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Shoemake v. Fogel, Ltd., A.T.

826 S.W.2d 933 (1992)

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Shoemake v. Fogel, Ltd., A.T.

Texas Supreme Court

826 S.W.2d 933 (1992)

Facts

Miranda Gilley was almost two years old when she nearly drowned in the swimming pool at her apartment complex. Miranda was rescued, but she died four months later from the injuries she sustained when nearly drowning. Miranda’s mother, Janet Shoemake, filed an action against the apartment-complex owners, Fogel, Ltd., A.T. (defendant) and Federal Group I (defendant), and the apartment-complex manager, International Property Management, Inc. (defendant) (collectively the apartment complex) for negligence. Shoemake’s complaint asserted a claim for wrongful death as well as a survival action as a representative of Miranda’s estate. The apartment complex alleged that Shoemake was negligent in her management, supervision, and control of Miranda. The jury awarded Shoemake damages for both claims, and the jury found that the apartment complex was 55 percent negligent and Shoemake was 45 percent negligent in Miranda’s death. The court reduced Shoemake’s wrongful-death claim by 45 percent but did not do the same for the survival action. The apartment complex appealed, and the court of appeals reversed, holding that the apartment complex was entitled to contribution for the survival action as well as the wrongful-death claim. Shoemake appealed, arguing that the apartment complex is not entitled to contribution from Shoemake because the doctrine of parental immunity bars Miranda’s estate from seeking damages from Shoemake.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mauzy, J.)

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