Court of Appeals of Texas, Twelfth District, Tyler
from the 241st District Court of Smith County, Texas
consisted of Worthen, C.J., Hoyle, J., and Neeley, J.
Price appeals the dismissal of his suit against East Texas
H.S.I., Inc. and John R. Powe for want of prosecution. In his
sole issue, Price contends the trial court abused its
discretion by dismissing the case. We affirm.
a resident of California, took his airplane to Howard
Aviation, Inc. in California for required maintenance in
April 2011. Because Howard did not do engine work, Price sent
the plane's engines to East Texas H.S.I, owned by Powe,
for an engine overhaul. When that was complete, the engines
were returned to Howard in California and reinstalled on the
plane. In April 2013, a separate maintenance facility
determined that Appellees East Texas H.S.I. and Powe
performed the work improperly, and Price paid that facility
to do the work again.
filed suit in Smith County, Texas on December 9, 2013, naming
as defendants Howard Aviation, Inc., its sole shareholder
Robin A. Howard, East Texas H.S.I., Inc., and John R. Powe.
He alleged negligence, gross negligence, breach of contract,
violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and
fraud against all four defendants. He further alleged that
the Howard defendants are vicariously liable for the acts of
January 13, 2014, the Howard defendants each filed a special
appearance asserting that the trial court lacks jurisdiction
over them and requesting their dismissal for want of
jurisdiction. Their request was granted on March 24, 2016,
and the court ordered Howard Aviation, Inc. and Robin A.
Howard dismissed with prejudice as to the claims asserted
against them. On June 16, 2017, Appellees filed their motion
to dismiss asserting that the cause had been pending since
December 9, 2013, that Price failed to take meaningful action
to secure an adjudication on the merits or otherwise dispose
of the case, and that he failed to prosecute the case with
due diligence. Price responded, including a motion to retain
the case and for a trial setting.
also filed a motion for a no evidence summary judgment on all
claims against them. Price responded to this motion,
asserting that there are genuine issues of material fact
precluding the motion. A hearing was held on August 23, 2018.
The trial court signed a dismissal order on September 12,
2018, dismissing with prejudice Price's claims against
Appellees. Price appealed.
for Want of Prosecution
contends the trial court abused its discretion in dismissing
his case because good cause existed for retaining the matter
on the court's docket of active cases. He claims that he
pursued all discovery, complied with all of Appellees'
requests, timely filed a motion to retain and request for
trial setting, and was ready to proceed to trial.
review the trial court's dismissal for want of
prosecution for an abuse of discretion. MacGregor v.
Rich, 941 S.W.2d 74, 75 (Tex. 1997) (per curiam). A
trial court abuses its discretion if it reaches a decision so
arbitrary and unreasonable as to amount to a clear and
prejudicial error of law or if it clearly fails to correctly
analyze or apply the law. See Walker v. Packer, 827
S.W.2d 833, 840 (Tex. 1992) (orig. proceeding). If the trial
court does not enter findings of fact or conclusions of law,
and the trial court's order dismissing a case for want of
prosecution does not specify a particular reason for the
dismissal, we will affirm if any proper ground supports the
dismissal. Henderson v. Blalock, 465 S.W.3d 318, 321
(Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2015, no pet.). The appellate
court reviews the entire record to determine whether the
trial court abused its discretion. Id. at 321-22.