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Batres v. Alamo City Harley Davidson, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio

January 17, 2018

Luis BATRES and Nelda Ojeda-Batres, Individually and as Parents and Next Friend of Brandon Batres, Deceased, Appellants
v.
ALAMO CITY HARLEY DAVIDSON, INC. a/k/a Cowboy Motorsports of San Antonio, LLC d/b/a Alamo City Harley Davidson/Buel, Appellee

         From the 73rd Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial Court No. 2014-CI-15792 The Honorable Renée Yanta, Judge Presiding

          Sitting: Marialyn Barnard, Justice, Rebeca C. Martinez, Justice Irene Rios, Justice

          OPINION

          Rebeca C. Martinez, Justice

         Luis Batres and Nelda Ojeda-Batres, individually and as parents and next friend of Brandon Batres, deceased, appeal the trial court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Alamo City Harley Davidson, Inc. a/k/a Cowboy Motorsports of San Antonio, LLC d/b/a Alamo City Harley Davidson/Buel ("ACHD"). The Batreses contend the trial court erred in granting ACHD's motion for summary judgment and in denying their motion for continuance. We affirm the trial court's order.

          Background

         On December 11, 2013, Brandon Batres lost control of his motorcycle while driving on a highway. Brandon was thrown from the motorcycle and died at the scene after being struck by three vehicles. The police department's accident report stated Brandon lost control "for an unknown reason."

         The Batreses sued ACHD alleging numerous causes of action primarily relating to allegations that ACHD failed to properly repair the motorcycle. Brandon took the motorcycle to ACHD for repairs in September of 2013, after he lost control of the motorcycle at a stop light and damaged the motorcycle. The work order for those repairs noted that Brandon expressed a concern about the front brake locking up. The Batreses alleged ACHD failed to repair that problem, and Brandon lost control of the motorcycle in the December accident because the front brake locked up.

         ACHD moved for a no evidence and traditional motion for summary judgment on all of the Batreses' claims. The Batreses filed numerous responses and supplemental responses to the motion, and ACHD filed objections to some of the evidence the Batreses attached to their responses. One of the objections related to the timeliness of some of the evidence because the evidence was filed less than seven days before the summary judgment hearing. In response to that objection, the Batreses filed a motion seeking leave of court to file the late evidence, or, in the alternative, a continuance so the evidence could be considered by the trial court.

         After a hearing, the trial court granted the Batreses' motion for leave to file the late evidence, sustained some of ACHD's objections to the Batreses' summary judgment evidence, and granted ACHD's no evidence and traditional motion. The Batreses appeal.

          Standard of Review

         We review a trial court's order granting summary judgment de novo. Cmty. Health Sys. Prof'l Servs. Corp. v. Hansen, 525 S.W.3d 671, 680 (Tex. 2017). To prevail on a traditional motion for summary judgment, the movant must show "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and the [movant] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Tex.R.Civ.P. 166a(c); see also Hansen, 525 S.W.3d at 681. "A [no evidence] motion for summary judgment must be granted if: (1) the moving party asserts that there is no evidence of one or more specified elements of a claim or defense on which the adverse party would have the burden of proof at trial; and (2) the respondent [fails to produce more than a scintilla of] summary judgment evidence raising a genuine issue of material fact on those elements." Sudan v. Sudan, 199 S.W.3d 291, 292 (Tex. 2006). Whether reviewing a traditional or no evidence summary judgment, we consider all the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant and resolve any doubts in the nonmovant's favor. See Joe v. Two Thirty Nine Joint Venture, 145 S.W.3d 150, 156 (Tex. 2004).

         "Where, as here, a trial court does not specify the grounds on which it granted the motion for summary judgment, we must affirm if any of the grounds asserted in the motion are meritorious." Hansen, 525 S.W.3d at 680. "Further, when the motion asserts both no-evidence and traditional grounds, we first review the no-evidence grounds." Id. "If the nonmovant fails to produce more than a scintilla of evidence on the essential elements of a cause of action challenged by a no-evidence motion, there is no need to analyze the movant's traditional grounds for summary judgment." Id. at 680-81.

         Claims Presented for Review

         As previously noted, the Batreses alleged numerous causes of action against ACHD. In their brief, however, the Batreses only challenge the trial court's order granting summary judgment on their claim that ACHD negligently failed to repair the motorcycle and that negligence can be inferred by applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor. Accordingly, we only address those claims. See Flutobo, Inc. v. Holloway, 419 S.W.3d 622, 638 (Tex. App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2013, pet. denied) (addressing theory of liability the appellants briefed and holding theories of liability that were not briefed were waived).

         Negligent ...


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