JACOBS FIELD SERVICES NORTH AMERICA, INC., JACOBS ENGINEERING GROUP, INC., AND JACOBS ENGINEERING, INC., Appellants
MAURICE WARE AND VALIERY JACKSON-WARE, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS NEXT FRIEND OF MAURICE WARE, JR., MINOR, Appellees
Appeal from the 61st District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2015-27771
consists of Justices Christopher, Brown, and Wise.
withdraw our opinion issued October 10, 2017, vacate our
previous judgment, and issue this substitute opinion and
Jacobs Field Services North America, Inc., Jacobs Engineering
Group, Inc., and Jacobs Engineering, Inc. (Jacobs), bring
this interlocutory appeal from the trial court's order
signed June 30, 2017. Appellees, Maurice Ware and Valiery
Jackson-Ware, Individually and as Next Friend Of Maurice
Ware, Jr., Minor (Ware), filed a motion to dismiss contending
this court lacks jurisdiction as appellants failed to timely
perfect an appeal. We grant Ware's motion and dismiss the
brought suit against Jacobs alleging claims of negligence,
gross-negligence, strict liability, and product-defect.
Ware's petition included a certificate of merit by Gregg
S. Perkin, P.E. in support of the claims. On January 13,
2016, Jacobs filed a motion to dismiss contending
Perkin's certificate of merit did not comply with the
requirements of chapter 150. Jacobs specifically complained
that Perkin's certificate did not set forth negligence,
errors, or omissions for each defendant, or a factual basis
for same, but rather included collective assertions of
negligence. The trial court signed an order on March 15, 2016
denying Jacobs's motion to dismiss. Jacobs did not appeal
31, 2017, Jacobs filed an amended motion to dismiss pursuant
to chapter 150. In the amended motion, Jacobs contended
recent case law from the Texas Supreme Court clarified
chapter 150's knowledge requirement. Jacobs argued that
Perkin's certificate failed to satisfy the knowledge
requirement under chapter 150. Jacobs noted the trial court
had not considered whether Perkin's certificate satisfied
the knowledge requirement under chapter 150 when it denied
Jacobs's first motion to dismiss. In the amended motion,
Jacobs again contended Perkin's certificate included
collective assertions of negligence as to all defendants and
therefore did not satisfy chapter 150's requirements.
Ware responded that the court should not reconsider
Jacobs's motion challenging the sufficiency of
Perkin's certificate under chapter 150. Additionally,
Ware argued, among other things, that Jacobs's argument
based on the knowledge requirement under chapter 150 was
waived as it was not included in the first motion to dismiss.
trial court signed an order denying Jacobs's amended
motion to dismiss on June 30, 2017. Jacobs filed a notice of
appeal on July 13, 2017.
Jacobs's Interlocutory Appeal
appeal is not permitted unless expressly authorized by
statute. Bally Total Fitness Corp. v. Jackson, 53
S.W.3d 352, 352 (Tex. 2001). Statutes authorizing
interlocutory appeal are strictly construed because they are
a narrow exception to the general rule that interlocutory
orders are not appealable. See Branch Law Firm, L.L.P. v.
Osborn, No. 14-14-00892-CV, 2016 WL 444867, at *3 (Tex.
App.-Houston [14th Dist.] Feb. 4, 2016, pet. denied). Section
150.002 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code
provides that an order denying a motion to dismiss for a
certificate of merit's failure to comply with the
requirements of the section is an immediately appealable
interlocutory order. See Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem.
Code Ann. § 150.002(e), (f).
appeal from an interlocutory order is accelerated.
Tex.R.App.P. 28.1(a). In an accelerated appeal, absent a
motion to extend time, the deadline for filing a notice of
appeal is strictly set at 20 days after the judgment or order
is signed. In re K.A.F., 160 S.W.3d 923, 927 (Tex.
2005); see also Tex. R. App. P. 26.1(b). A motion
for reconsideration will not extend the deadline. See
City of Houston v. Estate of Jones, 388 S.W.3d 663, 667
(Tex. 2012). The deadline for filing a notice of appeal is
jurisdictional, and absent a timely filed notice of appeal or
request for extension of time, we must dismiss the appeal.
Garg v. Pham, 485 S.W.3d 91, 99 (Tex. App.- Houston
[14th Dist.] 2015, no pet.).
contends that the amended motion to dismiss was a motion to
reconsider the trial court's ruling on March 15, 2016.
Further, Ware contends that the amended motion did not extend
the deadline to file a notice of appeal from the March 15,
2016 order. Ware argues the notice of appeal filed July 13,
2017 is untimely. Jacobs argues that the amended motion to
dismiss is a distinct motion and subject to different
appellate deadlines. Specifically, Jacobs argues the amended
motion contained new ...