Nothing says “dead in the water” to a defendant’s case like a default judgment. And the pain must be even worse for a litigant handed a default judgment by a trial court, even though it had retained an attorney and filed an answer to the petition. So, imagine the relief at Nigerian-based Mabon Limited after the Texas Supreme Court’s Feb. 17 ruling in Mabon Limited v. Afri-Carib Enterprises, which saved the company from the heartache of a $2 million default judgment. The company had hired a Texas attorney who filed an answer in a state-court contract dispute. "When the case was called to trial, neither Mabon nor its counsel appeared," resulting in the default judgment. But the high court ruled the company was off the hook. Why? Mabon later proved that it had “no notice of the trial setting or the default judgment.” The decision also found that Mabon’s “lack of notice was not because of its own fault or negligence.” Read all about the procedurally complex case here.
--- John Council