Petition for Writ of Mandamus
original proceeding, the relator, Melissa Dawson, seeks a
writ of mandamus. On March 5, 2014, Dawson was sitting at a
table at Mary's Outpost #1, a bar and restaurant in Grand
Prairie, when a television fell from the wall, striking and
injuring her. Nineteen months later, Dawson sued Mary's
owner and operator, Two for Freedom, LLC, for her injuries.
Upon serving Two for Freedom with her original petition,
Dawson also propounded a request for disclosures,
interrogatories, and requests for production. The responses
to these discovery requests were due December 29, 2015,
-nearly three months before the running of limitations-but
Dawson agreed to an extension until January 15, 2016.
as this original proceeding goes, these are the relevant
portions of Two for Freedom's initial disclosure
. Rule 194.2(a): The correct names
of the parties to the lawsuit.
Response: [Two for Freedom] believes the parties
have been correctly named.
. Rule 194.2(b): The name, address,
and telephone number of any potential parties.
. Rule 194.2(c): The legal theories
and, in general, the factual bases of the responding
party's claims or defenses . . . .
Response: . . . [Two for Freedom] would show that
the matters complained of . . . were, as to [Two for
Freedom], wholly unavoidable and without any negligence on
the part of [Two for Freedom]. . . . Additionally, and in the
alternative, [Dawson's] injuries . . . were caused by
persons or entities beyond [Two for Freedom's] control or
employ, which were the sole cause and/or a proximate cause of
such pled injuries. . . . [Two for Freedom] asserts its right
to proportionate responsibility, comparative fault,
contribution, indemnity, and/or credit pursuant to Chapter 22
and 23 of the Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code.
. Rule 194.2(7): The name, address,
and telephone number of any person who may be designated as a
responsible third party.
Response: Defendant will supplement.
interrogatory number six is also relevant. In it, Dawson
sought "the name and address of the individual(s) who
installed the television that is the subject of this suit and
the date on which such installation took place." Two for
Freedom answered: "The television in question was
installed by Michael Graciano." Two for Freedom's
answer to interrogatory number six was the only mention of
Graciano by name before the statute of limitations ran on
Dawson's claims. Two for Freedom did not supplement its
discovery responses before limitations expired.
March 21, 2016, more than two weeks after limitations
expired, Two for Freedom moved for leave to designate
Graciano as a responsible third party. In its motion, it
alleged that Graciano installed the television "in his
individual capacity as an independent ...