Barden v. AMF Bowling Centers, Inc.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER granting 6 Motion to Designate Responsible Third Party.(Signed by Judge Nancy F Atlas) Parties notified.(TDR, 4)
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
Individually and on behalf of the
Estate of Anthony Barden,
AMF BOWLING CENTERS INC.,
d/b/a AMF Willow Lanes,
November 27, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. H-17-2717
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This is case is before the Court on the Motion to Designate an Unknown
Responsible Third Party (“Motion”) [Doc. # 6] filed by Defendant AMF Bowling
Centers Inc. d/b/a AMF Willow Lanes (“AMF”), to which no opposition has been
filed. Having reviewed the record and the applicable legal authorities, the Court
grants the Motion.
In pertinent part, § 33.004 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code,
provides that “[a] defendant may seek to designate a person as a responsible third
party by filing a motion for leave to designate that person as a responsible third party.”
Under § 33.011(6) of the Texas Practice & Remedies Code, a “responsible third party”
means “any person who is alleged to have caused or contributed to causing in any way
the harm for which recovery of damages is sought, whether by negligent act or
omission, by any defective or unreasonably dangerous product, by other conduct or
activity that violates an applicable legal standard, or by any combination of these.”
See TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 33.011(6); Werner v. KPMG LLP, 415 F. Supp.
2d 688, 702-03 (S.D. Tex. 2006); Cortez v. Frank’s Casing Crew & Rental Tools,
2007 WL 419371 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 2, 2007). If a person is held to be a responsible
third party, that person is to be included in the list of parties the jury may consider for
allocation of responsibility for the plaintiff’s damages. See TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM.
CODE § 33.003.
Plaintiff alleges that Anthony Barden was struck and killed by a hit-and-run
driver while he was walking on the Tomball Parkway service road. Plaintiff filed this
lawsuit alleging that AMF violated the Texas Dram Shop Statute by serving alcoholic
beverages to Barden even though he was obviously intoxicated. Defendant seeks to
designate as a responsible third party the driver who struck and killed Barden.
Because the driver’s identity is currently unknown, Defendant seeks to designate the
driver as “John Doe.”
Based on the foregoing, Defendant has adequately alleged a factual basis for
naming John Doe as a responsible third party. As a result, it is hereby
ORDERED that the Motion to Designate an Unknown Responsible Third Party
[Doc. # 6] is GRANTED. If evidence is presented at trial to indicate that John Doe
contributed to causing Plaintiff’s injury, that party will be included on the verdict form
as a potential responsible third party.
SIGNED at Houston, Texas, this 27th day of November, 2017.
NAN Y F. ATLAS
STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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