225 S.W.3d 676 (Tex.App. - El Paso 2006), 08-06-00179, In re Shredder Co., L.L.C.

Docket Nº:08-06-00179-CV.
Citation:225 S.W.3d 676
Party Name:In re The SHREDDER COMPANY, L.L.C.
Case Date:November 09, 2006
Court:Court of Appeals of Texas

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225 S.W.3d 676 (Tex.App.—El Paso 2006)

In re The SHREDDER COMPANY, L.L.C.

No. 08-06-00179-CV.

Court of Appeals of Texas, Eighth District, El Paso.

November 9, 2006

AN ORIGINAL PROCEEDING IN MANDAMUS

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Paul Gay, The Law Office of David Pierce, El Paso, for relator.

Karla Mariana Hernandez, Sherr, Legate, Ehrlich, PLLC, El Paso, for interested party.

Before CHEW, C.J., McCLURE, J., and BARAJAS, C.J. (Ret. X Sitting by Assignment).

OPINION ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

DAVID WELLINGTON CHEW, Justice

In this original proceeding, Relator, the Shredder Company, L.L.C. ("Shredder"), complains of the trial court's failure to rule on its motion to compel arbitration. We conditionally grant mandamus relief as further specified herein.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Relator began employing Real Party In Interest Luis B. Cuevas ("Cuevas") in 2004. On the date of his employment, Cuevas allegedly signed an agreement purportedly requiring him to resolve all disputes relating to work-related injuries through arbitration. Shortly thereafter, Cuevas apparently sustained an on-the-job injury while employed with Relator. Cuevas subsequently filed suit in the 120th District Court of El Paso County, the Hon. Luis Aguilar presiding.

On November 9, 2005, Relator moved to compel arbitration and a hearing was scheduled for November 29, 2005. According to the trial court's notes, the hearing was cancelled by counsel for Cuevas. A status conference was then set for December 6, 2005, but was cancelled by Relator due to lack of notice. An additional status conference was set for December 13, 2005. At the December 13, 2005 status conference, counsel for Cuevas first reviewed the arbitration provision but denied that Cuevas had signed the agreement. 1

On March 21, 2006, a third hearing was held on Relator's motion to compel. 2At the hearing, counsel for Cuevas argued that the arbitration provision was unenforceable. Relator pointed out that counsel for Cuevas first argued at an earlier hearing that Cuevas did not sign the agreement but subsequently presented no evidence to support this claim. Relator then addressed Cuevas' argument that the plan was a sham because it was unfunded. 3Relator presented evidence that the work injury plan carried a $2,500 deductible which was exhausted, the independent insurance carrier had assumed all further payments, and Cuevas received benefits under the plan. 4At the conclusion of the

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hearing on Relator's motion to compel arbitration, the trial court ordered Relator to allow Cuevas...

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