Thirteenth Court Affirms Judgment for Plaintiff Injured After City Bus Collides with Vehicle

By October 14, 2015February 10th, 2020Announcements, Court Decisions

The Thirteenth Court of Appeals has affirmed a judgment awarding damages to a person who was seriously injured when a city bus collided with his car.

Plaintiff Julio Cesar Ahumada was injured when a City of Brownsville bus failed to yield at a stop sign and collided with his car. After the trial, the lower court awarded Ahumada damages, including compensation for mental anguish. On appeal, the City asserted the following grounds: (1) the trial court erred by limiting evidence regarding Ahumada’s employment status; (2) the trial court erred in limiting evidence raised originally in motions in limine; (3) the trial court erred in limiting the City’s attempts to impeach Ahumada’s credibility; (4) the trial court erred in limiting the City’s expert’s testimony; (5) the trial court erred in including physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, and future medical expenses in the jury charge without any evidentiary support; and (6) the trial court’s erroneous rulings had a direct impact on the jury’s findings.

Because the Thirteenth Court agreed with Ahumada that the City waived argument on grounds one and two and failed to preserve error on grounds three and six, the Court only needed to address grounds four and five. In doing so, the Court held as follows: (1) the City’s expert was limited to his opinions disclosed in his report when addressing trial evidence; and (2) more than a scintilla of evidence supported Ahumada’s physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment disfigurement, and future medical expense damages.

Maitreya Tomlinson was lead appellate counsel and handled the case on appeal, along with Brandy Wingate Voss and trial counsel Alexander Begum.

City of Brownsville v. Ahumada, 13-14-00265-CV (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi July 2, 2015) (mem. op.) (opinion available here).