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Baird v. Shagdarsuren

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

June 7, 2019

KEVIN L. BAIRD, Plaintiff,
v.
OTGONBAATAR SHAGDARSUREN & DBN CARRIER, INC., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          JANE J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT.

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Kevin L. Baird's Motion as to the Non-Applicability of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 18.091 (Doc. 58). Plaintiff requests that this Court hold that § 18.091 is inapplicable in this personal-injury case. Having considered the Motion, the filings, and the relevant law, the Court DENIES the Motion for the following reasons.

         I.

         BACKGROUND

         This is a motor-vehicle injury case by Plaintiff Kevin L. Baird to recover from Defendants Otgonbaatar Shagdarsuren and DBN Carrier. Doc. 1, Notice of Removal, 1. Plaintiff originally sued Defendants in the County Court at Law No. 3 of Dallas County, Texas, and Defendants removed the case to this Court based on diversity jurisdiction. Id.

         Plaintiff now requests that the Court hold that Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 18.091 is not applicable to Plaintiff's presentation of lost wages and loss of earnings capacity. Doc. 58, Pl.'s Mot., 1. Defendants have since responded (Doc. 60), and as the time for a reply has passed, the Court now addresses the issue.

         II.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         The primary objective in statutory interpretation is to effectuate the Texas Legislature's intent. Molinet v. Kimbrell, 356 S.W.3d 407, 411 (Tex. 2011). The best expression of legislative intent is the plain meaning of the text unless the plain meaning leads to absurd or nonsensical results. Id. Courts reject interpretations of a statute that defeat its purpose so long as other interpretations are reasonable. Nootsie Ltd. v. Williamson Cty. Appraisal Dist., 925 S.W.2d 659, 662 (Tex. 1996).

         III.

         ANALYSIS

         Plaintiff wishes to exclude § 18.091 from this case to potentially receive a greater damages award. With § 18.091, Plaintiff is required to present his lost wages and future income after-tax. Without § 18.091, Plaintiff could present his lost wages and future income pre-tax. Therefore, Plaintiff could present and receive a greater damages award if the Court were to find that § 18.091 is inapplicable.

         Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 18.091 is a two-part section describing how certain damages calculations must be presented to the jury and how the Court is to instruct the jury regarding such damages. Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code § 18.091. Subsection (a) describes under what circumstances a party must deduct the cost of taxes from a damages request:

Notwithstanding any other law, if any claimant seeks recovery for loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of contributions of a pecuniary value, or loss of inheritance, evidence to prove the loss must be presented in the form of a net loss after reduction for income tax ...

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