Appeal from the County Civil Court at Law No. 1 Harris
County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 1072042
consists of Justices Christopher, Busby, and Jewell.
Brett Busby, Justice.
Trenton Garrett sued his employer, ADESA Texas Inc., d/b/a
Adesa Houston, and two individual employees of Adesa, Tracy
Graham and Clara Morales, alleging a negligence cause of
action for failure to provide a safe work place. His petition
alleged a hostile altercation between himself and another
unnamed person while he was at work.
now appeals a summary judgment in favor of Adesa and an order
dismissing his case against Graham and Morales pursuant to
Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 91a. We conclude (1) the trial
court did not err in granting Adesa's no-evidence motion
for summary judgment because Garrett did not present summary
judgment evidence raising a genuine issue of material fact on
the foreseeability of the criminal act; and (2) the trial
court did not err in dismissing the claim against Graham and
Morales as individuals because Garrett did not allege facts
in his petition showing that Graham and Morales owed Garrett
an independent duty of reasonable care. Therefore, we affirm.
filed this negligence suit against his employer Adesa and his
supervisors Tracy Graham and Clara Morales individually,
alleging that the defendants failed to provide a safe work
place. He alleged there was an extremely hostile altercation
between himself and another unnamed person while he was at
work. After the altercation, he reported the incident to
Graham, who released Garrett from work early. Garrett alleged
that Graham and Morales never investigated the incident.
filed a motion to dismiss, arguing Garrett's claim was
barred by the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (TWCA) and
that he had not stated facts that could support his claim for
negligence. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 91a. The trial court
granted the motion to dismiss in part, dismissing the claim
against Graham and Morales but not Adesa.
filed a motion re-urging its motion to dismiss, or in the
alternative, a no-evidence motion for summary judgment. Adesa
argued Garrett's claim was barred by the TWCA, and that
there was no evidence Adesa owed a duty to protect him from
an unforeseeable criminal act or that Adesa breached a duty.
Garrett responded with his own affidavits, pay stubs,
subpoenas for written depositions, and a photo of his
timesheet after the incident with the words "No
Return." Garrett's affidavits explained he did not
know who assaulted him, the altercation happened at work, the
altercation was with a violent employee, he never saw his
supervisor talk to the person who assaulted him after the
incident, and he was restricted from his job. In one motion
filed leading up to the summary judgment hearing, Garret
argued that section 406.032(1)(C) of the TWCA, the so-called
"personal animosity" exception, applied to his
trial court denied Adesa's motion to dismiss, but granted
its no-evidence motion for summary judgment on grounds there
was no evidence of negligence and his claim was barred by the
TWCA. Garrett appealed.
Garrett is pro se, we will liberally construe the issues
raised in his brief. See Guishard v. Money Mgmt.
Int'l, Inc., No. 14-14-000362-CV, 2015 WL 4984853,
at *1 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Aug. 20, 2015, no pet.)
(mem. op.). So construed, the issues before us are whether
the trial court erred in (1) granting Adesa's no-evidence
motion for summary judgment and (2) dismissing Garrett's
claim against Graham and Morales.
The trial court did not err in granting Adesa's
no-evidence motion for summary judgment because evidence of
negligence was lacking.
Adesa's no-evidence motion for summary judgment, it
argued that the TWCA bars Garrett's claim and attached an
exhibit of Adesa's coverage verification under the act.
Adesa also asserted there is no evidence it owed a duty to