Duncan v. Cessna Aircraft Co – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Duncan v. Cessna Aircraft Co., 665 S.W.2d 414, 419 (Tex. 1984), the plaintiff's husband was killed in an airplane crash.

She sued the pilot and owner of the aircraft. They settled and signed a release that discharged the defendants and "any other corporations or persons whomsoever responsible therefor, whether named herein or not, from any and all claims of every kind and character whatsoever, . . . on account of the fatal injuries by the deceased, which resulted in his death, as the result of an airplane crash occurring on or about October 19, 1976." Id. at 418.

Duncan then sued Cessna, the aircraft manufacturer. Cessna asserted the affirmative defense of release.

The supreme court held that the release did not apply to Cessna because "all corporations" did not sufficiently describe the aircraft manufacturer. Id. at 420.