Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio
Teresa M. FAYETTE, Appellant
Luciano REYES and ABC Trucking, Appellees
the 37th Judicial District Court, Bexar County, Texas Trial
Court No. 2015CI04948 Honorable Michael E. Mery, Judge
Sitting: Patricia O. Alvarez, Justice Luz Elena D. Chapa,
Justice Irene Rios, Justice
M. Fayette appeals from a take-nothing judgment in her
negligence suit arising from a motor vehicle collision. On
appeal, Fayette argues: (1) the jury's failure to find
one of the parties negligent was against the great weight and
preponderance of the evidence; (2) the trial court erred in
denying her motion for new trial; and (3) the trial court
erred in redacting parts of the police report. We affirm.
sued Luciano Reyes and his employer, ABC Trucking,
(collectively, "Reyes"), for negligence and gross
negligence. In her petition, Fayette alleged she suffered
injuries when Reyes, who was driving a commercial motor
vehicle in the course and scope of his employment,
"recklessly collided" into the car she was driving.
The case was tried to a jury. The jury found that neither
Fayette nor Reyes's negligence proximately caused the
occurrence in question. Specifically, the jury answered
Question No. 1 as follows:
negligence, if any, of those named below proximately cause
the occurrence in question?
'Yes' or 'No' for each of the following:
a. Luciano Reyes No
b. Teresa M. Fayette No
accordance with the jury's verdict, the trial court
rendered a take-nothing judgment on Fayette's claims.
Fayette filed a motion for new trial, arguing, among other
things, that the jury's decision to not assign negligence
to one of the parties in the absence of an inferential
rebuttal instruction was against the great weight and
preponderance of the evidence. The trial court held a hearing
on the motion for new trial and subsequently denied the
motion. Fayette appealed.
Jury's Failure to Assign Negligence
first issue, Fayette argues the jury's failure to assign
negligence to one of the parties was against the great weight
and preponderance of the evidence. Fayette's main
argument is that "the jury was required to find someone
at fault" because the jury charge did not include an
inferential rebuttal instruction. The purpose of an
inferential rebuttal instruction is to advise the jury, in
the appropriate case, that it does not have to place blame on
a party to the suit if the evidence shows that the occurrence
was caused by conditions ...