Texas High Court Axes Common Law's Unlawful Acts Doctrine

Law360, Dallas (September 3, 2013, 8:52 PM EDT) -- Defendants in wrongful death and personal injury suits can no longer use the common law unlawful acts doctrine as a complete bar to a plaintiff’s recovery because it conflicts with a statutory requirement to apportion blame, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday.

In a 6-3 decision, the court said that under a state law that replaced the former all-or-nothing system of contributory negligence with a proportionate-responsibility scheme and a statutory affirmative-defense law that replaced and limited many common law defenses, the unlawful acts doctrine can’t serve...
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