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Law School Case Brief

Price v. Price - 732 S.W.2d 316 (Tex. 1987)

Rule:

The doctrine of interspousal immunity is now abolished completely as to any cause of action in Texas.

Facts:

Plaintiff wife sued defendant husband for personal injuries caused by defendant's negligence while plaintiff was riding with defendant on his motorcycle before their marriage. The trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the action on the ground that the doctrine of interspousal immunity barred a wife from suing a husband for personal injuries in Texas. The court of appeals affirmed, and plaintiff wife appealed.

Issue:

Does the doctrine of interspousal immunity bar the plaintiff wife from bringing an action for personal injuries against defendant husband?

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The supreme court held that the doctrine of interspousal immunity was not rational insofar as it barred a wife from suing a husband for personal injuries when she was allowed, by statute, to sue him for damage to her property. The court noted that to continue to apply the doctrine would amount to a repudiation of the guarantee of equal protection of the laws in Tex. Const. Ann. art. I, § 3. The court expressly abolished the doctrine.

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