Appeal from the 151st District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Case No. 2013-65334
consists of Chief Justice Radack and Justices Brown and
Russell Lloyd Justice
personal injury case, appellant, Sunbelt Rentals, Inc.,
challenges the trial court's judgment rendered on the
jury verdict in favor of appellees, Julie Rogers,
individually and as next friend of D.R., her minor son, and
Doug Rogers, individually, on their negligence claims. In
three issues, Sunbelt contends that the trial court erred in
(1) disregarding the jury's findings of parental
responsibility; (2) refusing to recognize a pleading for
contribution; and (3) refusing to offset the amount owed on
its contribution claim. We affirm.
is an equipment rental company that operates a rental center
abutting the northbound frontage road to Interstate Highway
45. On October 22, 2013, Cody Fox, a Sunbelt commercial
driver, returned a rental truck to the rental center at the
end of his work day. Because the gate to the facility was
closed, Fox parked his truck in the driveway causing its back
end to extend into the right lane of the frontage road.
Rogers was traveling in the right lane of the frontage road
between FM 2920 and the Hardy Toll Road when her SUV struck
the rear edge of the truck's flatbed. The flatbed sliced
through the SUV and struck D.R. on the forehead, causing him
to suffer an open skull fracture and severe brain injury.
October 29, 2013, Julie filed suit on behalf of D.R.
asserting negligence claims against Sunbelt and Fox. Doug
Rogers later intervened in the suit. On July 28, 2015, Julie,
individually and on behalf of D.R., filed a fifth amended
petition against Sunbelt and Fox adding claims for respondeat
superior liability and negligent entrustment against Sunbelt,
and gross negligence claims against Sunbelt and Fox.
July 28, 2015, Sunbelt and Fox filed their joint second
amended answer asserting a general denial and several
affirmative defenses. Julie and D.R.'s fifth amended
petition, Doug's amended petition in intervention, and
Sunbelt and Fox's second amended answer were the live
pleadings at the time of trial.
conclusion of trial, the jury answered the jury charge
questions as follows:
negligence, if any, of those named below proximately cause
the injury in question?
1 Sunbelt Rentals, Inc. Y ...