Jeff House obtains Defense Verdict in Sanderson County, Texas
Congratulations to Jeff House who obtained a defense verdict at trial in Sanderson, Terrell County, Texas (northeast of Big Bend) involving the Texas Estray (livestock) and Open Range laws. The Firm defended a cattle rancher in Terrell County in which the precinct involved maintained an Open Range status (meaning livestock may range freely without fencing – property owners who do not want livestock on their property are required to fence out livestock in an Open Range precinct). Contrasting the Open Range law is the Texas Estray statute which provides, under certain conditions, that property owners are entitled to damages for livestock which damage property. The client’s cattle regularly roamed onto the adjacent 1300 acre ranch which borders the Rio Grande river and the Plaintiff alleged that substantial damage was done by the client’s livestock to a plane, hangar and landing strip. The Firm successfully presented evidence that livestock not owned by the client were present on the Plaintiff’s ranch and may have caused the damages as well as the fact that the Plaintiff failed to properly maintain the fences around his 1300 acre ranch (due to costs) and Plaintiff’s failure to comply with the Estray laws in the Texas Agriculture Code. The Court ruled completely in favor of the Firm’s client. The trial occurred on June 22, 2021.