Texas Supreme Court Receives Question Requesting Exception to Eight-Corners Rule

Two years ago a 10-year-old boy died in an ATV accident while playing at his grandparents’ house. The boy’s mother sued the grandparents who in turn asked their insurer, State Farm, to defend them. State Farm denied their request and asked the court to rule that it had no duty to defend or indemnify. The district court, relying on evidence outside the allegations of the complaint and insurance policy determined that exclusions to coverage applied and that State Farm had no obligation to defend or indemnify the grandparents. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that it needed clarification from the Texas Supreme Court as to whether extrinsic evidence should be considered in making a determination as to whether defense and indemnity were required.Texas law relies on the eight-corners rule, and the Supreme Court of Texas has yet to recognize an extrinsic-evidence exception to that rule. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals certified the question to the Texas Supreme Court. Read more about previous cases which did not meet the exception qualifications, and why the Fifth Circuit believes this case might.