Record-Breaking Jury Verdict Upheld on Appeal
October 19, 2012 Case Study
Teel v. Rentech Steel
The firm represented plaintiffs Lesa Crosswhite and Jennings Teel, Individually and as Next Friends of Preston Teel, a Minor, in the appeal of a $12.4 million jury verdict involving a catastrophic industrial accident in a small town located near Abilene, Texas. The verdict shattered all previous records for jury verdicts in Taylor County, Texas. Following oral argument, the Eastland Court of Appeals issued an opinion upholding the judgment in favor of our clients. This decision, which is now final, has been cited as one of the largest jury verdicts upheld on appeal by the Texas appellate courts. In October 2008, the plaintiffs prevailed in a companion declaratory judgment lawsuit, American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company v. Rentech Steel, LLC, et al., in which the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled that the claims asserted by plaintiffs in the underlying action are covered by defendants’ policy, rejecting an argument regarding the scope of a workers’ compensation exclusion that is a question of great importance in Texas. The firm prevailed on the appeal of the declaratory judgment in the United States Court of Appeal for the Fifth Circuit. The case was then resolved on favorable terms for the client.