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Dugger v. Arredondo

Supreme Court of Texas
408 S.W.3d 825 (2013)



Geoffrey Dugger (defendant) and Joel Martinez drank, smoked marijuana, and snorted black-tar heroin. Martinez passed out and started choking. Dugger did not call 911 immediately, and when he did, he did not inform the paramedics that Martinez had snorted heroin. Martinez died less than two hours later. Martinez’s mother, Mary Ann Arredondo (plaintiff) brought a wrongful death suit against Dugger, alleging negligence. Dugger asserted as an affirmative defense the unlawful acts doctrine, citing Martinez’s use of illegal drugs. The trial court granted Dugger’s motion for summary judgment based on this doctrine. The court of appeals reversed and remanded the case for trial. Dugger appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Green, J.)

Dissent (Hecht, J.)

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