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Friendswood Dev. Co. v. Smith-Southwest Indus.

Citation: 9 ELR 20452
No. No. B-6682, 576 S.W.2d 21/(Tex., 11/29/1978)

The Supreme Court of Texas rejects plaintiff-respondents' claim for damages according to the traditional rule that a landowner has the right to withdraw ground water without incurring liability for subsidence damage to neighboring lands absent willful waste or malicious injury. The court adds, however, that after the date of this opinion, a cause of action will be available for recovery with respect to subsidence caused by withdrawals of ground water from wells which are either operated or drilled in a negligent manner.

Counsel for Petitioners
Kraft W. Eidman, David J. Beck, Simeon T. Lake, III
Fullbright & Jaworski
Bank of the Southwest Bldg., Houston TX 77002
(713) 651-5151

Robert C. McGinnis, Peter M. Lowry
McGinnis, Lochride & Kilgore
Fifth Floor, Texas State Bank Bldg., 900 Congress Ave., Austin TX 78701
(512) 476-6982

Stephen R. Kirklin, Ray T. Fortenbach
Child, Fortenbach, Beck & Guyton
402 Pierce Ave., P.O. Box 391, Houston TX 77001
(713) 659-6681

Joyce Cox, Otis H. King
Cox, Packenham & Roady
2500 Two Shell Plaza, Houston TX 77002
(713) 224-9139

Counsel for Respondents
Joseph D. Jamail, S. Gus Kolius, Robert F. Stein
Jamail & Gano
3300 One Allen Center, Houston TX 77002
(713) 651-3000

Dissenting Opinion by POPE, J., in which SAM D. JOHNSON, J., joins.

CHADICK, J., not sitting.