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Supreme Court Overturns Verdict

On Friday, March 12, 2010, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the plaintiffs in a motor vehicle fatality case wrongly introduced evidence about a truck driver’s status as an “illegal alien,” and reversed a verdict against him and his employer. In the opinion of TXI Transportation Company v. Hughes, ___ S.W.3d ___ (Tex. 2010), the Court ruled that the trial court should not have permitted evidence and argument that the defendant truck driver entered the country illegally, had lied to obtain a driver’s license and job, had been convicted of an immigration violation, and was previously deported. During the trial, there were more than 40 references to the driver’s status. As a result, the Supreme Court reversed the verdict, which exceeded $15 million dollars, and returned the case to the trial court for a new trial.

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