PROCEEDING WRIT OF MANDAMUS 281st District Court Harris
County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. 2016-70389
consists of Justices Jamison, Busby, and Donovan.
HILL JAMISON, JUSTICE
Harris County district court, relator Claudio Lombana brought
suit against real parties-in-interest CB&I LLC and
Chicago Bridge & Iron Company (collectively CB&I) for
breach of Lombana's employment contract and other related
claims (the Texas action). When CB&I answered, it moved
for a stay of the Texas action pending an alleged appeal of a
judgment by a Colombian Labor Court in an action by Lombana
against a Colombian subsidiary of CB&I (the Colombian
action). On July 18, 2017, the trial court signed an order
staying the Texas action.
filed a petition for writ of mandamus asking this court to
compel the trial court to vacate its stay order. See
Tex. Gov't Code Ann. § 22.221; see also
Tex. R. App. P. 52.
conclude that the trial court abused its discretion by
staying the Texas action because the first-filed Colombian
action had been adjudicated. We therefore conditionally grant
the petition for writ of mandamus.
and Procedural Background
hired Lombana as a salaried employee in its Houston office.
Lombana was later transferred to Colombia to work for
CB&I Colombiana S.A. (Colombiana), a Colombian subsidiary
September 1, 2015, Lombana filed the Colombian action against
Colombiana for breach of Lombana's oral and written
employment agreements and other related claims.
October 15, 2016, Lombana filed the Texas action against
CB&I for breach of Lombana's employment contract and
other related claims.
December 6, 2016, the Colombian Labor Court in Cartagena
issued a written judgment in the Colombian action that made
certain declarations and ordered Colombiana to pay Lombana
approximately $14, 661.
April 7, 2017, CB&I filed an answer in the Texas action
and a motion to stay the Texas action pending a final
decision in the Colombian action. CB&I stated that the
Colombian judgment was currently on appeal. CB&I argued
that the later-filed Texas action should be stayed based on
the principle of comity. On July 18, 2017, the trial signed
an order that stayed the Texas action for 90 days or until
the final resolution of the parallel Colombian labor
proceeding, whichever occurs first.
October 27, 2017, the trial court held a status conference
and signed an order extending the stay for 30
days. The order notes that counsel for CB&I
reported that the appeal of the Colombian action is still
proceeding, and the order provides that the court will hold
another status conference after 30 days to determine if the
stay should be extended further.