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Date: 09-26-2022

Case Style:

Pinnacle Roofing Systems, Inc. and Charles Schibi v. MG Building Materials, Ltd.

Case Number: 04-21-00160-CV

Judge: Lori I. Valenzuela


Fourth Court of Appeals San Antonio, Texas

On appeal from the County Court at Law No. 3, Bexar County, Texas

Plaintiff's Attorney:

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Defendant's Attorney: Steven B. Treu


San Antonio, Texas – Business Law lawyer represented Appellants with a contract dispute,

In early 2012, Pinnacle entered into a “Commercial Credit Application and Agreement” (the “Agreement”) with MG. Schibi signed as President of Pinnacle and individually as guarantor. 04-21-00160-CV - 2 - Under the Agreement, MG extended a line of credit for goods and services that required Pinnacle’s re-payment in full by the 15th of the following month. Pinnacle also agreed to pay a service charge (i.e. interest) calculated at the lower of (1) eighteen percent per annum or (2) the highest rate allowed by law. Payments were to be made “promptly when due” at a specified address in San Antonio, Texas. Beginning in February 2020, Pinnacle failed to make payments on monthly invoices. In May 2020, MG sent a “final demand” to Pinnacle for overdue invoices in the amount of $6,271.67. On June 26, 2020, Pinnacle mailed a payment of $3,215.33, and on July 1, 2020, Pinnacle mailed a payment of an additional $2,826.05. This lawsuit concerns Pinnacle’s third attempted payment of $315.00 on July 23, 2020. Unlike the first two payments, Pinnacle hand delivered the third payment to MG’s Corpus Christi branch. MG did not credit the third draft because it stated “BALANCE” and, according to MG, Pinnacle owed more than $315.00 on that day. Instead, MG returned the check by mail postmarked August 20, 2020. STANDARD OF REVIEW We review a trial court’s ruling on a motion for summary judgment de novo. Tarr v. Timberwood Park Owners Ass’n, Inc., 556 S.W.3d 274, 278 (Tex. 2018). To prevail on a traditional motion for summary judgment, the movant must show that no genuine issue of material fact exists and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Id.; TEX. R. CIV. P. 166a(c). “[W]e take as true all evidence favorable to the nonmovant, and we indulge every reasonable inference and resolve any doubts in the nonmovant’s favor.” Valence Operating Co. v. Dorsett, 164 S.W.3d 656, 661 (Tex. 2005). ANALYSIS The elements of a breach of contract claim are (1) a valid contract; (2) the plaintiff performed or tendered performance; (3) the defendant breached the contract; and (4) the plaintiff 04-21-00160-CV - 3 - was damaged as a result of the breach. Brooks v. Excellence Mortgage, Ltd., 486 S.W.3d 29, 36 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 2015, pet. denied). Here, only the last element—damages—is disputed. In their first issue, appellants assert that MG failed to satisfy its summary judgment burden to establish damages because the summary judgment evidence establishes that Pinnacle tendered all amounts owed to MG when Pinnacle hand delivered the $315.00 check on July 23, 2020. MG acknowledges that Pinnacle owed $314.92 in principal on July 23, 2020 (the day Pinnacle tendered payment of $315.00), but asserts that Pinnacle also owed additional interest pursuant to the Agreement. After reviewing the record, we conclude that MG carried its summary judgment burden. As of May 31, 2020, it is undisputed that Pinnacle owed $6,356.30 to MG. Pursuant to the Agreement, interest on unpaid amounts continued to accrue. Crediting June 26 and July 1 payments made by Pinnacle, 1 the summary judgment record establishes that, on July 23, 2020, Pinnacle owed at least $314.92 in principal plus interest accruing between June 1, 2020 and July 23, 2020. Applying the terms of the Agreement to the facts viewed in the light most favorable to Pinnacle, the summary judgment record establishes that Pinnacle owed more than $315.00 when Pinnacle hand-delivered the July 23, 2020 “balance” payment to MG’s Corpus Christi branch. The trial court’s judgment awarded $314.92 in principal and $156.05 in prejudgment interest, for a total of $470.97 in contract damages. These damages, which are all that MG requested in the trial court, are lower than the damagessupported by the summary judgment record. Finding no reversible error in the judgment, we overrule Pinnacle’s first issue. In its second issue, Pinnacle asserts that the trial court erred in awarding attorney’s fees because MG failed to prove contractual damages. Because we have determined that MG proved 1 Although MG asserts the payments were not received until later, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to Pinnacle, we credit the payments on the date they were sent. See Valence Operating, 164 S.W.3d at 661. 04-21-00160-CV - 4 - contractual damages, the trial court likewise did not err in awarding attorney’s fees to MG. See TEX. CIV. PRAC. & REM. CODE § 38.001; Rohrmoos Venture v. UTSW DVA Healthcare, LLP, 578 S.W.3d 469 (Tex. 2019); see also Jourdan v. Jourdan, 04-10-00402-CV, 2011 WL 1850233, at *3 (Tex. App.—San Antonio May 11, 2011, no pet.). Accordingly, we overrule Pinnacle’s second issue.

Outcome: Having overruled appellants’ issues, we affirm the judgment of the trial court

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