Certificate of Merit – Reversed and Remanded

  • Barron, Stark & Swift et al. v. First Baptist Church, Vidor, Texas
    • 09-17-00470-CV, 2018 WL 2246571
    • 128th District Court of Orange County
    • Justice Kreger, May 17, 2018
  • First Baptist Church of Vidor hired Appellants for a large renovation project; water intrusion problems arose and mold resulted. First Baptist filed a petition alleging multiple construction claims against the Appellants but failed to include certificates of merit required under section 150.002 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Once Appellants filed a motion to dismiss, First Baptist amended its claims to include certificates of merit. Appellants argued that the certificates of merit were untimely and that First Baptist was not entitled to an extension per the statute.
  • The trial court denied the motion to dismiss.
  • The Ninth Court held that per the statute’s language, a claim that fails to file a certificate of merit as prescribed results in a complete dismissal against the defendant unless the plaintiff qualifies for an extension. First Baptist failed to meet the prerequisites for an extension; thus, the certificate of merit was untimely, and the trial court abused its discretion.