Coble Wall Trust Co., Inc. v. Palmer

In Coble Wall Trust Co., Inc. v. Palmer, 859 S.W.2d 475, 480-81 (Tex. App.--San Antonio 1993, writ denied), the court of appeals held that a probate court's judgment, after a full hearing based on the new administrators' and others' objections, that approved the final accounts and discharged Coble Wall from all liability barred the plaintiff's subsequent suit for negligence and DTPA violations. In that case, full evidentiary hearings were conducted and the court of appeals noted that all of the contentions advanced by the plaintiffs regarding the estate plan and fees were heard by the probate court and thus were placed in issue and adjudicated. Thus, the guardian's liability had been fully litigated in the probate court. Coble Wall does not hold that a court's approval of an accounting necessarily includes adjudication of the trustee's tort liability; it merely affirms that, in certain circumstances, it may. In Bohlssen v. Bohlssen, 56 S.W.2d 913, 916 (Tex.Civ.App.--Galveston 1932, no writ), upon which the court in Coble Wall relied, the probate court not only approved the final accounting and discharged the guardian, but the ward expressly released the guardian from any further liability to him and acknowledged that he would not thereafter "have a claim against his guardian."