At Sprott Newsom Quattlebaum Messenger, our trial lawyers are prepared to help our clients every step of the way, including through the appellate process. Our attorneys utilize every aspect of the legal system to advocate for our clients and have extensive experience representing clients in higher courts both at the state and federal level.
We know how important it is for a client’s legal team to understand all available options from the very beginning. That’s why our appellate lawyers work side by side with our litigation team, ensuring continuity of representation and providing a strong foundational relationship between our attorneys and our clients. It’s a driving force in our long history of success. Both state and federal appellate courts have upheld verdicts favorable to our clients in a variety of cases, including personal injury liability cases, premises liability cases, and health care liability claims.
A large portion of our appellate work focuses on the intricacies of the healthcare industry, including the many requirements surrounding the Texas Medical Liability Act and Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Because of our extensive familiarity with this area of the law, we are well-versed on filing interlocutory appeals when and where they are needed during the pendency of litigation. In fact, our firm has helped craft healthcare law through two significant interlocutory appellate wins.
In April 2015, Michele Quattlebaum won a precedent setting appeal for her pharmaceutical clients, in which the unanimous Texas Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the 2nd Court of Appeals. The Plaintiff sued our clients – a compounding pharmacy and several of its licensed-pharmacist employees – after experiencing an adverse reaction. Ms. Quattlebaum argued the case constituted a health care liability claim, and was therefore subject to the requirements of the Texas Medical Liability Act. As the Plaintiff failed to serve an expert report as dictated under the Act, our appellate attorneys pursued a dismissal of the Plaintiff’s lawsuit. The Plaintiff argued the claims in her lawsuit were product liability based, and were therefore excluded from the Medical Liability Act altogether. The trial court initially denied our motion to dismiss, and the Second Court of Appeals affirmed this decision. Our attorneys pursued an interlocutory appeal to the Texas Supreme Court, where a unanimous Court reversed the judgement and remanded the case back to trial court. This case helped established case law on how and when the Texas Medical Liability Act applied to pharmacies and pharmacists.
In August 2017, Joel Randal Sprott and Tina Ohanian won a pivotal appeal in the 14th Court of Appeals establishing that an injury need not be personal or bodily in order to qualify as a healthcare liability claim. The Plaintiff sued our client – a plastic surgeon – claiming he failed to perform a surgical procedure promised to her. While the Plaintiff’s case asserted breach of contract, breach of implied contract, and unjust enrichment, our appellate team asserted Plaintiff’s claims amounted to a health care liability claim and was therefore subject to the requirements of Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. As the Plaintiff did not respond or otherwise serve our client with a medical expert report within 120 days as required by Chapter 74, we moved to dismiss the suit with prejudice. When the trial court failed to grant this motion to dismiss, our attorneys filed an interlocutory appeal. The 14th Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s order and remanded with instructions for the trial court to grant our motion to dismiss, and render judgment in favor of client in the amount of his attorney’s fees.