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Editor’s note: What follows are summaries of state and federal appellate court opinions issued from Oct. 25 to Nov. 21. The list is organized by court and practice area. Names of the cases below are linked to full-text opinions.

Texas Supreme Court

Torts

Texas Department of Transportation v. Perches Nov. 16, 2012; No. 11-0437 In this case involving a car accident, the court of appeals held that the plaintiffs pleaded sufficient facts to demonstrate TxDOT’s waiver of immunity with respect to their special defect claims. Guardrails, by their nature, define the roadway, they do not impede it. Guardrails placed in accordance to plan cannot constitute a special defect. The court of appeals’ judgment is affirmed and rendered in part, and reversed and remanded.

Workers’ Compensation

DeLeon v. Royal Indemnity Co. Nov. 16, 2012; No. 10-0319 The trial court determined that an injured worker had been assigned no valid impairment rating upon which to base impairment income benefits under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act. The absence of a valid impairment rating that had been submitted to the agency does not deprive a reviewing court of subject matter jurisdiction. The Workers’ Compensation Act permits a court to remand to the Workers’ Compensation Division if it decides that the worker has no valid impairment rating. The case is reversed and remanded to the trial court with instructions that the court remand the case to the division.

Court of Criminal Appeals

Criminal Law

Gipson v. State Nov. 14, 2012; No. PD-1470-11

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