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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The city of Keller approved plans for two new subdivisions, Estates of Oak Run and Rancho Serena, including plans for storm water drainage. In accordance with the master plan, the city built a box culvert south of the Wilsons’ property. But as the developers’ drainage ditch ended at the Wilsons’ north property line, there was no link between the two. The Wilsons alleged and the jury found this omission increased flooding on the Wilsons’ property, ruining eight acres of farmland the jury valued at almost $300,000. The city contends no evidence supports the jury’s finding of an intentional taking. It presented evidence that engineers for the developers, for the city, and for an outside firm the city retained all certified that the revised drainage plan complied with the city’s codes and regulations – including the ban against increasing downstream runoff. Thus, the city asserts it had no reason to be substantially certain the opposite would occur, until it did. A divided court of appeals rejected this contention.In its legal sufficiency review, the court refused to consider the various engineers’ certifications because “we are to consider only the evidence and inferences that tend to support the finding and disregard all evidence and inferences to the contrary.” The city challenges this omission as applying the wrong scope of review. HOLDING:The court reverses the court of appeals’ judgment against the city under Texas Constitution article I, 17. Because the court of appeals declined to address the jury’s alternate verdict for the Wilsons on a claim under the Texas Water Code, the court remands the case to that court to determine that issue. Both the inclusive and exclusive standards for the scope of legal-sufficiency review have a long history in Texas. Both have been used in other contexts to review matter-of-law motions, as the federal courts have decided the differences between the two are more semantic than real, and both properly applied must arrive at the same result. The court sees no compelling reason to choose among them. The final test for legal sufficiency must always be whether the evidence at trial would enable reasonable and fair-minded people to reach the verdict under review. “Whether a reviewing court begins by considering all the evidence or only the evidence supporting the verdict, legal-sufficiency review in the proper light must credit favorable evidence if reasonable jurors could, and disregard contrary evidence unless reasonable jurors could not.” “While judges and lawyers often disagree about legal sufficiency in particular cases, the disagreements are almost always about what evidence jurors can or must credit and what inferences they can or must make. It is inevitable in human affairs that reasonable people sometimes disagree; thus, it is also inevitable that they will sometimes disagree about what reasonable people can disagree about. . .” “The rule as generally stated is that if reasonable minds cannot differ from the conclusion that the evidence lacks probative force it will be held to be the legal equivalent of no evidence. The application of the rule can lead to strange results. It is theoretically possible, and sometimes not far from actual fact, that five members of the Supreme Court will conclude that the evidence supporting a finding of a vital fact has no probative force, and in reaching the conclusion through application of the rule will thus hold, in effect, that the trial judge who overruled a motion for instructed verdict, the twelve jurors who found the existence of the vital fact, the three justices of the Court of Civil Appeals who overruled a”no evidence’ point of error and four dissenting justices of the Supreme Court are not men of”reasonable minds.’” The court agrees with the court of appeals that the Wilsons presented some evidence that the city damaged their property, and that in drawing up and approving drainage plans it was acting for a public purpose. The missing piece in the evidence here is proof that the city knew the plans it approved were substantially certain to increase flooding on the Wilsons’ properties. While the city certainly knew that fact after the flooding started, the Wilsons never pleaded or submitted to the jury any takings theory other than the city’s initial approval. Crediting all favorable evidence that reasonable jurors could believe and disregarding all contrary evidence except that which they could not ignore, the court holds there was no evidence that the city’s approval of the revised drainage plan was an intentional taking. OPINION:Brister, J.; Jefferson, C.J., Hecht, Wainwright and Green, JJ., join. O’Neill and Medina, JJ., join as to parts I through IV. O’Neill, J., filed a concurring opinion in which Medina, J., joins. Johsnson, J., did not participate in the decision. CONCURRENCE:O’Neill, J.; Medina, J., joins. “The Court does an excellent job of explaining the appropriate scope of no-evidence review: the reviewing court”must view the evidence in the light favorable to the verdict, crediting favorable evidence if reasonable jurors could, and disregarding contrary evidence unless reasonable jurors could not.’ I agree with this standard and join Parts I through IV of the Court’s opinion. But I cannot join Part V, because the Court misapplies the standard that it so carefully articulates by crediting evidence the jury could reasonably disregard.”

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