On January 25, 2013, the Texas Supreme Court issued three pre curiam decisions which directly impact personal injury litigation in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas.
In Ford v. Stewart, Cox and Hatcher, P.C., No. 11-0818, the Texas Supreme Court held that a guardian ad litem must first determine and advise the court whether a party’s next friend has an interest adverse to the party and if no conflict of interest exists then the guardian ad litem should cease all work. The Supreme Court held that a parent’s obligation to provide the child with medical care, standing alone, does not create a conflict of interest. The Supreme Court held there was no conflict of interest in this case and, therefore, the guardian ad litem was not entitled to $40,000 in fees but was only entitled to the fees incurred in determining if there was a conflict of interest.
In Richmont Holdings, Inc. v. Superior Recharge Systems, L.L.C., No. 12-0142, the Texas Supreme Court held that an arbitration clause in an asset purchase agreement was applicable to a case involving the owner who alleged he was fraudulently induced to enter an employment agreement and the asset purchase agreement. The Texas Supreme Court remanded the case to determine if waiting 18 months to assert the arbitration clause results in waiver of arbitration.
In CTL/Thompson Texas, LLC v. Starwood Homeowner’s Association, No. 11-0920, the Texas Supreme Court held that in a case involving engineering services, a Plaintiff cannot nonsuit a case to moot the appeal of the Plaintiff’s failure to file a certificate of merit. The Texas Supreme Court held that a motion to dismiss a case for failure to file a certificate of merit survives a nonsuit.