Wright & Close Appellate Win that Cut Jury Award Stands after Texas Supreme Court Denies Review

Firm News

HOUSTON – An appeals court win by lawyers from the Texas trial and appellate firm Wright & Close that drastically reduced a jury award will remain intact, saving the firm’s client about $2 million in a train derailment dispute.

On June 16, the Texas Supreme Court declined to review a decision by the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth which sought to slash a jury award against Hulcher Services Inc. by more than two-thirds. The appeals court agreed with the Wright & Close legal team that Hulcher, an emergency railroad services provider, was not liable for lost profits claimed by train car owner Emmert Industrial Corp.

The case centered on liability for damage to a 240-ton electric transformer that fell off a train car in a 2007 incident. The transformer was damaged as a Hulcher worker was moving it back on the tracks following the derailment.

At trial, Emmert had convinced the jury in the case that the company was due $2 million in lost profits due to reduced business after the incident. The Wright & Close lawyers took up the case on appeal, and the Fort Worth court rejected the lost profits claim, deciding the evidence didn’t back it up.

The national news service Law360 has been following the case and reported on the Supreme Court’s refusal to review the case in an article headlined “Texas High Court Won’t Hear $2M Train Derailment Row” (subscription required).

Wright & Close partner Tom Wright told the publication: “We are pleased that the decision of the Fort Worth Court of Appeals will stand and that now the case can proceed to a final resolution.”

Also representing Hulcher are Wright & Close lawyers Wanda McKee Fowler and Bradley Snead.

The case is Emmert Industrial Corp. v. Hulcher Services Inc., case number 16-0401, in the Supreme Court of Texas.

Wright & Close LLP is a Houston-based civil trial and appellate firm handling complex trial and appeals work for clients across Texas. Our lawyers have a track record for achieving favorable resolutions in cases involving catastrophic personal injury, insurance coverage, intellectual property, oil and gas, product defects, commercial disputes, arbitration and mediation, and trade secrets, among others. We also assist with pretrial motions, special evidence problems, challenges to expert witnesses, and the critical work on the court’s charge to the jury.