Concurring Opinion Rules Notice Was Timely Under Texas Tort Claims Act

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TEXAS – Justice Terry Jennings of the Court of Appeals of Texas issued a concurring opinion in the Jefferson County v. Farris appeal to dismiss a specific argument made by the county. The facts of the case involved a mesothelioma claim filed against the county by the wife of Judge James Farris, who passed only nine days after being diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2004. He was allegedly exposed to asbestos during a remediation project taking place at the county courthouse in 1996. Jefferson County argued that the Judge should have made a claim under the Texas Tort Claims Act within six months of being exposed. Justice Terry Jennings wrote the concurring opinion to declare that the exposure itself was only an incident giving rise to a claim, and that a claim did not yet exist because no damage or injury had been suffered. Since the claim was filed within six months of the diagnosis in 2004, Justice Jennings ruled that the notice was timely provided.