C. H. Landers (plaintiff) sued East Texas Salt Water Disposal Company and Sun Oil Company (defendants) for damages. Landers alleged the companies were jointly and severally liable for polluting a Texas lake that Landers owned and had stocked with fish at considerable expense. On the companies' petition and over Landers' objection, the trial court severed the cases against each of them. Landers appealed to the Court of Civil Appeals, which affirmed the trial judge. Landers refused to file new pleadings, and the trial judge dismissed his suit. Landers then appealed to the Supreme Court of Texas.