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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Mel Jacobs took his 1960 Jaguar to Ken Daugherty’s company, K&K Vintage Motorcars, to have it repaired and restored. K&K estimated the project would cost $16,165 and that it would take approximately two or three months. Jacobs and K&K knew that the price was just an estimate and that additional work could be required. K&K was to guarantee its work for one year. Work began in January 2000. Over the next nine months, K&K continued work on the Jaguar, billing Jacobs each month. Through September, Jacobs paid approximately $30,000. When K&K said the car was ready for pick up in September, Jacobs found several problems. He refused to take possession of the car until K&K fixed the problems. K&K kept the car until January 2001, billing Jacobs for $5,900. When Jacobs found some of the problems still unresolved, he put a stop payment on the last check he wrote to K&K. Jacobs took the car to Heritage Motors for further work. Pursuant to a mechanic’s lien, Daugherty took possession of the car while it was at Heritage. Daugherty demanded that Jacobs repay what was owed, as well as Daugherty’s attorneys’ fees. Daugherty was unable to persuade the Harris County District Attorney’s Office to press any charges against Jacobs. To prevent Daugherty from selling the car at an auction, Jacobs paid the amount demanded. Jacobs got the car, but then took it back to K&K for more work since K&K had said it would honor its one-year warranty. Jacobs paid for all work billed by K&K. Jacobs then took the car to a shop in California to correct the defective work done by K&K. This cost Jacobs an additional $10,000. Jacobs sued Daugherty and K&K for negligence, breach of contract, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act, fraud, breach of warranty and breach of bailment /conversion. The case went to a jury, which ruled for Jacobs on all claims, awarding him $17,000 in economic damages, $10,000 in mental anguish damages, $10,000 for acts committed knowingly by K&K, $5,000 for acts committed knowingly by Daugherty, plus attorneys’ fees. Both Daugherty and K&K appealed, but the K&K’s appeal was severed when it filed for bankruptcy. HOLDING:Affirmed as modified. Daugherty’s first argues on appeal that the evidence did not support the jury’s finding that Daugherty engaged in false, misleading or deceptive acts or practices that were the producing cause of Jacobs’ damages. The court notes that Jacobs relied on Daugherty’s original assertion that the renovation would take two to three months, then relied on his representations that things were going well as the repair process progressed. Yet, when Jacobs picked up the car in September 2000, it was not in the condition promised. Also, the mechanic at the California shop testified to what he thought were overcharges by Daugherty, as well as work billed for that was the result of Daugherty’s own mistake. All of this was “ample evidence” that Daugherty’s faulty and incomplete repairs, plus duplicitous invoicing, costs Jacobs approximately $18,000 and 10 months more time that what Daugherty originally quoted. Daugherty’s next challenge on appeal is to the jury’s finding that he engaged in unconscionable conduct or course of action that was the producing cause of Jacobs’ damages. The court notes that Daugherty did not give Jacobs any details about the work he was doing. Plus, examination of the invoices showed double entries and charges for work never completed. As above, these actions resulted in financial damages to Jacobs. “Taking advantage of a consumer’s lack of knowledge to a grossly unfair degree requires showing the resulting unfairness was glaringly noticeable, flagrant, complete, and unmitigated.” The court also finds the evidence of Daugherty’s fraud was also factually sufficient. Daugherty admitted to personally reviewing the invoices before they went out, so he would have known about the double billings and charges for work that wasn’t done. The same evidence supports the jury’s finding that Daugherty acted knowingly. The court rules the trial court did not abuse its discretion by denying Daugherty’s motion for continuance when his expert witness could not attend the trial. Daugherty did not show why the witness’ testimony could not have been taken by deposition Finally, the court agrees that the trial court should have conditioned the award of attorneys’ fees on appeal on a successful appeal. But, the award may be modified on appeal. OPINION:John S. Anderson, J.; Hedges, CJ, Yates and Anderson, JJ.

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