Adame v. 3M Company

Decision Date22 August 2019
Docket NumberNO. 01-16-00847-CV,01-16-00847-CV
Citation585 S.W.3d 127
Parties Adan G. ADAME, Robert H. Arispe, Harvey Edward Arnold, Hermon Harvey Arnold, Luciano Barrientez, Homer L. Batchelor, Tomas Benitez, Delbert Ray Blundell, Melvin Briones, Troy Britt, Raymond H. Butterfield, Guadalupe Calvo Jr., Richard F. Capson, Mercedes Castillo, Ignacio Cavazos, Hector A. Chapa, Humberto Chapa, Rex Cicero, Palfrey Collins, Glenn Courmier, Eddie M. Cross, Francisco Dabdub, Carol Gene Dabney, Steve Davis, Noe De La Cruz, Jose G. Delapaz, Jose Duenes, Jessie Duncan, Rudy Encinas, Jose Esquivel, Jose T. Fajardo, Benjamin D. Fields, Frank Franco, Jesus Cantu Garcia Jr., Pablo G. Garcia Sr., Michael Gary, Alonzo Garza, Hermilo Garza Sr., Homero Garza, Oscar Garza Jr., Paul D. Gawlik, Manuel B. Gonzales, Bacilio M. Guzman, Chester Harrington, Norris G. Hawley, Gerald Henry, Jose A. Hernandez, Rigoberto Hernandez, C. Dell Hodge Jr., David Hollingsworth, Kenneth W. Houff, Elmer Jamison, Ronnie L. Johnson, Curtis Jones, Joe Koenig, Elias Leal, Robert Lemos, Jose G. Longoria, Antonio Lopez, Celso Lopez, Arron Luke, George McFarland, Ernest Mechell, Robert Mechell, Jose Meza, Clyde T. Miller, Keith Moore, Juan Morales, Tomas Morin, Adalberto Muniz, Daniel Navejar, Esteban Nieto, Daniel Ochoa, Marcos Ortiz, Jimmy Patterson, Manuel C. Paz Sr., Roberto Paz, Juan R. Perez, Oscar Perez, Victor C. Perez, Carl Prentice, Rene R. Ramirez, Ray Charles Redmon, Billy W. Richardson, Jose Rios, Floyd H. Rodgers, Jose Z. Rojas, George Saenz, Hector Salazar, Guadalupe C. Serna, Jesus Soliz, Howard LeRoy Spears, Roger Spencer, Carroll G. Starks, William T. Terral, Curtis Thomas, Martin Torres, Teodoro Tovar, Jose Luis Uresti, Enrique G. Villarreal Jr., Clifton Weitzel, Robert F. Weitzel, Joseph H. Wheeler, Jay C. Whitlock, Herbert Whitmire, and Abelardo Zambrano, Appellants v. 3M COMPANY f/k/a Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company; Aearo Company; Air Equipment & Repair, Inc.; Air Liquide America L.P.; Airtrol Supply, Inc.; Alamo Cement Company; Amcol International Corporation; American Colloid Company; American Optical Corporation; AMF Incorporated & Minstar, Inc. ; Ashland Chemical, Inc.; Bacou-Dalloz Safety, Inc. f/k/a Dalloz Safety, Inc. f/k/a WGM Safety Corporation d/b/a Willson Safety Products ; Barretts Minerals Inc.; Barry & Barry Sand Company, Inc.; Black & Decker (U.S.), Inc.; Bob Schmidt, Inc.; Bondo Corporation; Cel Industries, Inc.; Central Ready Mix Concrete; Chevron U.S.A. Inc. f/k/a Gulf Oil; Chicago Pneumatic, Inc.; CITGO Petroleum Corporation; CITGO Refining and Chemicals Company, L.P.; Clemco Industries Corporation Hanson Aggregates LLC Successor By Merger to Pioneer International (USA), Inc. Successor by Merger to Hanson Aggregates, Inc. f/k/a Hanson Aggregates Central, Inc. f/k/a Pioneer South Central, Inc. f/k/a Pioneer Concrete of Texas, Inc.; Corpus Christi Equipment Company; DeVilbiss or the DeVilbiss Company (Sometimes Named as Ransburg Corporation, ITW Finishing LLC or Illinois