Court of Appeals of Texas, Ninth District, Beaumont
Appeal from the 136th District Court Jefferson County, Texas
Trial Cause No. D-194, 520
Submitted on November 15, 2017
McKeithen, C.J., Kreger and Horton, JJ.
an appeal from a take-nothing judgment rendered in favor of
Neches Federal Credit Union (NFCU) and Darrick McGriff,
individually and doing business as ABC Contracting, Inc., on
all of Glen and Gwendolyn Comeauxs' claims arising from a
project that involved the construction of a house. In a pro
se brief, the Comeauxs complain that the jury's
conclusion that they were not damaged by ABC
Contracting's failure to complete its work on their house
record shows that the Comeauxs failed to preserve the various
complaints they seek to raise for the first time in their
appeal. See Tex. R. App. P. 33.1 (preserving error
for appellate review requires the complaining party to show
that he presented his complaint to the trial court in a
timely request, objection, or motion and that the trial court
ruled on the request). Accordingly, we affirm the trial
mid-April, 2012, the Comeauxs and McGriff, doing business as
ABC Contracting, signed a construction agreement that
required ABC Contracting to construct a house for $260, 000.
Approximately two weeks later, the Comeauxs, McGriff, and
NFCU signed a construction loan agreement pertinent to
constructing the house. The agreement called for NFCU to loan
the Comeauxs $250, 000 toward the construction of the house,
and required the proceeds of the loan to be disbursed as the
work was completed. The loan proceeds were also to be used to
pay for the labor and materials that McGriff used in
constructing the house, and the house was to be built on a
lot the Comeauxs owned. The Comeauxs signed a deed of trust
in NFCU's favor to secure the loan.
August 2015, the Comeauxs sued NFCU and McGriff, alleging
that McGriff abandoned the job before the house was
completed. They also alleged that NFCU allowed McGriff to
draw the entire proceeds from their construction loan even
though NFCU knew or should have known that McGriff did not
plan to use the funds for the labor or material needed in the
construction of their house. At the conclusion of a jury
trial, issues were submitted to the jury based upon the
Comeauxs' claims for breach of contract, fraud, and
negligence. The jury answered the issues, and found that
McGriff breached his contract with the Comeauxs, that his
breach was not excused, that he committed fraud, and that he
was negligent. The jury answered "no" to questions
inquiring whether NFCU had breached its contract with the
Comeauxs, committed fraud, or acted negligently in handling
the Comeauxs' loan. Although the jury found in the
Comeauxs' favor on the liability issues relevant to
McGriff, the jury also found they were entitled to recover no
damages against McGriff.
the jury's verdict, the Comeauxs did not file any
post-trial motions, including a motion for judgment non
obstante veredicto or a motion for new trial. See
Tex. R. Civ. P. 301 (authorizing a court on a proper showing
and motion to render a judgment notwithstanding the
jury's verdict); Tex.R.Civ.P. 320 (allowing a court to
grant new trials on a party's motion or on the
court's own terms as the court shall direct). Based on
the arguments the Comeauxs present in their brief, they raise
three basic claims in their appeal, claiming (1) the
overwhelming weight of the evidence contradicts the
jury's finding in favor of NFCU, (2) the evidence
established that NFCU damaged them, and (3) the jury's
findings that McGriff did not damage them are contrary to the
greater weight and preponderance of the evidence introduced
in the trial.
case tried to a jury, to complain on appeal that a jury
finding is not supported by factually sufficient evidence, or
that a finding is against the greater weight and
preponderance of the evidence, a party must have first raised
the matter in a motion for new trial. See Tex. R.
Civ. P. 324(b)(3); see also Fredonia State Bank v. Gen.
Am. Life Ins. Co., 881 S.W.2d 279, 281 (Tex. 1994);
Cecil v. Smith, 804 S.W.2d 509, 510 (Tex. 1991).
Parties to an appeal are required to raise factual
sufficiency complaints about a jury's verdict with the
trial court before they can be reviewed on appeal.
See Tex. R. App. P. 33.1(a). Because the record
shows the Comeauxs did not bring their complaints about the
jury's verdict to the trial court's ...