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Posted on in Personal Injury

personal injury, New Braunfels personal injuryThe “King of Torts” recently passed away quietly at age 90.

Mr. Joe Jamail, who was born in Houston in 1925, obtained his law degree from the University of Texas in 1953, and built a career that included over 100 verdicts which exceeded $1 million. One of the most noted verdicts, a $10.5 billion breach of contract action that involved two giant oil companies, came in 1985. A number of years later, the consummate Texan admitted that he had a difficulties during closing arguments in that case, following a night of drinking with a country music singing star and a legendary local college football coach.

In an ironic twist, Mr. Jamail flunked a torts class while a student at the University of Texas Law School.

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Posted on in Dog Bites
reasonable person, ordinary care, New Braunfels Personal Injury Lawyer

What does a 150-year-old negligence case from Massachusetts have to do with car wrecks in San Antonio?

Brown v. Kendall may have been the first appearance of the “reasonable person” standard in American tort law. According to trial testimony, the defendant, Mr. Kendall, used a walking stick to separate two fighting dogs. While waving the stick, he accidentally hit Mr. Brown, who was standing nearby. The trial court told the jury that since Mr. Kendall engaged in a permissible act – separating the dogs – he would only be liable for accidental damages in extraordinary conditions.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the trial court was wrong, and that the standard of care is the same in all negligence cases, no matter the circumstances. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Lemuel Shaw simply stated that “the plaintiff must come prepared with evidence to show either that the intention was unlawful, or that the defendant was in fault,” adding that “what constitutes ordinary care will vary with the circumstances of cases.”

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