Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
Petition for Writ of Mandamus.
Justices Benavides, Hinojosa, and Perkes
M. BENAVIDES, JUSTICE 
Allstate Indemnity Company filed a petition for writ of
mandamus seeking to compel the trial court to vacate its May
24, 2019 order striking relator's Chapter 18
counter-affidavit regarding medical expenses. See
Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. § 18.001(c), (f);
Gunn v. McCoy, 554 S.W.3d 645, 671-75 (Tex. 2018);
In re Brown, No. 12-18-00295-CV, 2019 WL 1032458, at
*1-6, ___ S.W.3d ___, ___ (Tex. App.-Tyler Mar. 5, 2019,
orig. proceeding), mand. dism'd, No.
12-18-00295-CV, 2019 WL 1760103, at *1 (Tex. App.-Tyler Apr.
10, 2019, orig. proceeding) (mem. op. per curiam); Hong
v. Bennett, 209 S.W.3d 795, 795-800 (Tex. App.-Fort
Worth 2006, no pet.); Turner v. Peril, 50 S.W.3d
742, 743-48 (Tex. App.-Dallas 2001, pet. denied); see
also In re Chapa, No. 13-19-00435-CV, 2019 WL 4315028,
at *1 (Tex. App.-Corpus Christi-Edinburg Sept. 12, 2019,
orig. proceeding [mand. denied]) (mem. op.); City of
Laredo v. Limon, No. 04-12-00616-CV, 2013 WL 5948129, at
*6-7 (Tex. App.-San Antonio Nov. 6, 2013, no pet.) (mem.
is "both an extraordinary remedy and a discretionary
one." In re Garza, 544 S.W.3d 836, 840 (Tex.
2018) (orig. proceeding) (per curiam). To obtain relief by
writ of mandamus, a relator must establish that an underlying
order is a clear abuse of discretion and that no adequate
appellate remedy exists. In re Nationwide Ins. Co. of
Am., 494 S.W.3d 708, 712 (Tex. 2016) (orig. proceeding);
In re Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 148 S.W.3d 124,
135-36 (Tex. 2004) (orig. proceeding); Walker v.
Packer, 827 S.W.2d 833, 839-40 (Tex. 1992) (orig.
proceeding). A trial court abuses its discretion when it acts
without reference to guiding rules or principles or in an
arbitrary or unreasonable manner. In re Garza, 544
S.W.3d at 840. Appellate courts may not substitute their
judgment for the trial court's determination of factual
matters committed to that court's discretion. In re
Shipman, 540 S.W.3d 562, 565 (Tex. 2018) (orig.
proceeding) (per curiam). However, with regard to questions
of law and mixed questions of law and fact, a trial court has
no discretion in determining what the law is or applying the
law to the facts, even when the law is unsettled. In re
Shipman, 540 S.W.3d 562, 565-66 (Tex. 2018) (orig.
proceeding) (per curiam); Walker, 827 S.W.2d at 840.
determine if there is an adequate remedy by appeal, we
balance the benefits of mandamus review against the
detriments. In re Essex Ins. Co., 450 S.W.3d 524,
528 (Tex. 2014) (orig. proceeding). "As this balance
depends heavily on circumstances, it must be guided by
analysis of principles rather than simple rules that treat
cases as categories." In re McAllen Med. Ctr.,
Inc., 275 S.W.3d 458, 464 (Tex. 2008) (orig.
proceeding). "Mandamus review of significant rulings in
exceptional cases may be essential to preserve important
substantive and procedural rights from impairment or loss,
allow the appellate courts to give needed and helpful
direction to the law that would otherwise prove elusive in
appeals from final judgments, and spare private parties and
the public the time and money utterly wasted enduring
eventual reversal of improperly conducted proceedings."
In re Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 148 S.W.3d at 136.
Appeal is an inadequate remedy when a party's ability to
present a viable claim or defense at trial is either
completely vitiated or severely compromised. In re
Garza, 544 S.W.3d at 840; Walker, 827 S.W.2d at
Court, having examined and fully considered the petition for
writ of mandamus, the record, the response filed by real
party in interest, Norma Alaniz, the reply filed by relator,
the amicus curiae brief received from the Texas Association
of Defense Counsel, and the applicable law, is of the opinion
that relator has not met its burden to obtain mandamus
relief. See In re Garza, 544 S.W.3d at 840; In
re McAllen Med. Ctr., Inc., 275 S.W.3d at 464; In re
Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 148 S.W.3d at 136;
Walker, 827 S.W.2d at 843. Accordingly, we lift the
stay which was previously imposed in this case, and we deny
the petition for writ of mandamus. See Tex. R. App.
ruling, we note that relator contends that it "has very
limited means to controvert, impeach, or cross-examine"
the reasonableness of the real party's past medical
expenses "and arguably cannot present any such testimony
based on the trial court's order." See,
e.g., In re Brown, 2019 WL 1032458, at *5,
___ S.W.3d at ___; Ten Hagen Excavating, Inc. v.
Castro-Lopez, 503 S.W.3d 463, 494 (Tex. App.-Dallas
2016, pet. denied). In this original proceeding, relator does
not separately brief or discuss the trial court's ruling
as it pertains to relator's ability to address such
issues through argument or cross-examination. Accordingly, we
do not address these matters here, and our ruling is without
prejudice to any issue that might be presented on this topic
in the future.
See Tex. R. App. P. 52.8(d)
("When granting relief, the court must hand down an
opinion as in any other case," but when "denying
relief, the court may hand down an opinion but is not
required to do so."); id. R. 47.4