Sitting for the court: Justice Paul W. Green, Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Justice Phil Johnson, Justice David Medina, Justice Dale Wainwright, Justice Don R. Willett, Justice Scott A. Brister, Justice Harriet O'Neill
Greg Tanner and Maribel Tanner v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co.
from Caldwell County and the 11th District Court of Appeals, Eastland
For petitioners: Don R. Cotton, Austin
For respondents: Chris Heinemeyer, San Antonio
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether fleeing driverís hard braking before wreck during police chase voids willful conduct used to avoid insurance coverage.
The issue in this insurance-coverage dispute resulting from a high-speed police chase is whether sufficient evidence exists to conclude that the fleeing driver engaged in willful and intentional conduct when he collided with the Tannersí car. When he hit the Tannersí car, the pursued driver was braking hard. The Tanners and their two children were injured and sued the driver, but Nationwide, which insured him, sued to declare the policy did not cover the accident because it resulted from willful and intentional conduct. Jurors found in favor of the Tanners, but the trial court held Nationwide had no duty to defend the driver or to indemnify him. The court of appeals affirmed.
The first argument begins at 9 a.m. in the courtroom in Austin. Each side will have 20 minutes for argument.
This advisory serves only as an abbreviated guide to oral argument. Summaries are prepared by the Courtís staff attorney for public information and reflect his judgment alone on facts and legal issues and in no way represent the Courtís opinion about case merits.
Texas Supreme Court advisory
Contact: Osler McCarthy,
Staff Attorney for Public Information
(512) 463.1441 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org