Mike Magee of MehaffyWeber obtains huge transportation appellate win for client


Mike Magee of MehaffyWeber had a huge transportation appellate win. The Supreme Court of Texas in a per curiam decision on May 10, 2024, determined whether an accusation of race and gender prejudice directed at opposing counsel was incurably harmful. In the case, MehaffyWeber’s client’s tractor-tailer rear-ended the plaintiffs. They sued the truck driver’s owner and requested $12 million in non-economic damages. MehaffyWeber argued that the jury should award her $250,000.

In closing, Plaintiff’s counsel argued that “we certainly don’t want this $250,000” and then remarked: “Because it’s a woman, she should get less money? Because she’s African American, she should get less money?”

The defense moved for a mistrial, but the motion was overruled.

The jury awarded the plaintiff $12 million for physical pain and mental anguish, and the trial court rendered judgment on the verdict. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court of Texas reversed and remanded to the trial court, holding that defense counsel was entitled to suggest smaller damages amount than the plaintiff sought without an uninvited accusation of race and gender bias. The resulting harm was incurable by withdrawal or instruction because the argument struck at the heart of the jury trial system and was designed to turn the jury against opposing counsel and their clients.

The case has been reversed and remanded for another full trial.

Designed & Developed by Peak Seven