TXI Transportation Company v. Hughes – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In TXI Transportation Company v. Hughes, 306 S.W.3d 230 (Tex. 2010), the claim was that TXI Transportation negligently hired Mr. Rodriguez, who subsequently collided with another vehicle while driving a tractor-trailer loaded with gravel. Id. at 233.

The court admitted evidence that Mr. Rodriguez was an illegal immigrant and had made several misrepresentations regarding his immigration status to obtain his Texas commercial driver's license and his employment with TXI Transportation. Id. at 233-34.

In finding that it was prejudicial error to admit that evidence, the Texas Supreme Court noted that, in the negligent hiring context, a plaintiff must show that the risk that caused the hiring to be negligent also proximately caused the plaintiff's injuries. Id. at 240.

The court held that Mr. "Rodriguez's immigration status did not cause the collision, and was not relevant to the negligent entrustment or hiring claims -- even if TXI's failure to screen, and thus its failure to discover his inability to work in the United States, 'furnished the condition' that made the accident possible." Id. at 241.

In other words, "'neither Rodriguez's status as an illegal alien or his use of a fake Social Security number to obtain a commercial driver's license created a foreseeable risk that Rodriguez would negligently drive the gravel truck.'" Id.