Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Need a little legal ammo? Search for caselaw on legal theories and defenses here:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Physical vs. psychological pain as elements of damages in tort case


physical pain and mental anguish as separate elements of damages  

Courts have held that physical pain and mental anguish are in fact separate and distinct elements of damage for personal injuries. See SunBridge Healthcare Corp. v. Penny, 160 S.W.3d 230, 248 (Tex.App.-Texarkana 2005, no pet.); Leyendecker v. Harlow, 189 S.W.2d 706, 711 (Tex.Civ.App.-Galveston 1945, writ ref'd w.o.m.); see also Sw. Tex. Coors, Inc. v. Morales, 948 S.W.2d 948, 954 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1997, no writ) (Green, J., concurring).

SOURCE:  EL PASO COURT OF APPEALS - 08-10-00261-CV – 2/15/2012 

Nowak also points out that the Texas Pattern Jury Charges place physical pain and mental anguish together as one element of damages. The pattern charges serve as a guide only and are not binding on trial courts. See Styers v. Schindler Elevator Corp., 115 S.W.3d 321, 325-26 (Tex.App.-Texarkana 2003, pet. denied). Given that physical pain and mental anguish are separate elements of damage, the court did not abuse its considerable discretion in submitting them that way, rather than following the pattern charge.

We also note that the jury was instructed to "[c]onsider each element separately" and not to "award any sum of money on any element if you have otherwise, under some other element, awarded a sum of money for the same loss. That is, do not compensate twice for the same loss, if any." The Texas Supreme Court has approved this type of instruction. See Golden Eagle, 116 S.W.3d at 770-71. Unless the record indicates otherwise, we presume the jury followed the instruction. See id. at 771.

SOURCE:  EL PASO COURT OF APPEALS - 08-10-00261-CV – 2/15/2012 


No comments:

Post a Comment