Tool Works Inc.); E. I. du Pont de Nemours; E.D. Bullard Company, Inc.; Eastern Safety Equipment Co., Inc.; El Paso Sand & Trucking ; Empire Abrasive Equipment Company, L.P.; Empire Abrasive Equipment Corporation; Encon Safety Products, Inc.; Espey Silica Sand Company, Inc. ; Fairmount Minerals, Ltd.; Ferro Engineering Division of on Marine Services; Flex-Kleen; Flexo Products, Inc. ; Gardner Denver, Inc.; General Pattern Company (Successor-By-Merger to General Foundry Products Corp.); Glendale Technologies, Inc.; Granite City Tools ; Hamilton Sundstrand; Hanson Aggregates West, Inc.; Hexion Inc. f/k/a Momentive Specialty Chemicals f/k/a Hexion Specialty Chemicals, Inc. and f/k/a Borden Chemical, Inc.; Humble Sand & Gravel, Inc. ; Ideal Basic Industries, Inc. ; Industrial Holdings Corporation f/k/a the Carborundum Company; Ingersoll-Rand Company; Jobe Concrete Products; Kelco Sales & Engineering Co., a Division of Polley, Inc.; Key Houston, a Division of Jacksonville Shipyards, Inc. ; Key Houston, Inc., a Division of Jacksonville Shipyards, Inc. ; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Logan & Whaley Company; Lone Star Industries, Inc.; Louis M. Gerson Company, Inc.; Martindale Electric Company; Milton Roy; Mine Safety Appliances; Mississippi Valley Silica Company, Inc. ; Moldex-Metric, Inc.; Norcross; North Safety Products; Oglebay Norton; P.K. Lindsay Company ; Pangborn Corporation; Parmelee Industries, Inc. ; Pauli & Griffin Company ; Porter Warner Industries, Inc.; Premier Refractories, Inc., Improperly Named and Served as American Premier, Inc. f/k/a Premier Refractories and Chemicals, Inc.; Protech Coatings, Inc. f/k/a Foundry Specialties, Inc.; Pulmosan Safety Equipment Corporation ; Quikrete; Racal Health and Safety, Inc. ; Ruemelin in Receivership; Sabine Propeller & Marine Service Company ; Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc., f/k/a Norton Company; Schramm, Inc.; Scott Technologies, Inc.; Shreveport Rubber and Gasket; Siebe North ; Silica Products, Inc.; Sly, Inc. f/k/a W. W. Sly Manufacturing Co. ; Southern Silica of Louisiana, Inc.; Specialty Minerals Inc.; Specialty Sand Company; Spence Concrete Company Sullair, LLC ; Sundyne ; Survivair, a Division of U.S.D. Corporation ; Survivair, Inc.; Technisand, Inc.; Texas Gasket; Textron Inc.; the Dow Chemical Company; the Eastwood Group Inc. d/b/a the Eastwood Company; the Goodyear Rubber and Tire Company ; the Hill and Griffith Company; the Morie Company ; Thorstenberg Materials Co., Inc. ; Tide-Air; Triangle Supply; Triplex, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; TXI Operations, LP; Tyrolit North America Inc.; U.S. Silica Company, Formerly Known as Pennsylvania Glass Sand Corporation and Successor in Interest Though Merger to Ottawa Silica Company; Unimin Corporation; Union Carbide Corporation; Valero Energy Corporation; Vallen Corporation; Vesuvius USA Corporation; Vulcan Materials Company; Wedron Silica Company, an Ohio Corporation; Wesco; Wesco Refractories ; and Wheeler Protective Apparel, Inc., Appellees
CourtTexas Court of Appeals

