Appeals Court Sides with Texas Mutual on Sanctions in Work Comp Case

March 18, 2010

The Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas issued an opinion on March 16, 2010, ruling that sanctions imposed against Texas Mutual Insurance Company related to a workers’ compensation case were improper.

The company announced that the appeals court has reversed the sanctions judgment against it and remanded the case to a lower court. The Court also held that summary judgment in Juan Narvaez’s favor required reversal.

The Court of Appeals found that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding sanctions against Texas Mutual. The Court found no evidence of fraudulence or document falsification and no evidence that Texas Mutual acted in bad faith.

In 2008, the trial court granted a summary judgment and sanctions against Texas Mutual in a case involving Narvaez’s workers’ compensation claim for what he said was an on-the-job injury. Texas Mutual had disputed the claim based on co-worker testimony that Narvaez was not hurt on the job. Narvaez appealed that denial in a case that was eventually tried in the 68th Judicial District Court in Dallas County.

“We are delighted, but not surprised, that the Court of Appeals recognized Texas Mutual’s good faith and overturned the district court’s judgment against our company,” Mary Barrow Nichols, general counsel and senior vice president for Texas Mutual, said. “We were confident that we handled this case appropriately and that the appellate court would fully vindicate the company, as it has done.”

The full ruling by the Texas Fifth District Court of Appeals can be found at

Source: Texas Mutual Insurance Company

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