LANNSYS, INC. AND PRAKASH M. VERGHESE, Appellants
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Appellee
Appeal from the 113th District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2015-06293
consists of Justices Christopher, Brown, and Wise.
breach-of-contract case, defendants/appellants Lannsys, Inc.
and Prakash M. Verghese ask us to reverse the summary
judgment in favor of plaintiff/appellee Wells Fargo Bank,
N.A., on the ground, inter alia, that the
summary-judgment evidence on which Wells Fargo relied is
conclusory. We agree. We accordingly reverse the trial
court's judgment and remand the case for further
proceedings consistent with this opinion.
Fargo alleges that Lannsys and Verghese (collectively,
"the Debtors") executed and delivered to Wells
Fargo (1) "a Wells Fargo Business Direct Credit
Application Agreement and Personal Guarantee, " and (2)
"a Wells Fargo BusinessLine Customer Agreement."
Wells Fargo further alleges that these documents show that
Wells Fargo extended a $100, 000.00 line of credit to the
debtors. According to Wells Fargo, the Debtors used the line
of credit without repaying the debt, which as of August 9,
2013, amounted to $81, 070.79.
Fargo moved for traditional summary judgment that the Debtors
breached the first of these documents, that is, the Business
Direct Credit Application Agreement and Personal Guarantee
("the Application"). Wells Fargo asserts in its
motion that the Application "evidenc[es] a Line of
Credit in the original amount of $30, 000.00" and that
the Debtors have failed to repay the principal and interest,
for which, as of September 15, 2015, they now owe $81,
support of the motion, Wells Fargo attached the affidavit of
Kyle Cullen, who repeated the same assertions made in the
motion. Cullen attached three exhibits to his affidavit. The
first exhibit is the Application, which is labeled at the top
left as "Page 1 of 1." Below the document's
title, are lines identifying Lannsys as the "Business
Name" and Verghese as the "Owner/Guarantor."
In large font above the body of the Application is the line,
"Wells Fargo BusinessLine® Line of Credit
Amount Requested: 100000." The body of the Application
is printed in a font so small as to be at least partly
illegible, and the Application was signed on July 31, 2007 by
Verghese as "Chairman." The second exhibit is a
BusinessLine® statement dated March 13, 2013
and directed to Verghese. According to this statement, the
account has an $80, 000 credit line, and the account's
balance is $81, 070.79. The remaining exhibit contains copies
of Wells Fargo's demand letters to the Debtors.
Debtors responded and raised a number of objections to Wells
Fargo's summary-judgment motion and evidence, including
objections that the motion and its supporting affidavit were
not specific and were conclusory. The Debtors also argued
that Wells Fargo's summary-judgment evidence raised
genuine issues of material fact by failing to explain how
they were indebted for $81, 070.79 on a $30, 000 line of
credit. The trial court granted the motion without ruling on
their motion for new trial, the Debtors argued, among other
things, that the trial court erred in failing to rule on and
sustain their objections to Wells Fargo's
summary-judgment motion and evidence. The motion for new
trial was overruled by operation of law.
Standard of Review
review a summary judgment de novo. See Katy Venture, Ltd.
v. Cremona Bistro Corp., 469 S.W.3d 160, 163 (Tex. 2015)
(per curiam). To prevail on a traditional motion for summary
judgment, the movant must establish that there is no genuine
issue of material fact as to each element of its claim or
defense so that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of
id. If the movant meets this burden, then the burden
shifts to the non-movant to raise a genuine issue of material
fact. See id.; Tex.R.Civ.P. 166a(c). We review the grant of a
summary judgment by viewing the evidence in the light most
favorable to the non-movant, indulging every reasonable
inference in the non-movant's favor, and resolving any
doubts against the motion. See City of Keller v.
Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802, 824 (Tex. 2005).
The Conclusory Evidence
the Debtors present three issues for review, we need address
only their argument that Wells Fargo's ...