Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District, Houston
133rd District Court, Harris County, Texas. Trial Court Cause No. 2010-54130.
For RELATOR: Aaron Mark Pool, HOUSTON, TX.
For REAL PARTY IN INTEREST: Paul A. Pilibosian, Hal Davis Hale JR., HOUSTON, TX.
Panel consists of Chief Justice Frost and Justices Busby and Donovan.
Kem Thompson Frost,
WRIT OF MANDAMUS
Relator has filed a petition for writ of mandamus. See Tex. Gov't Code § 22.221; see also Tex. R. App. P. 52. In the petition, relator asks this court to compel the Honorable Jaclanel McFarland, presiding judge of the 133rd District Court of Harris County, to set aside her order dated August 19, 2013, compelling the production of confidential settlement information. Relator also filed an emergency motion for temporary relief, seeking to stay the enforcement of the trial court's discovery order. See Tex. R. App. P. 52.10. We granted the stay and requested a response to the petition. A response has now been filed. We conditionally grant mandamus relief.
I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Relator BDPJ Houston, LLC (hereinafter the " Owner" ) is the owner of a commercial office building that was formerly managed by Central Management, Inc. (hereinafter the " Manager" ), the real party-in-interest. The building suffered direct damage in September 2008, as a result of Hurricane Ike. After the storm, the Manager entered into a contract with Water Rescue, Inc., to extract water from the property and to perform other restoration services as needed. Water Rescue completed its work and submitted an invoice,
but the company was never compensated for the services it performed.
Water Rescue filed the underlying lawsuit in August 2010, seeking recovery of approximately $130,000 from both the Owner and the Manager. The Owner denied liability, claiming that it never agreed to contract with Water Rescue. The Manager disputed this allegation and ...