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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Martin filed suit, alleging personal injuries purportedly caused by exposure to toxic substances released by RSR Corporation’s secondary lead smelter in Dallas. Commercial Metals Company (CMC), General Motors Corporation (GMC), Interstate Battery System of America, Inc. (IBSA), and Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI), defendants below and appellees here, sold scrap metal � used products containing lead � to the operators of the smelter. The scrap metal was then recycled as the smelting process extracted the lead, while in the process generating toxic byproducts. Some of those byproducts were released into the nearby community in the form of soot and gas; some were buried at the site, where they leached into and migrated through the soil. The smelter eventually was closed and the site cleaned up pursuant to the provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). Appellees were parties to the consent decree that assigned responsibility for that cleanup. Martin sought damages. Appellees moved for summary judgment and partial summary judgment, arguing limitations and that no act by an appellee caused Martin any damages. After the trial court issued its final ruling, Martin appealed pro se on six issues. HOLDING:The court affirms the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants/appellees CMC, GMC, IBSA, and JCI. The court begins with Martin’s fourth issue, which it characterizes as raising two points regarding discovery: 1. the trial court failed to compel discovery or impose sanctions when CMC made “abusive” responses to Martin’s interrogatories and requests for disclosure; and 2. Martin was not permitted adequate time for discovery before the summary judgment motions were submitted and decided. The court notes that none of the documents he attached as purported exhibits to his brief are in the record, then finds that, by failing to obtain a pretrial ruling or to object to a refusal to rule on his complaints � both regarding compelled discovery and the time required to pursue it � Martin waived any objections to these matters on appeal. The court further states that Martin fails to show how the discovery he sought could have changed the outcome on summary judgment. The court then moves to the summary judgment rulings. While noting that Martin’s first three appellate issues address appellees’ limitations ground, his fifth issue argues that he identified genuine issues of material fact on the causation ground that were sufficient to defeat the motions. The court concludes the causation ground suffices to uphold the trial court’s judgment. To establish causation in a personal injury case, a plaintiff must prove that 1. the conduct of the defendant caused an event; and 2. this event caused the plaintiff to suffer compensable injuries. In Martin’s case, the court says his burden at trial would be to prove that 1. the conduct of appellees caused toxic materials to be released from the smelter into the West Dallas neighborhood where he lived; and 2. the release of toxic materials from the smelter caused Martin to suffer compensable injuries. Because appellees didn’t challenge the second part of the analysis for summary judgment purposes, the court assumes that exposure to the smelter’s byproducts caused Martin’s injuries. The court stresses that “contributing to” an injury is not the appropriate standard for establishing legal cause under Texas law. To be the cause in fact of Martin’s injury, appellees’ conduct must have been a substantial factor in bringing about Martin’s injury, without which the harm would not have occurred. The court concludes that appellees’ summary judgment evidence established that they did not own or operate or control the smelter, and that evidence was sufficient to negate the element of causation alleged by Martin. Because Martin didn’t establish a causal link between appellees’ selling of scrap metal to the smelter and his injuries, no causation issue existed for the jury to decide. The court determines that, “under the facts of this case, the mere selling of raw materials does not constitute the kind of control over the enterprise necessary to establish a causal connection between the supplier and the ultimate emission of toxic materials by the processor of those materials. Sale of the scrap metal did no more than “furnish a condition which made the injury possible,” and that is insufficient to establish cause in fact. See Boys Clubs of Greater Dallas, Inc., 907 S.W.2d at 477. Appellees negated the element of causation as a matter of law, and Martin did not raise a genuine issue of material fact on that ground.” The court says appellees were entitled to summary judgment and decides Martin’s fifth issue against him. OPINION:FitzGerald, J.; Moseley, FitzGerald and Lang, JJ

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