1 of 100 DOCUMENTS
TIMPTE INDUSTRIES, INC. AND TIMPTE INC., PETITIONERS, v. ROBERT
GISH AND PINNACOL ASSURANCE, RESPONDENTS
SUPREME COURT OF TEXAS
286 S.W.3d 306; 2009 Tex. LEXIS 320; 52 Tex. Sup. J. 827; CCH Prod. Liab. Rep.
March 11, 2009, Argued
June 5, 2009, Opinion Delivered
ON PETITION FOR REVIEW FROM THE COURT
OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH DISTRICT OF
Gish v. Timpte Indus., 2007 Tex. App. LEXIS 9411
(Tex. App. Amarillo, Nov. 30, 2007)
JUSTICE MEDINA delivered the opinion of
David M. Medina
Robert Gish was seriously injured when he
fell from the top of a trailer into which he was attempting
to load fertilizer. He
sued Timpte Industries, the
manufacturer of the trailer, alleging, among other things,
that several features of the trailer were defectively
designed, rendering the trailer unreasonably dangerous.
The trial court granted a no-evidence summary judgment
in Timpte's favor, but the court of appeals reversed. 2007
Tex. App. LEXIS 9411, 2007 WL 4224411 (mem. op.).
Finding no defect, we reverse the court of appeals'
judgment and render judgment reinstating the trial court's
On the morning of June 19, 2002, Robert Gish, a
long haul trucker for Scott Hinde Trucking, arrived at the
Martin Resources plant in Plainview, Texas, to pick up a
load of ammonium sulfate fertilizer. Gish was familiar
with the plant, as he had picked up fertilizer there once
or twice a week for approximately the past year. That
morning Gish checked his trailer, weighed it, and waited
for another customer to finish loading.
[**2] truck was hauling a forty-
eight foot Super Hopper trailer manufactured by Timpte
Inc., a subsidiary of Timpte Industries.
Hopper trailer is a standard open-top, twin hopper trailer,
that is loaded from above through use of a downspout or
other device, and is emptied through two openings on its
bottom. Once the trailer is loaded, a tarp is rolled over
the top to protect its contents.
A ladder and an
observation platform are attached to the front and rear of
the trailer to allow the operator to view its contents.
Because the interests of Timpte Inc. and Timpte
Industries are the same throughout these proceedings, we
refer to them collectively as "Timpte."
The tarp assembly consists of two end caps--one on
the front and one on the rear of the trailer--a latch plate
that runs the length of the driver's side of the trailer, and
seven curved metal bars that cross the trailer at
approximately even intervals. These bars curve up