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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:JMB/Houston Centers Partners obtained a judgment of more than $17 million for deceptive acts and warranty breaches that a jury found had been committed by PPG Industries Inc. But as the two corporations had no direct business dealings, none of the claims stemmed from transactions between them. Instead, JMB’s suit relied on warranty and DTPA claims received by assignment from its predecessor in interest. The court of appeals affirmed the judgment, joining several other courts that have held or assumed DTPA claims are assignable. HOLDING:The court reverses the court of appeal’s judgment and remand for trial JMB’s claim that PPG breached a 20-year seal warranty that was a part of the basis of their bargain, and any damages related thereto. Allowing assignment of DTPA claims would ensure that aggrieved consumers do not file them, that some consumers receive nothing in compensation, and others are deceived a second time. All would defeat the very purposes for which the DTPA was enacted. This court has established a clear distinction between DTPA and warranty claims: a downstream buyer can sue a remote seller for breach of an implied warranty, but cannot sue under the DTPA. Clearly, if warranty claims are assignable because they are “property-based,” DTPA claims must be something else; there must be a “personal” aspect in being “duped” that does not pass to subsequent buyers the way a warranty does. As DTPA claims are too “personal” and “punitive” to pass with goods from one owner to the next, it is hard to see why they should pass with the same goods by assignment. The court also notes that assignability of DTPA claims may encourage some buyers to cooperate � if not collude � with a seller who may have been the one that actually misled them. The DTPA is primarily concerned with people, both the deceivers and the deceived. This gives the entire act a personal aspect that cannot be squared with a rule that allows assignment of DTPA claims as if they were merely another piece of property. Although JMB cannot recover treble damages under the DTPA (by assignment or otherwise), the jury’s answers to two warranty questions would support JMB’s recovery of actual damages and attorney’s fees. JMB can assert breach of warranty claims against PPG because, unlike DTPA claims, warranty claims pass with the underlying goods and are assignable to a subsequent purchaser. OPINION:Scott Brister, J.; Phillips, C.J., Hecht, Owen and Wainwright, JJ., join. O’Neill, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Schneider and Smith, JJ., join. Jefferson, J., did not participate in the decision.

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