In addition to finding that property owner’s agents are not provided protections under Chapter 95 of the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code, the recent opinion by the Texas Supreme Court in Ineos USA, LLC vs. Elmgren also found that Chapter 95 only applies when the worker is injured by the same improvement the contractor (or its employee) is working on.
Prior to Elmgren, there was a debate amongst the lower courts whether Chapter 95’s protections only applied where the injury occurred from a condition or use of the improvement that was the object of the contractor’s work. The Texas First Court of Appeals had previously held in Fisher v. Lee & Chang Partnership that Chapter 95 applied regardless of whether the instrument causing injury to the worker was the object of his work. On the other hand, the Texas Fourteenth Court of Appeals held in Hernandez v. Brinker International, Inc. that Chapter 95 does not apply when the dangerous condition causing the worker’s injury is separate from the object of his work.
In June 2016, the Texas Supreme Court definitively sided with the Hernandez decision when it found that “Chapter 95 only applies when the injury results from a condition or use of the same improvement on which the contractor (or its employee) is working when the injury occurs.” Going forward, a well-prepared plaintiff’s lawyer will always investigate whether the instrument causing the plaintiff’s injury was the object of the work being performed.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured on someone else’s property, call the experienced lawyers at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner today by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.