Law School Case Brief
Garcia v. San Antonio Hous. Auth. - 859 S.W.2d 78 (Tex. App. 1993)
Closely related means relatives residing in the same household, or parents, siblings, children, and grandparents of the victim.
Plaintiff Ruben Garcia brought suit in Texas state court against defendant the San Antonio Housing Authority ("Authority") and six other defendants to recover for mental anguish he suffered when he rescued his nephew Adrian from a fire in the apartment where Adrian and his family lived. Garcia sought review of the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Authority.
Is an uncle-nephew relationship enough to justify bystander recovery?
The appellate court noted that Garcia's relationship to his nephew was biologically distant. The court determined that for purposes of "bystander" recovery, the term "closely related" meant relatives residing in the same household, or parents, siblings, children, and grandparents of the victim. The court determined that Garcia was a good uncle, but, as a matter of law, he was not a resident of the same household as the victim, his nephew. The court concluded that Garcia could recover if he could prove that he was a resident of the same household. Therefore, the court reversed the trial court's grant of summary judgment.
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