Texas Court Discusses a Plaintiff’s Right to Subpoena the Defendant’s Corporate Representative in a Motorcycle Accident Case

Shipping companies commonly employ drivers to operate the trucks they use to transport packages. People that drive for a living are bound by the same laws and regulations as all other Texas motorists, but they nonetheless often ignore their statutory duties and drive negligently. If a driver for a shipping company causes a collision that injures another party, both the driver and the company may be deemed liable. Whether a corporate representative from the company can be compelled to testify at trial is unclear, however, as demonstrated in In re Zach Brown, No. 20-0992, a case arising out of a motorcycle collision recently upon by the Supreme Court of Texas. If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, you may be able to pursue compensation from multiple parties, and you should meet with a Texas motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your potential claims.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff was operating his motorcycle on a Texas highway when he collided with a truck owned by a commercial shipping company and driven by its employee. The plaintiff sustained serious bodily harm in the crash and subsequently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the shipping company and its employee. A week before the trial, the plaintiff served the shipping company commanding the presence of a corporate representative that lived within 150 miles of the county courthouse at trial.

It is reported that the shipping company moved to quash the subpoena, arguing that there was no legal authority that would allow the plaintiff to compel a corporate representative to appear at trial. The court denied the motion, and the defendant petitioned for writ of mandamus. The court granted the petition, after which the plaintiff petitioned for writ of mandamus.

A Plaintiff’s Right to Subpoena the Defendant’s Corporate Representative

Upon review, the court conditionally granted the plaintiff’s petition. The court noted that, when granting relief in an original proceeding, a court must deliver an opinion as in any other case. Further,  the opinion has to address every issue raised and germane to the final disposition of the appeal. In the subject case, the plaintiff raised the argument that corporate representative trial subpoenas are valid under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 176.2(a) at both the trial and appellate level, but the court of appeals neglected to address his arguments. Thus, as the court concluded that the court of appeals had a duty to address his arguments before granting the shipping company’s requested relief, it conditionally granted his petition.

Discuss Your Accident with a Seasoned Texas Attorney

Motorcycle drivers often go unnoticed by other drivers until it is too late to avoid a collision, and people involved in such crashes often sustain serious harm. If you were hurt in a motorcycle crash brought about by someone else’s reckless driving, you might be owed damages, and you should meet with a lawyer to discuss your rights. Earl Drott is a seasoned Texas attorney with ample experience proving that reckless drivers should be held accountable for the harm they cause, and if you hire him, he will diligently pursue the best legal outcome available under the facts of your case. You can contact Mr. Drott through the online form or at 903-531-9300 to set up a free conference.

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