Michael B. Martin, Gage Walton, Martin Walton Law Firm, 1335 Space Park Drive, Ste C, Houston, Texas 77058, for Appellants.

Barbara Jane Barron, Frank A. Domino, 2615 Calder Ave. Ste., 800, Beaumont, Texas 77702, for Appellees.

Justice Landau, joined by Chief Justice Radack and by Justices Keyes, Higley, Lloyd, Kelly, Goodman, Hightower, and Countiss.

OPINION ON EN BANC RECONSIDERATION

Sarah Beth Landau, Justice

We grant Appellants' motion for en banc reconsideration. The opinion and judgment issued on August 30, 2018, is hereby withdrawn, and this en banc opinion and judgment are issued in their stead.

Approximately 20 years ago, there was a significant increase in the number of suits filed in Texas courts alleging injury from silica exposure. In 2005, the Texas Legislature created a Silica multidistrict litigation pretrial docket that established procedures for individual claims to advance to trial.1

Under the provisions of the Silica MDL statute in chapter 90 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code, each silica claim already pending on August 31, 2005 would remain in the MDL until that particular claimant submitted a medical report complying with certain statutory requirements. If a compliant medical report was submitted and approved by the MDL Court, that claim would then be remanded to the district court for trial. If no medical report was filed, the claim would remain pending in the MDL indefinitely.

Appellants are 106 sandblasters whose already-pending silica claims were transferred into the MDL once it was formed. Their claims remained pending in the MDL for more than 10 years without medical reports being submitted.

As originally enacted, the MDL statute had no provision for involuntary dismissal of silica claims that predated the MDL and were later transferred into it; however, the statute was amended in 2013 to allow for the dismissal without prejudice of pre-2005 claims if claimants failed to file qualifying medical reports by a statutorily specified deadline.

Facing dismissal under the new statutory provision, the sandblasters filed their individual medical reports in 2013. Significantly, these medical reports were not prepared contemporaneously with their filing. Two-thirds of them were prepared before May 2005, which means they were written before enactment of the statute that specifies the required content of a medical report for approval by the MDL Court. The remaining one-third were prepared after the statute was enacted—between mid-2005 and 2008.

After the sandblasters filed their medical reports, the Silica MDL defendants filed individual and global objections to the medical reports, contending the reports failed to meet various statutory requirements of Chapter 90. The defendants then moved to dismiss all 106 sandblasters' suits for failure to comply with statutory requirements by the deadline specified in the 2013 amendment. The MDL Court sustained almost all objections and dismissed all the sandblasters' claims without prejudice to refiling. The cases were consolidated, and the sandblasters appealed the dismissal of their claims.

In nine issues, the sandblasters argue that Chapter 90 is unconstitutional. We affirm.

Background

A Rule 13 pretrial MDL was created in 2004 when the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation determined the then-pending 71 suits filed by 453 plaintiffs against 158 defendants involved one or more common questions of fact and transfer would be for the convenience of the parties and witnesses and would promote the just and efficient conduct of the cases. In re Silica Prods. Liab. Litig. , 166 S.W.3d 3, 5–9 (Tex. M.D.L. Panel 2004) ; see TEX. R. JUD. ADMIN. 13.

In 2005, the Legislature enacted Chapter 90 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code. TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 90.001 –.012; Act of May 16, 2005, 79th Leg., R. S., ch. 97, § 1, 2005 Tex. Gen. Laws 169. The new legislation created a statutory MDL for silica-related...

To continue reading

Request your trial
3 cases
  • Mass. Bay Ins. Co. v. Adkins
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • December 3, 2020
    ...or silica-related disease or injury.See Act of May 16, 2005, 79th Leg., R.S., ch. 97, § 1, 2005 Tex. Gen. Laws 169, 170–71; Adame v. 3M Co. , 585 S.W.3d 127, 134 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2019, no pet.) (en banc) ("Chapter 90 created a bifurcated system to allow those with confirmed im......
  • Ramirez v. Dep't of Family & Protective Servs.
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • August 4, 2022
    ...unreasonably or arbitrarily. See Methodist Healthcare Sys. of San Antonio, Ltd. v. Rankin, 307 S.W.3d 283, 285 (Tex. 2010); Adame v. 3M Co., 585 S.W.3d 127, 139 App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 2019, no pet.). The individual challenging the statute has the burden to establish its unconstitutionalit......
  • In re Interest of H. L. M.
    • United States
    • Texas Court of Appeals
    • December 11, 2019
    ...of a statute, we presume that the statute is valid and that the Legislature has not acted unreasonably or arbitrarily. Adame v. 3M Co., 585 S.W.3d 127, 139 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 2019, no pet.). The burden rests on the individual who challenges the statute to establish its unconstit......
1 firm's commentaries
  • 50-State Survey of State Court Decisions Supporting Expert-Related Judicial Gatekeeping
    • United States
    • LexBlog United States
    • June 1, 2023
    ...Texas courts that have discussed “gatekeeping” responsibilities while excluding testimony in personal injury cases are: Adame v. 3M Co., 585 S.W.3d 127, 147 (Tex. App. 2019) (en banc); Oliver v. Saadi, 2019 WL 4126614, at *5 (Tex. App. Aug. 30, 2019); Jackson v. Michelin North America, Inc.......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT