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American Industries Life Insurance Co. v. Ruvalcaba

Court of Appeals of Texas
64 S.W.3d 126 (2001)


In March 1996, two-year-old Johnathan Ruvalcaba and his mother visited a two-story office building where Johnathan father worked. One of the staircases in the building had an open handrail that violated the applicable building code. While Johnathan and his mother were descending the staircase, Johnathan slipped through the handrail and fell to the ground, landing on his head. Johnathan suffered permanent brain damage. Johnathan’s parents (Ruvalcabas) (plaintiffs) brought a suit for damages against the owner of the building, American Industries Life Insurance Company (American Industries) (defendant), under a theory of premises liability. The trial court determined that American Industries had not been grossly negligent, but considered Johnathan to be an invitee and awarded damages of $8,384,657.52 to the Ruvalcabas. American Industries appealed the decision.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Anderson, J.)

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