The Texas Supreme Court In Boerjan v. Rodriguez Ruled That The Death Of Illegal Immigrants Gives Rise to Valid Wrongful Death Claims

A family from Mexico hire a coyote to smuggle them into the United States through Mexico. The coyote collected the family and entered a private ranch. An employee of the ranch stopped the coyote and inquired as to why he was on the ranch. The coyote sped away, lost control of his vehicle, and overturned, killing the family.

The parents of the deceased family sued the ranch’s operators and an employee for wrongful death, negligence, gross negligence, and assault. The ranch moved for summary judgment alleging that persons who were illegally in the country could not bring a wrongful death claim and that pursuant to the doctrines regarding premises liability the ranch owed no negligence duty to the trespassers.
The Texas Supreme Court held that the lawsuit could not be dismissed simply because the wrongful death claimants were in the country illegally.
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