Sunday, January 10, 2016
In 1992, Occidental Chemical installed a pH-balancing system on its premises in order to keep its employees from having to haul containers up a ladder. Six years later, the company sold the premises. Eight years after the sale, an employee of the new owner was injured on the system. Is Occidental liable for the injury? The "dual-role theory" would hold owners of property liable in premises liability and as designers of defective equipment. Reversing the intermediate appellate court's opinion for the plaintiff, the Texas Supreme Court wrote:
We conclude, however, that a claim against a previous owner for injury allegedly caused by
a dangerous condition of real property remains a premises-liability claim, regardless of the previous
property owner’s role in creating the condition. Because the previous owner sold the property
several years before the plaintiff’s accident and did not otherwise owe the plaintiff a duty of care
apart from its ownership and control of the property, we reverse the court of appeals’ judgment and
render judgment that the plaintiff take nothing.