Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Co. v. Kaminsky
Texas Court of Appeals
768 S.W.2d 818 (1989)
Dr. Robert Kaminsky (defendant), a gynecologist whose practice included performing abortions, leased office space from Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company (Fidelity) (plaintiff). The lease was executed in May 1983 and contained an express covenant of Dr. Kaminsky’s quiet enjoyment of the leased premises, conditioned on Dr. Kaminsky’s paying rent when due. The lease also required Fidelity to provide security service on Saturdays. In June 1984, anti-abortion protesters began picketing at the office building. Most of the protests were on Saturdays, when Dr. Kaminsky generally scheduled abortions. The protesters repeated and intensified their protests, often entering the building, occupying the stairs leading to Dr. Kaminsky’s office, and blocking patients from entering. Dr. Kaminsky complained to Fidelity through its managing agents. Fidelity and its agents provided no security. While Fidelity’s attorneys instructed its agents to distribute notices to the protesters, demanding that the protesters leave, its agents did not actually distribute those notices. Fidelity’s only response to the protesters was to state, through its agents, that it was aware of the issue. When Dr. Kaminsky sought help from the sheriff’s department, law enforcement officers refused to ask the protesters to leave, unless Fidelity or its agents gave directions to do so. Dr. Kaminsky abandoned the premises on or about December 3, 1984 and ceased to pay rent. Fidelity sued for the balance due under the lease. Dr. Kaminsky argued Fidelity had constructively evicted him, and the jury found in Dr. Kaminsky’s favor. Fidelity appealed, arguing that the protesters, rather than Fidelity, had caused Dr. Kaminsky to abandon the premises and that Dr. Kaminsky was not permanently deprived of the use and enjoyment of the premises.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Murphy, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.