Law

Ninth Court stays trial of $1M trip & fall against Time Warner Cable

BEAUMONT – The trial of a $1 million trip and fall lawsuit against Time Warner Cable has been stayed while the Ninth Court of Appeals reviews a petition for a writ of mandamus. 

The lawsuit, filed in Jefferson County District Court, was brought by Samantha and Christopher McCormick and names Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Taylor Britt as defendants. 

In the suit, Samantha alleges she suffered personal injuries in the home of a client while working as a speech pathologist. Britt was present in the home working for the other Time Warner. She claims she tripped over a cable placed by him.

Together, the couple seek $1 million in past and future economic damages, plus an unspecified amount of past and future non-economic damages. 

Court records show the case was set to go to trial on Nov. 9 with Judge Justin Sanderson, 60th District Court, presiding. 

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Four days beforehand, however, Time Warner and the other defendants filed an emergency stay and petition for mandamus with the Ninth Court. 

“In this trip and fall case, Plaintiffs hid years-old documents they had to know were significant and unfavorable to their claims for damages,” the motion states. “They finally produced these documents via Dropbox six days before trial and during the deposition of one of their experts, a deposition their counsel ended without giving Relators the opportunity to complete their questioning. 

“The documents are not only within the scope of discovery, but they also point to other discoverable documents and witnesses.” 

The motion states the Time Warner defendants sought a continuance based in part on the need to conduct discovery regarding the late production. Judge Sanderson heard the motion for continuance but did make a ruling at the hearing. The court coordinator notified the defendants’ counsel that the case had been continued until Jan. 18, 2022. She then later advised counsel that the judge had changed his mind and the case would proceed to trial on Nov. 9.

On Nov. 8, the Ninth Court granted Time Warner’s motion for temporary relief, court records show. 

The defendants are represented in part by attorney Karen Bennett. 

The plaintiffs are represented in part by Paul “Chip” Ferguson of The Ferguson Law Firm in Beaumont. 

Appeals case No. 09-21-00344-CV

Trial case No. B-202984

Written by Staff reports

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