Dean Foods Co. v. Anderson – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Dean Foods Co. v. Anderson, 178 S.W.3d 449, 451-52 (Tex. App.--Amarillo 2005, pet. denied), an employer appealed a workers' compensation compensability award.

The claimant requested attorney's fees in response. Id. at 452. The employer subsequently filed a nonsuit. Id. After the nonsuit, the claimant filed a motion seeking attorney's fees, which the trial court granted. Id.

The employer claimed on appeal that the claimant was not entitled to fees because she only pled for attorney's fees related to her counterclaims and did not seek fees related to the request for judicial review until after the nonsuit was filed. Id.

The court held that although the claimant's answer "only requested attorney's fees in a general manner" it could be "reasonably construed as requesting attorney's fees associated with her defense in the judicial review of the award the appeals panel had made to her." Id. at 453.

The court concluded therefore the attorney's fees claim survived the nonsuit. Id.