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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:James Riley testified that he went to Bossier Chrysler-Dodge II Inc., which does business under the trade name Bossier Country, looking for a new vehicle. Bossier Country salesperson Jason Banks helped Riley find a used PT Cruiser, which Banks decided he wanted to buy. Banks and Riley negotiated a tentative agreement for Riley to buy the PT Cruiser for $15,999, for Bossier Country to give Riley $6,000 for his Ford pickup, and for the balance to be financed for 36 months with monthly payments of $329. In accordance with this tentative agreement, Riley signed a Motor Vehicle Purchase Order (MVPO) and a Conditional Sale and Delivery Agreement. The MVPO does not contain any finance terms but provides in pertinent part: “THIS ORDER IS NOT A BINDING CONTRACT. DEALER SHALL NOT BE OBLIGATED TO SELL UNTIL APPROVAL OF THE TERMS HEREOF IS GIVEN BY A BANK OR FINANCE COMPANY.” Likewise, the Conditional Sale and Delivery Agreement provides in pertinent part: “Buyer may cancel this agreement to purchase at any time prior to receiving the notification of approval of financing.” Riley testified that a Bossier Country representative told him he could get out of the deal before the approval of financing. Riley drove home to Marquez to get the title for his Ford. He returned to Bossier Country in the middle of the afternoon to finalize the purchase of the PT Cruiser. A dealer employee took him to Bossier Country’s finance department where he signed additional paperwork. To accommodate his decision to purchase an extended warranty, the parties executed a second MVPO. In addition, Riley signed a note payable to Bossier Country to finance the purchase. The note requires 54 monthly payments of $321.68 and included a clause assigning the note to Daimler Chrysler. No one at Bossier Country explained to him that under this contract, he would no longer be able to back out of the deal. Riley testified that after completing this paperwork he returned home in his Ford to clean out the tool box before trading it in. After talking with his wife Eva about the deal, he decided to not buy the PT Cruiser. Riley called Banks the same afternoon and told him he had changed my mind. Bossier Country filed suit against Riley alleging that Riley had breached the parties’ contract by failing to deliver his Ford pick-up as a trade-in for a used PT Cruiser. Riley counterclaimed, alleging that Bossier Country committed fraud and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. A jury refused to find that Bossier Country and Riley had a contract but did find that Bossier Country committed fraud and DTPA violations. The jury awarded Riley damages for those claims and awarded additional damages after finding that Bossier Country acted knowingly. HOLDING:Affirmed as modified. The evidence that Bossier Country had Riley sign the installment contract before it approved financing for him would support a finding that Bossier Country engaged in unconscionable conduct, the court stated. Accordingly, the court concluded that Riley’s claims were therefore actionable under the DTPA. A reasonable juror, the court stated, could infer from the evidence that approval of financing did not occur until after Bossier Country had Riley sign the installment contract. Based on this finding, the court held that the record contained sufficient evidence to uphold the jury’s findings that Bossier Country made an actionable misrepresentation to Riley and failed to disclose information to him. Similarly, the court found sufficient evidence to uphold the jury’s finding of detrimental reliance and that Bossier Country acted knowingly. In its fourth issue, Bossier Country argued that the court erred by failing to cap the jury’s award for mental anguish damages at three times the amount of economic damages awarded under the DPTA. But the court found that Bossier Country misread the statute, which “imposes no cap on the amount of damages the jury may award for mental anguish.” Finally, the court modified the judgment to recite the correct rates of interest. Under Texas Finance Code ��304.003(c)(2) and 304.103, the appropriate rate of interest is 5 percent per annum for both prejudgment and postjudgment interest. OPINION:Reyna, J.; Vance and Reyna, J.J. DISSENT:Gray, C.J. “Because the evidence is legally insufficient to support the jury’s affirmative answer to whether Bossier committed a deceptive act, we should reverse the trial court’s judgment and render judgment that Riley take nothing.”

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