Congratulations to Rick Thompson who won an important insurance appraisal case in the Texas Supreme Court. The case, Barbara Techs. Corp. v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 17-0640, 2019 WL 2710089 (Tex. June 28, 2019), involved hail damage to a business and the appraisal provision in the business’s insurance policy, which is designed to provide the insurer and the insured a process for determining the value of damage to a property. In this case, the Texas Supreme Court rejected an argument that payment of an appraisal award on a rejected claim absolves the insurer of liability under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act, but also emphasized that in order to recover such damages, there will need to be an adjudication of the insurer’s liability on the claim and a prompt payment violation. Importantly, this opinion preserves a cause action under the Act post-appraisal under certain circumstances, and disapproves of cases that have held otherwise. You can read a copy of the opinion here.
Congratulations to Kirk Pittard for his win in The Univ. of Tex. M.D. Anderson Cancer Ctr. v. McKenzie, No. 17-0730, 2019 WL 2710037 (Tex. June 28, 2019). The case involved medical malpractice under the Texas Tort Claims Act and whether a public hospital’s immunity from suit is waived if a negligent decision is coupled with use of tangible personal property which proximately causes injury. The Texas Supreme Court decided that, as long as the tangible personal property is a proximate cause of the injury, the Act does not require that the tangible personal property be used in a negligent manner in order for sovereign immunity to be waived. You can read the opinion here.