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Dow Chemical Company v. Castro Alfaro

Supreme Court of Texas
786 S.W.2d 674 (1990)


Facts

Costa Rican resident Domingo Castro Alfaro (plaintiff), an employee of the Standard Fruit Company in Costa Rica, and several other employees brought suit in a Texas court against Dow Chemical Company (Dow) (defendant), headquartered in Michigan, and Shell Oil Company (Shell) (defendant), headquartered in Texas, alleging they suffered medical injuries due to their exposure to dibromochloropropane (DBCP), a pesticide manufactured by Dow and Shell and used by Standard Fruit. The injuries occurred on American-owned land within Costa Rica. The trial court dismissed Alfaro’s complaint citing the doctrine of forum non conveniens, which allowed the court discretion to decline to hear cases in certain circumstances, such as when the forum would pose an undue hardship on a defendant or when the exercise of jurisdiction would threaten comity between governments. Alfaro appealed. The intermediate appellate court reversed and held that the Texas Legislature had abolished forum non conveniens. The Supreme Court of Texas accepted the case for review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ray, J.)

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Concurrence (Doggett, J.)

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Dissent (Phillips, C.J.)

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Dissent (Gonzalez, J.)

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Dissent (Cook, J.)

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Dissent (Hecht, J.)

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