Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth
PAMELA A. ALBRIGHT APPELLANT
GOOD SAMARITAN SOCIETY -DENTON VILLAGE APPELLEE
COUNTY COURT AT LAW NO. 2 OF DENTON COUNTY TRIAL COURT NO.
MEIER, GABRIEL, and SUDDERTH, JJ.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
Pamela A. Albright appeals from the trial court's order
granting Appellee Good Samaritan Society - Denton
Village's motion for traditional summary judgment. We
modify the judgment and affirm as modified.
Samaritan sued Albright on a sworn account and,
alternatively, for breach of contract and quantum meruit,
alleging that Albright had agreed to pay for room, board, and
other services; that it had provided those services to her;
and that she had not paid for those services as agreed. To
its petition, Good Samaritan attached a copy of an admission
agreement between it and Albright; a copy of a billing
statement dated October 20, 2015, reflecting that Albright
had an amount due of $6, 471.93; and an affidavit of its
records custodian, Michael Larson.
admission agreement provided that Good Samaritan would
furnish Albright with "room, board, required nursing
care, dietary services, an activities program . . . room/bed
maintenance and housekeeping services, basic personal laundry
services, medically related social services, and other
services required by law" in exchange for the payment of
a daily rate. It reflects that Good Samaritan admitted
Albright as a Medicare patient under payment terms providing
that Medicare would pay for the expenses she incurred through
the first twenty days of her stay. Beginning on the
twenty-first day, the payment terms provided that Albright
was responsible to pay a daily coinsurance rate set by
Medicare in the amount of $152.00.
billing statement reflected that Good Samaritan admitted
Albright on November 14, 2014, and discharged her on January
27, 2015, and it showed two charges: first, an undated
"balance forward" amount of $6, 419.76; and second,
an interest charge of $52.17 for a date of service from
November 14, 2014, through January 27, 2015. Additionally,
the billing statement contained the following note:
UHC HAS ASSIGNED A PATIENT RESPONSIBILITY AMOUNT OF [$]3,
192.00 FOR DEC[.] 2014, AND [$]3, 071.25 FOR JAN[.] 2015[.]
THESE AMOUNTS ARE NOW DUE FROM YOU PRIVATELY[.] THANK YOU.
Samaritan filed a motion for traditional summary judgment,
attaching as summary-judgment evidence the admission
agreement, billing statement, and Larson's affidavit, as
well as the affidavit of its attorney, Gregory J. Sawko.
See Tex.R.Civ.P. 166a(a), (c). Albright did not file
a response. Without specifying the basis for its ruling, the
trial court granted Good Samaritan's motion and awarded
it $4, 384.18 in damages and $4, 000 in attorney's fees
for attorney services rendered through trial. The trial court
also awarded Good Samaritan conditional attorney's fees
of $6, 000 in the event it became necessary for Good
Samaritan to defend any post-trial motions or appear at any
related hearings, of $6, 000 in the event Albright appealed
to this court, and of $6, 000 in the event she appealed to
the supreme court. In three issues, Albright appeals.
prevail on its motion for traditional summary judgment, Good
Samaritan had the burden to prove that no genuine issue of
material fact exists and that it is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 166a(c); Mann
Frankfort Stein & Lipp Advisors, Inc. v. Fielding,
289 S.W.3d 844, 848 (Tex. 2009). Albright filed no response
to Good Samaritan's motion, but she was not required to
because a nonmovant has no burden to respond to a motion for
traditional summary judgment unless the movant conclusively
establishes its cause of action or defense. See
Rhone-Poulenc, Inc. v. Steel, 997 S.W.2d 217, 222-23
(Tex. 1999). Thus, a trial court may not grant traditional
summary judgment by default simply because the nonmovant did
not file a response. Id. at 223; Rockwell v.
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 02-12-00100-CV, 2012 WL
4936619, at *4 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth Oct. 18, 2012, no pet.)
(mem. op.). Even when the nonmovant fails to file a response,
the movant still carries the burden to establish its right to
summary judgment with legally sufficient evidence. See
Rhone-Poulenc, Inc., 997 S.W.2d at 223;
Rockwell, 2012 WL 4936619, at *3.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
review a summary judgment de novo. Travelers Ins. Co. v.
Joachim, 315 S.W.3d 860, 862 (Tex. 2010). We take as
true all evidence favorable to the nonmovant, and we indulge
every reasonable inference and resolve any doubts in the
nonmovant's favor. 20801, Inc. v. Parker, 249
S.W.3d 392, 399 (Tex. 2008); Provident Life &
Accident Ins. Co. v. Knott, 128 S.W.3d 211, 215 (Tex.
2003). We consider the evidence presented in the light most
favorable to the nonmovant, crediting evidence favorable to
the nonmovant if reasonable jurors could and disregarding
evidence contrary to the nonmovant unless reasonable jurors
could not. Mann Frankfort, 289 S.W.3d at 848. We
must consider whether reasonable and fair-minded jurors could
differ in their conclusions in light of all of the evidence
presented. See Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Spates, 186
S.W.3d 566, 568 (Tex. 2006); City of Keller v.
Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802, 822-24 (Tex. 2005).
the trial court did not specify the grounds for its summary
judgment here, we must affirm the summary judgment if any of
the grounds Good Samaritan presented in its summary-judgment
motion are meritorious. See Provident Life, 128
S.W.3d at 216.
GOOD SAMARITAN'S ...