HOUSTON – The Court of Appeals for the 1st District of Texas found in favor of an electric utility company sued by a man who alleged the company had engaged in malicious prosecution, negligence, conspiracy and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
John Taylor filed an appeal in opposition to the court’s earlier granting of a “take-nothing” summary judgment in favor of defendants CenterPoint Energy Houston Electric LLC, an electric and natural gas utility company headquartered in Houston, and Glinie Whittington. A take-nothing judgment means that a plaintiff will receive no money or damages even if they win on the merits of a legal dispute.
When there are multiple grounds for a summary judgment finding, the plaintiff must challenge the finding as a whole, or on separate issues, challenging each one independently, court documents state. If the legal argument or arguments go unchallenged, an original judgment stands.
Taylor appealed the finding and the trial court contended that the plaintiff had not presented the necessary arguments to counter a ruling against him in summary judgment. A summary judgment is a court finding based on legal arguments where no material facts are in dispute, a case without the need for a trial. The trial court granted final summary judgment in favor of CenterPoint Energy and Whittington without specifying the grounds for its ruling.
Thus, the court found that the plaintiff has not sufficiently challenged the grounds for a summary judgment finding in favor of the defendants.
The court found that Taylor had failed to provide the necessary evidence to establish at least one element for each cause of action that he pleaded.
"Because Taylor did not address the no-evidence grounds on appeal, we must affirm the summary judgement on these unchallenged grounds," the court concluded.
The original judgment of the trial court was affirmed.