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
Nabors Drilling, U.S.A. Inc. v. Francisca Escoto, et al.
from Willacy County and the 13th District Court of Appeals, Corpus Christi/Edinburg
For petitioner: Reagan W. Simpson, Houston
For respondents: Alex M. Miller, San Antonio
The Supreme Court will hear arguments on the issue of whether employer has duty to protect against danger of its fatigued employee en route home. The principal issues are (1) whether an employer has a duty to protect third parties from a fatigued employee en route home after a 12-hour shift and (2) whether the employee has a duty to train its employees about the dangers of fatigue. In this case Escoto sued Nabors after four members of her family died in a car accident allegedly caused by Naborís employee on his way home after working five 12-hour graveyard shifts. Escoto alleged that Nabors was liable it had a duty to protect other people when its employee drove home after a exhausting shift and because the company failed to train its employees how to handle fatigue. The trial court entered a judgment in Naborís favor after a jury verdict for Escoto, reasoning that Nabor did not owe a duty to Escoto. The court of appeals reversed.