Court of Appeals of Texas, Sixth District, Texarkana
Submitted: June 26, 2017
Appeal from the County Court Titus County, Texas Trial Court
Morriss, C.J., Moseley and Burgess, JJ.
R. MORRISS CHIEF JUSTICE
result of an automobile accident between Iliana Gonzalez
Quiroga and Mack Gwen Jones in Mount Pleasant, Quiroga sued
and has obtained a judgment against Jones for $7, 800.00. Of
that sum, $7, 405.50 was for expenses incurred with three
medical providers, and $394.50 was for lost wages and tips.
case comes to us with a unique situation. This relatively
small case was tried in a bench trial that focused on just
two issues: which of the two drivers was at fault and the
amounts of the resulting damages. It is also apparent that
Quiroga relied on the business-records affidavit attached to
each of the three sets of medical bills to provide evidence
that the related medical expenses were necessary, were
reasonable, and were provided either immediately after, or
soon after, the accident, thus providing some evidence of
causation. Beyond those affidavits, nothing in the record
provides evidence of the necessity, reasonableness, or
causation of the expenses. This appeal is presented to us on
the sole claim that Quiroga's three medical-expense
exhibits were improperly admitted into evidence as business
records and that, therefore, $7, 405.50 of the judgment is
improper. We modify the judgment by deleting $7, 405.50 of
the damage award and affirm the remainder of the judgment as
so modified, because (1) Jones preserved error regarding the
admission of the three exhibits, (2) admitting the three
medical-expense exhibits was error, and (3) harm resulted
from admitting the three exhibits.
Jones Preserved Error Regarding the Admission of the
claims that Jones failed to preserve this issue for our
review. Rule 33.1 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure
As a prerequisite to presenting a complaint for appellate
review, the record must show that:
(1) the complaint was made to the trial court by a timely
request, objection, or motion that:
(A) stated the grounds for the ruling that the complaining
party sought from the trial court with sufficient specificity
to make the trial court aware of the complaint, unless the
specific grounds were apparent from the context; and. . . .
(2) the trial court:
(A) ruled on the request, objection, or motion, either
expressly or implicitly; or
(B) refused to rule on the request, objection, or motion, and
the complaining party objected to the refusal.
Tex. R. App. P. 33.1. Thus, an objection must be specific
enough to allow the trial court to understand the exact
nature of the alleged error, and it must be interposed at
such a point in the proceedings to allow the trial court to
cure the alleged error, if any. Beall v. Ditmore,
867 S.W.2d 791, 795 (Tex. App.-El Paso 1993, writ denied).
Further, the objection at trial must comport with the
argument made on appeal. Phippen v. Deere & Co.,
965 S.W.2d 713, 716 (Tex. App.- Texarkana 1998, no writ).
contends that Jones objected only to her statement that Jones
had no insurance and failed to object to Quiroga's
alleged failure to give notice to Jones by providing the
documents and affidavits to him before trial. In other words,
Quiroga maintains that Jones' objection at trial does not
reflect the substance of the issue he now presents for our
review on appeal. In support of her position, Quiroga points
to the following trial testimony wherein she was testifying
specifically in relation to the medical bills from Camp
County Chiropractic (CCC):
[Counsel for Quiroga]: I move that Number 4 be admitted.
[Counsel for Jones]: Objection. She doesn't necessarily
know that he did not have insurance. I'll object to that.
[Counsel for Quiroga]: Doesn't have anything to do with
[Counsel for Jones]: I still obj ect to that.
[THE COURT]: I'll sustain that portion as far as that
particular aspect of testimony. I'm going to allow this
evidence into the record.
emphasizing this particular segment of the transcript,
Quiroga overlooks several other objections made by Jones
during trial, which objections specifically addressed the
admission of the billing records and accompanying affidavits
from the three medical providers and the lack of notice given
to him in regard to that particular evidence. For instance,
following a discussion between the parties and the trial
court relating to the admission of the records, Jones stated,
"I will object to this in particular but -- it's
just a photocopy. I would object to all three. I haven't
seen any of the three before. I also object to this one as a
photocopy, one for 4600 some odd dollars."[ ...