law-Wrongful-Death-Act | workplace occupational injury workplace death | Workers Compensation Act
TEXAS SUPREME COURT CASES INVOLVING WRONGFUL DEATH
Carreras, MD v. Marroquin, No. 09-0857 (Tex. Apr. 1, 2011) (Wainwright)(HCLC, presuit notice, no tolling)
In this dispute, parents brought wrongful death claims against a physician who allegedly caused their adult child’s death. The
parents attempted to toll the statute of limitations by sending pre-suit notice of their health care liability claims to the physician
shortly before the statute of limitations ran, but failed to accompany it with an authorization form for the release of their daughter’
s medical information as required by Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. After the parents filed suit, the
doctor moved for summary judgment, arguing that the notice alone did not toll the statute of limitations, and the suit therefore
was untimely. The trial court denied the motion and entered an agreed order permitting appeal. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem.
Code § 51.014(d). The court of appeals affirmed the denial. 297 S.W.3d 420, 424 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi-Edinburg 2009,
pet. granted). Because we hold that Chapter 74 requires that an authorization form accompany the provision of notice for the
statute of limitations to be tolled, we reverse and render.
Accordingly, considering the text, history, and purpose of the statutes at issue, we conclude that for the statute of limitations to
be tolled in a health care liability claim pursuant to Chapter 74, a plaintiff must provide both the statutorily required notice and
the statutorily required authorization form. The Marroquins did not provide the statutorily required authorization form until after the
statute of limitations expired, their claims were untimely, and the court of appeals erred in holding that Chapter 74 does not bar
tolling of limitations when a plaintiff provides the required pre-suit notice without also providing the required medical
authorization form. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the court of appeals and render judgment that the Marroquins take
JOSE CARRERAS, M.D., P.A. v. CARLOS FRANCISCO MARROQUIN, ET AL.; from Hidalgo County; 13th district (13-09-00156-
CV, 297 SW3d 420, 08-25-09)
The Court reverses the court of appeals' judgment and renders judgment.
Justice Wainwright delivered the opinion of the Court. [10-page opinion in pdf]
View Electronic Briefs in Case No. 09-0857 JOSE CARRERAS, M.D., P.A. v. MARROQUIN
WRONGFUL DEATH ACT CLAIM
A wrongful death action is different than a loss of consortium claim because the Wrongful Death
Act expressly conditions the beneficiaries’ claims on the decedent’s right to maintain suit for his
injuries. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 71.003(a); see Russell, 841 S.W.2d at 346. The Legislature
created an entirely derivative cause of action when it enacted the Wrongful Death Act, and Dancy’s
beneficiaries are bringing an entirely derivative claim. Their wrongful death action is not in the same
category as a loss of consortium claim for purposes of derivative status analysis. We decline their
invitation to circumvent the clear language of the Wrongful Death Act.
In re Labatt Food Service, LP, No. 07-0419 (Tex. 2009)(Johnson)
(arbitration mandamus, arbitration of wrongful death claim by nonsignatory compelled)