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Houston Law Blog

Working toward a successful subrogation after a fire claim

Fires can devastate families, destroying their belongings and leaving them with next to nothing. Many Texas families depend on a check from your insurance company to help them get back on their feet. One of the first steps they may wish to take is clearing out the rubble and debris and bringing in contractors to repair and restore what the fire damaged.

However, if you and your company plan to initiate a subrogation process, your goal is to reclaim the money you paid out in the claim. For the best opportunity of a successful subrogation, fire investigators say there are certain factors to keep in mind.

The power of motions: Ending litigation before it really begins

Has someone filed a lawsuit against you or your company? Do you envision spending long hours and large amounts of money waiting for a court to decide your fate? Fortunately, not all lawsuits end up in trial, and not just because they settle. Several types of motions exist that could end the litigation before it even has a chance to really begin.

Define "motion"

When a contract dispute threatens construction project success

Working in the Texas construction industry, you're likely well aware of the various types of complications and delays that often arise during ongoing projects. Even the weather may bear significant impact on your ability to meet deadlines and produce quality work in a timely fashion. If you own a company that often operates as a subcontractor, you've probably functioned at high stress levels on more than one occasion.

Vigorous defense of Texas construction-defect allegations

Last month, two Houston homeowners sued the builders of their home for more than $1 million alleging that poor quality construction caused serious safety hazards, according to the Southeast Texas Record. The plaintiffs reportedly claimed that the defendants engaged in fraud, breached their contract, failed to provide an agreed-upon warranty, misrepresented the nature of the construction work and failed to build the house according to proper standards, among other things.

It is unknown what the outcome of that case will be, but it is an example of the type of construction, design or structural defect lawsuit a Texas construction professional can face in the course of doing business.

Texas Supreme Court takes on energy company nuisance liability

This summer, the Texas Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision shedding light on a complex subject: the nuisance claim. The case of Crosstex North Texas Pipeline, L/P. v. Gardiner concerned a lawsuit by a ranch owner who had sold land to an energy company that built a compressor station along a natural gas line next to the landowner's remaining land. The landowner sued the company for allegedly creating a nuisance based on noise and vibration from the compressor.

What is a nuisance that creates legal liability in Texas?

The court used the decision to comprehensively clarify what a nuisance is in Texas that results in liability to a neighbor for "interference with the use and enjoyment of real property." The court held that there can be three kinds of conduct that cause the legal injury:

  • Intentional nuisance
  • Negligent nuisance
  • Nuisance as the result of "abnormally dangerous or ultra-hazardous activities," creating strict liability

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