Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
IN RE NUECES HOSPITALITY GP, LLC AND NUECES HOSPITALITY, LP
Petition for Writ of Mandamus
Justices Rodriguez, Contreras, and Benavides
V. RODRIGUEZ Justice. 
this original proceeding, relators Nueces Hospitality GP LLC
and Nueces Hospitality LP seek to set aside a sanction order
signed on July 11, 2017 which prohibits them from alleging
affirmative defenses. We conditionally grant mandamus relief.
October 26, 2016, real party in interest Myrtle Lee Bryant
brought suit against relators and Choice Hotels
International, Inc. for injuries sustained when she slipped
and fell while working in the course of her employment.
According to her original petition, she was working in the
housekeeping department of the Comfort Suites Central Hotel
in Corpus Christi, Texas, when she slipped and fell on a
puddle of water in the hotel hallway. She brought suit
against relators on grounds that they owned or controlled the
hotel and alleged claims against them for premises liability,
negligence, and joint enterprise or joint venture.
1, 2017, the trial court issued an "agreed docket
control order" setting the case for a jury trial on
January 8, 2018. The docket control order set the deadlines
for the completion of discovery and the amendment of
pleadings as November 24, 2017 for Bryant and December 9,
2017 for relators.
about May 20, 2017, Bryant filed a combined motion to compel
and motion for sanctions against relators which recounts the
following events. On November 7, 2016, Bryant served her
original petition and requests for disclosure on relators.
She thereafter agreed to a thirty-day extension for relators
to respond to the petition. On January 23, 2017, relators
filed an answer to the lawsuit, but did not respond to the
requests for disclosure. On March 29, 2017, Bryant provided
relators an extension of time allowing them an additional
thirty days to respond to all outstanding discovery "in
order to give [relators' insurance carrier] an
opportunity to perform a coverage review." On May 1,
2017, relators provided Bryant with the responses to some
discovery requests but did not answer the requests for
disclosure. Bryant addressed this issue with relators and was
told that she would receive the responses to her requests for
disclosure during the week of May 8, 2017. Nevertheless,
relators did not provide responses to Bryant's requests
motion to compel and for sanctions, Bryant contended that
relators "failed to timely disclose their affirmative
defenses and evidence in support thereof, " they lacked
good cause to excuse this failure, and the delay had unfairly
After months of extensions, the Nueces Hospitality Defendants
are now representing to Plaintiff that they have evidence
(which has not been produced) to support workers'
compensation coverage as an affirmative defense (the basis of
which has not been disclosed) that would bar Plaintiff's
claims in their entirety . . . . The Nueces Hospitality
Defendants are attempting to use this untimely and previously
undisclosed affirmative defense to leverage Plaintiff into
dismissing her claims without her actually having an
opportunity to review supporting documentation.
Rule 194.2(c) requires Defendants to disclose the legal
theories and general factual bases for their defenses,
including affirmative defenses such as workers'
compensation coverage. The Nueces Hospitality
Defendants have unquestionably failed to timely disclose this
information to Plaintiff. Plaintiff, therefore, has been
unable to conduct discovery into these affirmative defenses
and has been prejudiced by the Nueces Hospitality Defendants
continuing to withhold this information.
Pursuant to Rule 193.6(a), the Nueces Hospitality Defendants
should be prohibited from raising any affirmative defenses
because no such defenses were alleged in their answer or in