation noise levels and most pre-mitigation noise levels were not incompatible with Appellees' current land use; Appellant hired a sound expert and relied on its expert's recommendations in undertaking its sound mitigation efforts; no one testified that Appellant's reliance on its sound expert's advice was negligent, that the compressor station itself was negligently operated, that the mufflers, building, sound blankets, sound walls, and air intake silencers were negligently installed, or that there was additional sound mitigation technology available that Appellant had not already used to try to remedy the situation; and no one testified about how long mitigation efforts should take absent any negligence. The trial court abused its discretion by denying Appellees their requested trial amendment to add the "abnormal and out of place" basis for nuisance because there could be no surprise or prejudice to Appellant when all of Appellees' evidence showed that the compressor station's noise was abnormal and out-of-place in its surroundings.
Concurrence and Dissent: The Majority Opinion fails to properly apply the factual sufficiency standard of review.
City of Blue Mound v. Sw. Water Co., No. 02-13-00343-CV (Nov. 13, 2014) (Walker, J., joined by Gardner and McCoy, JJ.).
Held: Because as a matter of law the City is attempting to condemn Appellees' water and wastewater system as a going concern; because as a matter of law Appellees are entitled to compensation for going-concern value as an element of this purported taking; because the general Texas condemnation statutes provide no mechanism for the awarding of going-concern value as held in Lone Star Gas Co. v. City of Fort Worth, 98 S.W.2d 799 (Tex. 1936); and because Lone Star Gas Co. remains binding precedent, we hold that Appellees conclusively established their entitlement to summary judgment on the ground that no statutory procedures exist authorizing the City's condemnation suit in this case in district court.