Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
appeal from the 319th District Court of Nueces County, Texas.
Chief Justice Contreras and Justices Longoria and Perkes
CONTRERAS, CHIEF JUSTICE.
Guadalupe Guerra Jr., pro se, appeals the trial court's
judgment setting aside a workers' compensation award
pursuant to a suit filed by appellee, ACE American Insurance
Company as successor of INA of Texas (ACE). By three issues,
Guerra contends the trial court erred by (1) realigning the
parties at trial, (2) issuing an erroneous jury charge, and
(3) "allowing opposing counsel to make materially false
statements to the jury." We affirm.
was injured in 1990 while working for Reynolds Metals
Company, which had workers' compensation insurance
through ACE's predecessor. Attorneys for Guerra and
ACE's predecessor entered into an "Agreed Final
Judgment" on April 19, 1996, providing for a lump sum
payment of $50, 000 to Guerra in exchange for his release of
any claims regarding past medical expenses arising from the
workplace injury. The "Agreed Final Judgment" also
With regard to future medical expenses, [ACE] agrees to pay
all reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred as a
result of treatment by Dr. Gilbert Meadows of San Antonio,
1. It is specifically agreed that [ACE] shall not be
responsible for any medical treatment incurred in the future
by any doctor or health care provider, other than Dr. Gilbert
Meadows, unless said expenses were incurred during or as a
result of surgery by Dr. Gilbert Meadows.
2. It is agreed, moreover, that [ACE] shall not be
responsible for any expenses incurred by any other medical
doctor, chiropractor, therapist, or health care provider
except as a result of surgery as noted . . . above.
addendum to the "Agreed Final Judgment" stated:
The term "treatment" means lifetime medical and
surgical care. Surgical care shall include all hospital,
medical, therapeutic, and pharmaceutical treatment ordered by
Dr. Gilbert Meadows, or his surgical assistants under the
direction of Dr. Meadows, in order to allow a full recovery
from the effects of surgery.
in 1996, Guerra underwent spinal fusion surgery performed by
Dr. Meadows in San Antonio. Dr. Meadows continued to provide
treatment until 2003, when he advised Guerra that he was no
longer accepting workers' compensation patients.
Subsequently, Guerra received treatment from Abimael Perez,
M.D., a physician located in Corpus Christi. ACE and its
predecessors continued to cover that treatment until January
2013, when Dr. Perez also stopped accepting workers'
issue in this case is Guerra's request in 2015 to be
reimbursed a total of $4, 062.75 for: (1) treatment by Misty
Durbin, a chiropractor; (2) an orthopedic bed; (3) orthopedic
shoes and socks; and (4) travel expenses. ACE refused the
request, so Guerra filed a claim for compensation with the
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers'
Compensation (the Division). On July 21, 2015, the Division
issued a final award granting Guerra all of the benefits he
requested. ACE then filed the instant suit in district court
seeking judicial review of the award.
December of 2015, ACE filed a motion for no-evidence summary
judgment arguing that "[t]here is no evidence of any
attempt, much less a successful one, to set aside" the
1996 agreed judgment. The trial court denied the motion but
granted permission to appeal under Texas Rule of Civil
Procedure 168. See Tex. R. Civ. P. 168. We concluded
that the petition for permissive appeal failed to meet the
jurisdictional requirements for such an appeal and dismissed
it. ACE Am. Ins. Co. v. Guerra, No. 13-16-00628-CV,
2017 WL 929485, at *2 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi-Edinburg Mar.
9, 2017, no pet.) (mem. ...