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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:John T. Cooper purchased a new 1998 Lincoln Town Car from Crane Lincoln-Mercury Inc., an authorized dealer for Ford Motor Co., in Texarkana. After experiencing a steering problem with the vehicle, he sued Crane and Ford for alleged violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and for breach of warranty. The jury found Crane and Ford did engage in deceptive trade practices and failed to comply with the warranty, and awarded Cooper $5,000 for diminished value of the vehicle and $1,000 for expenses. The jury also awarded Cooper additional damages of $44,000 against Crane and $22,000 against Ford for knowingly engaging in such conduct. The trial court reduced the award and rendered judgment against Crane and Ford for a total of $18,000. Ford and Crane appeal, contending the evidence was legally insufficient to support the jury’s award of actual damages. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. A review of Cooper’s testimony reveals that his valuation of the vehicle was based on the personal value of the vehicle to him. His testimony was he purchased a Lincoln Town Car because of its attributes for comfort, safety and ease of driving. He testified the main purpose for buying the vehicle was to make long trips to Dallas and Alabama. He did not, however, regard the vehicle as dangerous for “running errands . . . in town.” He did regard the vehicle as “unsafe for what I want it for, long distance travel . . . . And so we bought the other car to be able to make long trips, . . . .” He testified the value of the vehicle was “[n]othing,” or “absolutely worthless to me for what I bought it for.” The basis of his valuation was the vehicle’s personal value to him, not the price the vehicle would bring on the market. The Texas Supreme Court in Porras v. Craig, 675 S.W.2d 503 (Tex. 1984), found that such opinion testimony, which affirmatively shows the owner is referring to personal, not market, value, is no evidence. For those reasons, Cooper’s testimony is no evidence regarding the market value of the automobile as received in its defective condition to support the submission of, and the jury’s finding in response to, the DTPA damages issue. There was substantial evidence the vehicle was in a defective condition when Cooper purchased it. Both Cooper and Joe Crane testified regarding the steering problem. However, there was no evidence of a reduction in market value. The only evidence of the value of the car in its defective condition was Joe Crane’s testimony that the value of the vehicle had not diminished because of the alignment concern. The burden is on the plaintiff to establish its damages with reasonable certainty to enable a jury to compute them. Oryx Energy Co. v. Shelton, 942 S.W.2d 637 (Tex. App. Tyler 1996, no writ). There is no evidence of the diminished value of the vehicle in its alleged defective condition. Therefore, the jury’s verdict of $5,000 diminished value has no support in the record, and Crane and Ford’s no-evidence challenge is sustained. The court finds it unnecessary to address Crane and Ford’s remaining challenge that Cooper’s testimony referred to value at time of trial, not time of purchase. The jury found Crane and Ford engaged in one or more false, misleading or deceptive acts or practices that were a producing cause of actual damages to Cooper, that they failed to comply with a warranty that was a producing cause of damages to Cooper, and that such conduct by Crane and Ford, in one or both instances, was committed knowingly. Under these circumstances, the court finds the interests of justice require a remand for another trial. OPINION:Ross, J.; Morriss, C.J., Ross and Carter, JJ.

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