Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Hugh and Mabel Simpson contracted with Buddy Lee LaCroix and LaCroix Pump Sales and Services to install an irrigation pump in an existing well. The pump failed a few months later. LaCroix refused to repair the pump, so the Simpsons contracted with Robert Wagstaff to do the work. During Wagstaff’s repair, the original pump was lost down the well, so Wagstaff installed a new, larger pump. The Simpsons sued LaCroix under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act; they claimed LaCroix breached an express warranty. At trial, Hugh Simpson said that LaCroix orally gave him a warranty on the pump for one-and-a-half years. Though LaCroix did not give the Simpsons written information on the warranty, he purportedly wrote “1.5 yr Warranty” on the invoice. LaCroix testified that he gave the Simpsons a booklet on the pump manufacturer’s one-year warranty on the pump, but that he gave no warranty on his work. LaCroix’s daughter reiterated that LaCroix never gave warranties beyond the manufacturer’s product warranty. LaCroix said he thought the pump had frozen and then failed. According to Wagstaff, it was LaCroix’s failure to wrap the pipe joints that led to the pipe’s failure. Mabel Simpson testified as to her work as an attorney on the case, and to her fees. The trial court awarded the Simpsons damages and interest, but not attorneys’ fees. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court finds that there is conflicting evidence on whether LaCroix gave a warranty or not, and it was up to the trial court – in this bench trial – to resolve the conflict. While the Simpsons present evidence of a one-and-a-half-year warranty on the labor, LaCroix presents evidence that there was a one-year warranty on the pump. The court finds that there is evidence that an express warranty thus lasted at least six months after the original pump was installed, that is from October 1999 to March 2000 when it failed. The court then rejects LaCroix’s argument that a consumer pleading breach of warranty under the DTPA must prove another, independent deceptive act as well as the breach. The court upholds the trial court’s refusal to award attorneys’ fees, as the Simpsons waived this argument by not adequately briefing it. “The existence of an express warranty was a question of fact for the trial court in this bench trial. The parties offered different views on the existence, duration, and subject matter of a warranty. The trial court, as fact finder, was charged with resolving these conflicts and inconsistencies in the testimony. We do not find the court’s conclusions to be against the great weight and preponderance of the evidence. The Simpsons have waived consideration of their issue on attorney’s fees. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s judgment in its entirety.” OPINION:Kerry FitzGerald, J.; Morris, Moseley and FitzGerald, JJ.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.