GTECH has asked the Texas Supreme Court to review and reverse the Austin Court of Appeals’ opinion in the Fun 5’s lawsuit. The Austin court’s opinion held that GTECH can be sued for fraud. The Austin court rejected GTECH’s argument that it should be immune from suit. GTECH’s Petition for Review is currently pending before the Supreme Court and could be ruled on at any time.
There is no way to predict how the Texas Supreme Court will rule. However, recent Supreme Court decisions give us some insight into the statistical odds involved.
The most recent Annual Statistical Report for the Texas Judiciary – 2016 shows that the Supreme Court granted only 11% of the petitions for review in 2016 and denied 80% (See page 91/153 of the report). What does this mean for Texas Lottery players in the Fun 5’s lawsuit? It means that statistically there is an 80% likelihood that the Court will deny GTECH’s petition and that the Austin court’s opinion in favor of the players will remain unchanged.
If the Court does grant GTECH’s petition for review, what are the odds that the Court will reverse the Austin court’s opinion and rule against the lottery players? The news is not good in that regard. When the Supreme Court grants a petition for review, it reverses the court of appeal’s decision 65% of the time. It affirms the appellate court’s decision only 18% of the time.
Keep in mind that these are merely statistics. Each case is unique. This case involves the lives and fortunes of over 1,200 Texas lottery players who passionately believe their lottery tickets were winners based on the language used by GTECH on the tickets. For most of the players, the winning ticket was a life-changing event. The money they thought they had won would have changed their lives and the lives of their families. This case involves a corporate subsidiary of a multi-billion dollar Italian company that runs lotteries all over the world. It is an important case and it will answer the question of whether Texas courts are more interested in protecting Texas citizens from fraud or whether they are more interested in extending judicially-created immunity to corporations that do business with the State of Texas.