Cases Dealing With ''Proving Mental Anguish Damages'' In Texas

In Lubbock County v. Strube, 953 S.W.2d 847, 855 (Tex. App.--Austin 1997, pet. denied), the Court dealt with the issue of whether evidence supported an award of damages for future mental anguish. See Strube, 953 S.W.2d at 856. The decision that the record did not support the award turned on the fact that Strube testified that the mental anguish had occurred in the past and did not testify that she expected it to recur. See 953 S.W.2d at 857. In Saenz v. Fidelity & Guar. Ins. Underwriters, 925 S.W.2d 607, 614 (Tex. 1996), the supreme court reiterated the standard of evidence required to support an award of mental anguish damages. See Saenz, 925 S.W.2d at 614 (quoting Parkway Co. v. Woodruff, 901 S.W.2d 434 (Tex. 1995)). Mental anguish damages could not be awarded without either direct evidence of the nature, duration, or severity of plaintiffs' anguish, thus establishing a substantial disruption in the plaintiffs' daily routine, or other evidence of a high degree of mental pain and distress that is more than mere worry, anxiety, vexation, embarrassment, or anger.Id. Saenz requires that a plaintiff provide evidence of a high degree of mental pain and distress. Saenz does not prescribe the specific content or form of the evidence and instead offers plaintiffs a number of alternatives to prove mental anguish. In Saenz, the only testimony regarding mental anguish was Saenz's testimony that she "worried a lot" about the loss of income and being unable to pay future medical bills. See Saenz, 925 S.W.2d at 614.