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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The appellant, F&S Construction Inc., filed suit against the appellees, Max and Elsa Saidi, for amounts allegedly owed to it under a residential construction contract. The Saidis filed a counterclaim, alleging breach of contract, as well as violation of both the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Residential Construction Liability Act. A jury found in favor of the Saidis, and they were awarded over $170,000. HOLDING:Affirmed. Following F&S’s plea in abatement, the Saidis filed controverting affidavits and a second amended counterclaim which set out, in further detail, the construction defects complained of. Specifically, the Saidis included the four original construction defects and added 14 detailed complaints under their request for damages. Among other complaints, these alleged defects included failure to build a level slab which required the additional work in order to lay tile and carpet, failure to install the proper plumbing and electrical fixtures which required replacement, failure to secure the house while working on the residence, and failure to timely install and pay for the roof. F&S correctly contends this is a case of first impression because no other Texas case has directly dealt with the RCLA notice requirement in the context of a counterclaim. The notice issue was submitted to the jury, which found in favor of the Saidis. Examining the record with regard to the Saidis’ counterclaim, the four construction defects alleged in the original counterclaim address the problems which are the underlying basis for the Saidis’ suit with enough specificity to place F&S on notice of their alleged breaches. Because there is more than a scintilla of evidence to support the jury’s findings and because those findings were not so against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence as to be manifestly unjust, the court finds the jury’s decisions regarding the RCLA notice to be both legally and factually sufficient. The court finds the evidence to show that F&S was given both proper notice and the opportunity to inspect the property in question as required under the statute. In addition, the record shows that the Saidis timely filed a response to the plea along with controverting affidavits, thus circumventing an automatic abatement. Moreover, based on the evidence in the record regarding the RCLA prerequisites, it does not appear as though the trial court abused its discretion in denying F&S’s plea in abatement. Under Texas Property Code �27.004(g), the effect of a contractor’s failure to make a reasonable settlement offer is that the contractor loses the benefit of all limitations on damages and defenses to liability provided for in �27.004, including both the limitation of �27.004(h) on the types of damages recoverable by a homeowner and the limitation of �27.004(I) on the amount of damages recoverable by a homeowner.. Likewise, F&S’s failure to make a reasonable settlement offer resulted in the loss of all limitations on damages and all defenses to liability provided for by the statute. OPINION:Green, J.; Lopez, C.J., Stone and Green, JJ.

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