Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
  • O
  • Otis Engineering Corp. v. ClarkOtis Engineering Corp. v. Clark
From our private database of 16,600+ case briefs...

Otis Engineering Corp. v. Clark

Supreme Court of Texas
668 S.W.2d 307 (1983)


Robert Matheson, an employee of Otis Engineering Corporation (Otis) (defendant), was frequently intoxicated during work hours. Matheson’s regular inebriation at work was well known by Matheson’s supervisor, Donald Roy, and Matheson’s co-workers. One day, Roy escorted Matheson to his vehicle after several co-workers reported that Matheson was clearly too intoxicated to work. Roy observed Matheson’s condition and asked whether Matheson could drive home safely. Matheson responded affirmatively and drove away from Otis. While en route to his home, Matheson’s vehicle struck a vehicle occupied by Larry Clark and Clifford Clark. The Clarks died in the crash. The respective spouses for the Clarks (plaintiffs) filed a wrongful-death action against Otis seeking damages. At trial, the medical examiner testified that Matheson’s blood alcohol content was .268%. The medical examiner further stated that anyone who encountered Matheson would have concluded that Matheson was very intoxicated. The plaintiffs argued that by sending Matheson home with knowledge that he was very intoxicated, Otis committed negligence. Further, the plaintiffs argued that Otis could have kept Matheson at the work site, sent Matheson to the nurses’ station on the premises, telephoned for a taxi to take him to his home, or called Matheson’s wife to have her pick him up. The trial court granted summary judgment to Otis. The plaintiffs appealed. The court of appeals reversed and remanded the matter to the trial court for a trial. The Supreme Court of Texas granted certiorari to review.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kilgarlin, J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 435,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,600 briefs, keyed to 223 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial