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San Antonio appeals court rules "damages to real property" includes construction defects (Venue)

In December, the 4th Court of Appeals in San Antonio conditionally granted mandamus relief to correct a trial judge's denial of a motion to transfer venue for a construction defect case. The relevant venue statute mandates that "Actions for recovery of real property or an estate or interest in real property, for partition of real property, to remove encumbrances from the title to real property, for recovery of damages to real property, or to quiet title to real property shall be brought in the county in which all or a part of the property is located." Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 15.011. The case at hand involved a suit seeking remedies, including damages, for alleged construction defects on a home.

The majority held the statute applied to the suit, noting there were conflicting authorities on how to properly construe and apply section 15.011's language "damages to real property." The concurrence agreed, but noted that the statute might apply differently when a more specific venue provision were at issue (insurance) or if the essence of the underlying dispute were different (breach of contract).

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