Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
In a tort action the law of the place of the tort, or the lex loci delicti, must be looked to in determining the substantive rights of the parties.
This suit was filed by plaintiff, Efrain C. Garza, a resident citizen of Texas, in a district court of Bexar County against defendant, Greyhound Lines, Inc., a Texas corporation having its home office in Houston, to recover for personal injuries sustained by him in the Republic of Mexico while he was a passenger on a bus. Garza appeals from an order of the trial court sustaining Greyhound’s plea to the "jurisdiction" and dismissing Garza’s suit on the ground that the applicable substantive law of the place of injury is so dissimilar to the Texas law that US courts will not undertake to adjudicate the rights of the parties.
Did the trial court err in dismissing Garza’s suit on the ground that the applicable substantive law of the place of injury is so dissimilar to the Texas law?
The court held that it was error to dismiss Garza’s suit on the ground of alleged dissimilarity between the provisions of the foreign law and the law of Texas. It was also error to refuse to take jurisdiction of Greyhound’s breach of its implied contractual duty to carry Garza safely. Under applicable choice-of-law rules, Greyhound’s implied contractual duty was governed by the laws of Texas, the place where the contract was made. In addition, no proper proof was made of the foreign substantive law alleged by Greyhound to be applicable. Nothing in Texas decisions could have been characterized as a trend away from the lex loci rule in tort actions, or which had the effect of lessening the precedential weight of the Texas decisions applying that rule. Garza neither alleged nor proved that he would have a cause of action under Mexican law, therefore Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. Ann. art. 4678 was not applicable.