Supreme Court of Texas - 997 S.W.2d 584
The court found General Motors Corporation (G.M.) negligent and the transmission defectively designed, but also found the decedent partially responsible for the accident that caused Lee Sanchez Jr.'s death due to a truck's transmission and transmission-control linkage defect. The court awarded the plaintiffs' actual damages, reduced by the jury's comparative responsibility finding, but denied punitive damages due to insufficient evidence of gross negligence. The plaintiffs presented evidence to support their theory, and the court of appeals affirmed the award of $8.5 million in actual and punitive damages, with some justices dissenting. G.M. challenges the trial court's refusal to apply the comparative responsibility statute and argues that there is no evidence to support liability for negligence or strict liability. The plaintiffs argue that evidence supports both findings and that comparative responsibility does not apply as a defense to strict liability. The court found that the plaintiffs did not need to physically create and test a safer alternative design, but only to demonstrate that such a design was "capable of being developed." The court concluded that the evidence presented by Tamny raised a fact question that the jury resolved in favor of the plaintiffs, and that the plaintiffs had presented more than a scintilla of evidence that Tamny's alternative design substantially reduced the risk of injury. The court also found that Sanchez's actions were not a defense to strict liability. The jury found Sanchez to be 50% responsible for his accident, and GM argued that this finding should reduce its liability for damages in both negligence and strict liability. The court concluded that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's verdict that the defendant breached the duty to use ordinary care and was fifty percent responsible for the accident. The court is determining if the evidence of an extreme degree of risk is sufficient to award punitive damages to the plaintiffs. However, the evidence does not support the subjective element of the case.
LSD+ gives you access to over 50,000 case briefs, more than anyone else. Be the first to email us the website of a case brief product that offers you more case briefs and we'll give you a free year of LSD+.
Unlimited access. Read as much content as you want during your trial with no device limitations. Cancel any time during your trial and keep access for the full 14 days.
Lawyers and judges love to use big words. And Latin, for some reason.
Highlight a legal term in LSD Briefs and get an instant, plain English definition. Try highlighting contract or specific performance. No need to search or read through a list of definitions, simply highlight the words you don’t know and our LSDefine integration will instantly give you a definition to any of over 30,000 legal terms.
DeepDive allows you to explore legal cases like never before. DeepDive offers multiple levels of case summaries, which empowers you to quickly and easily find the information you need to stay on top of readings. Easily navigate through summary levels and click on any text to get more detail, all the way down to the original legal case text.
Our proprietary state-of-the-art system can instantly brief over 6,000,000 US cases. That means we can probably brief that case that your professor assigned last night when she sent you a poorly scanned pdf and told you to read every third paragraph. Or maybe she uploaded it to Canvas and didn’t really tell you to read it, but you know you probably should. Tenure does wild things to good people.
Study groups are a great way to learn and explore a case. LSD has chat rooms for each case to let you ask questions across the community and hear what other students struggled with and how they put it all together. Learn the key points of every case from other LSD+ users and share your knowledge with LSD High Points.
Don’t settle for mistakes in briefs that have been there for 10 years and never fixed. Find an issue or something missing from a brief? Down vote and we will make improvements. All of our case brief editors graduated from from T14 law schools.