13th COA – Corpus Christi
The Thirteenth Court of Appeals (Corpus Christi) reversed the lower court’s summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff-Beneficiary. The Court reasoned that, since the Appeals Panel found that Plaintiff-Beneficiary and Decedent-Employee were informally married, Defendant-Carrier had the burden to disprove the marriage. The Court found the evidence presented that Plaintiff-Beneficiary and Decedent-Employee were engaged and agreed to be married at some point in the future with no date yet set, is evidence that they were not presently married at the time of Decedent-Employee’s death. As such, Defendant-Carrier presented more than a scintilla of evidence and raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether an agreement to be married existed at the time of Decedent-Employee’s death.