Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mental anguish damages

How to properly prove mental anguish damages An award of mental anguish damages will survive a legal sufficiency challenge when the plaintiff has introduced (1) "direct evidence of the nature, duration, or severity of [plaintiff's] anguish, thus establishing a substantial disruption in the plaintiff's daily routine"; or (2) other evidence of "a high degree of mental pain and distress that is more than mere worry, anxiety, vexation, embarrassment, or anger." Parkway Co. v. Woodruff, 901 S.W.2d 434, 444 (Tex. 1995). Direct evidence may be in the form of the parties' own testimony, that of third parties, or experts. Id. "There must also be some evidence to justify the amount awarded"; Saenz v. Fid. & Guar. Ins. Underwriters, 925 S.W.2d 607, 614 (Tex. 1996), and the amount awarded must be fair and reasonable. Id. SOURCE: Generally, an award of mental anguish damages must be supported by direct evidence that the nature, duration, and severity of mental anguish was sufficient to cause, and caused, either a substantial disruption in the plaintiff’s daily routine or a high degree of mental pain and distress. Bentley v. Bunton, 94 S.W.3d 561, 606 (Tex. 2002). Citing Parkway Co. v. Woodruff, 901 S.W.2d 434, 444 (Tex. 1995) SOURCE: Tex. 2011 - 6/17/11 Service Corporation International [SCI] v. Guerra, No. 09-0941 (Tex. Jun 17, 2011)(Opinion by Phil Johnson) (insufficienct evidence of mental anguish damages)

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