SE Texas Record

Monday, October 14, 2019

You're either a Texas company or not

Our View

By The Record | Oct 24, 2017

There are people who've grown up in Port Arthur, Beaumont, or Corpus Christi and never been outside of southeast Texas, but most of us have traveled more widely, venturing into Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, if not all across the continental United States and beyond.

How many U.S. states have you been to? That's one of those questions people like to ask and answer on Facebook and other social media.

Invariably, the question comes up as to what is meant by “been to”? Air space doesn't seem to count, so you can't say you've been to a state if you've merely flown over it in a plane or touched down at an airport without leaving the terminal.

But what if you've driven through it en route to some other state? Does that count? Maybe, maybe not. A stickler will insist that you actually had to stop somewhere and do something, and that may or may not include grabbing a bite to eat and gassing up at a mini-mart. 

Of course, traveling across Texas, you've got no choice but to stop. If you're heading from Lake Charles to Las Cruces, you're going to have to pause to refuel and refresh somewhere along I-10. But, if you're driving straight through and only stopping for gas and grub, you really haven't “been here.”

And you definitely don't live or work in Texas if you live and work somewhere else. 

It seems crazy that you even have to explain that to people, but that's what our First District Court of Appeals had to do two weeks ago when it affirmed a lower court's ruling and dismissed a plaintiff's claims against OmniSource Corp. – which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Indiana-based Steel Dynamics that was being sued for an accident that occurred in Louisiana.

Is Indiana Texas? No, it's not. Is Louisiana Texas? No. Case closed.

If you want to file a suit, file it in the proper forum.

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