Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Aztec Systems, Inc. v. Prevett

Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas

March 29, 2019

AZTEC SYSTEMS, INC. AND GLENDONTODD CAPITAL, LLC, Appellants
v.
NICK PREVETT, Appellee

          On Appeal from the 44th Judicial District Court Dallas County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. DC-15-13630

          Before Justices Myers, Osborne, and Nowell

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          LESLIE OSBORNE JUSTICE

         After a jury trial, the trial court rendered judgment for appellee Nick Prevett on his claim for breach of contract against appellant Aztec Systems, Inc. The trial court also rendered judgment against appellant glendonTodd Capital, LLC, based on the jury's finding that glendonTodd was engaged in a joint enterprise with Aztec. Aztec and glendonTodd appeal, arguing that the evidence was legally and factually insufficient to support the jury's findings, and that the trial court erred by overruling their motion for directed verdict, objections to the charge, motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and motion for new trial. We conclude the evidence is legally and factually sufficient to support the jury's findings against Aztec, but not against glendonTodd. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment in part, and reverse and render in part.

         Background

         Aztec sells and implements information technology packages and provides hosting services for businesses. Aztec hired Prevett in July 2013. Prevett had experience working with "NAV" software for businesses, one of the products Aztec sells. Prevett's duties for Aztec included selling products and consulting with clients. His salary was $85, 000 annually plus commissions. For the first few months of his employment, Prevett's responsibilities were in sales. But when Aztec decided to implement the NAV system for its own internal use, Prevett began spending approximately half of his time working on the implementation. David Boone joined Aztec in October 2014 as its chief executive officer, and became Prevett's direct supervisor.

         Prevett is a citizen of the United Kingdom. At the time he was hired by Aztec, Prevett was living and working in the United States under an H1B visa that was due to expire on February 21, 2015. Prevett and Aztec agreed that Aztec would sponsor Prevett to obtain a green card after his visa expired so that Prevett could continue his employment with Aztec.

         Prevett's visa expired on February 21, 2015. He stopped working at Aztec's offices. According to Boone, he and Prevett "had discussed [Prevett's] role as a contractor and how he would continue and how possibly he could make money while he was not an employee." Prevett testified that he became a consultant to Aztec, working on a contract basis. According to Prevett, his duties did not change. He worked on the NAV implementation and visited clients. But Boone testified that his discussion with Prevett was limited to the possibility that Previtt could be paid a commission if he brought new business in to the company and could be reimbursed for his expenses incurred on sales calls.

         Aztec did not pay Prevett for his services or reimburse his expenses after February 21, 2015. Prevett sued Aztec and glendonTodd for breach of contract, seeking $33, 825.33 for services provided and $8, 267.06 in "unreimbursed out of pocket expenses incurred." In the alternative, Prevett alleged a cause of action in quantum meruit for the value of his services. Prevett also alleged that Aztec and glendonTodd "were acting as a joint enterprise at all relevant times." The case proceeded to trial before a jury in July, 2017. The jury found:

(1) Prevett and Aztec agreed that Prevett would provide consulting services in exchange for reasonable compensation after February 21, 2015 (Question 1 of the jury charge);
(2) Aztec failed to comply with that agreement (Question 2);
(3) Prevett "perform[ed] compensable work" for Aztec "for which he was not compensated" (Question 3);
(4) the sums of $33, 825.33 for services rendered and $8, 267.06 for expenses would fairly and reasonably compensate Prevett for his damages resulting from Aztec's failure to comply (Question 4);
(5) the reasonable value of Prevett's compensable work at the time and place it was performed was $33, 825.33 (Question 5); and
(6) Aztec and glendonTodd were engaged in a joint enterprise "[w]ith regard to services provided" by Prevett "and the failure to pay for those services." (Question 6)

         The trial court overruled Aztec's and glendonTodd's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and rendered judgment for Prevett on the amounts found by the jury plus attorney's fees found by the court, interest, and costs. The court denied Aztec's and glendonTodd's motion for reconsideration or for new trial. This appeal followed.

         In five of their six issues, Aztec and glendonTodd challenge the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence to support the jury's answers to Questions 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 of the charge. In each issue, Aztec and glendonTodd also contend the trial court erred by overruling their objections to the charge; by submitting each question to the jury; by overruling their motions for directed verdict, judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and new trial; and by granting judgment in Prevett's favor. In their remaining issue, Aztec and glendonTodd challenge the trial court's award of attorney's fees on the ground that Prevett was not entitled to judgment on his underlying breach of contract and quantum meruit claims.

         Standards of Review

         When a party attacks the legal sufficiency of the evidence to support an adverse finding on which it did not have the burden of proof at trial, it must demonstrate there is no evidence to support the adverse finding. Exxon Corp. v. Emerald Oil & Gas Co., L.C., 348 S.W.3d 194, 215 (Tex. 2011); Croucher v. Croucher, 660 S.W.2d 55, 58 (Tex. 1983). In determining whether the evidence is legally sufficient to support a finding, we consider the evidence in the light most favorable to the judgment and indulge every reasonable inference that would support it. City of Keller v. Wilson, 168 S.W.3d 802, 822 (Tex. 2005). We must credit favorable evidence if a reasonable factfinder could and disregard contrary evidence unless a reasonable factfinder could not. Id. at ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.