GLORIA C. ZERMEÑO, RICARDO GUZMAN, AND SOLID ROCK READY MIX, INC., Appellants
NOELIA GARCIA, MARIO ZERMEÑO, AND Z READY MIX, INC., Appellees and NOELIA GARCIA, MARIO ZERMEÑO, AND Z READY MIX, INC., Appellants
GLORIA C. ZERMEÑO, RICARDO GUZMAN, AND SOLID ROCK READY MIX, INC., Appellees
Appeal from the 281st District Court Harris County, Texas
Trial Court Cause No. 2015-07827
consists of Justices Wise, Zimmerer, and Spain.
CHARLES A. SPAIN, JUSTICE
case arises out of a family concrete business owned by two
sisters-in-law. Both sides of the family sued each other and
one of the implicated concrete companies. Both sides filed
notices of appeal: (1) Gloria Zermeño, Ricardo Guzman,
and Solid Rock Ready Mix, Inc. ("appellants") and
(2) Noelia Garcia, Mario Zermeño, and Z Ready Mix,
the trial court, Gloria and Ricardo alleged Noelia and Mario
had breached a settlement agreement, and Z Ready Mix alleged
that Gloria had breached her fiduciary duty. These claims
were tried to a jury. The jury found Noelia and Mario had not
breached the settlement agreement, but that Gloria had
breached her fiduciary duty. The trial court rendered a final
judgment that Gloria pay $467, 000 to Noelia, Mario, and Z
Ricardo, and Solid Rock Ready Mix appeal this portion of the
judgment. However, this portion only affects Gloria's
interests. Therefore, we dismiss Ricardo's and Solid Rock
Ready Mix's appeal for want of jurisdiction.
brings six issues on appeal; appellees bring one conditional
issue. Gloria did not preserve five of her issues, leaving
only a factual-sufficiency issue, which we overrule.
Consequently, we do not reach appellees' conditional
Zermeño and Mario Zermeño are sister and
brother. Ricardo Guzman and Noelia Garcia are their
respective spouses. Years ago, Gloria and Mario started a
concrete company together, Z Ready Mix, Inc. Gloria handled
the company's administrative matters, and Mario managed
operations. Half of the company was owned by Gloria, and half
of the company was owned by Mario's wife, Noelia.
2014, Gloria and Mario had a falling out. Noelia and Mario,
individually and on behalf of Z Ready Mix, sued Gloria and
Ricardo; almost immediately thereafter, Gloria and Ricardo
sued Noelia and Mario. The suits were consolidated, with
Noelia, Mario, and Z Ready Mix as plaintiffs. Ultimately, the
parties settled after mediation. The settlement agreement
divided the assets and debts of Z Ready Mix between the
parties. Z Ready Mix owned two concrete plants on the same
land, so one plant was awarded to Gloria and Ricardo, and the
other plant was awarded to Noelia and Mario. The parties
agreed to evenly divide the cash in the company's
accounts, accounts receivable, and the company's debts.
Both couples planned to start new concrete companies, Solid
Rock Ready Mix, Inc. for Gloria and Ricardo, and Diamond
Ready Mix, Inc. for Noelia and Mario. As part of the
settlement, the parties planned to build a fence between the
two plants to create two separate spaces for the new
companies. Because electricity and water sources were located
only on the property Noelia and Mario received in the
settlement, Noelia and Mario agreed that all utilities would
"stay connected" to Gloria and Ricardo's plant
until new connections were established.
Gloria and Ricardo had trouble with the supply of power and
water to their concrete plant. Gloria and Ricardo fought with
Noelia and Mario over the electricity and water problems. One
day after the parties moved for dismissal of their claims
pursuant to the settlement agreement, Gloria and Ricardo
asserted a new claim against Noelia and Mario for breach of
the settlement agreement, particularly the agreement to keep
utilities connected. The trial court later signed an order
dismissing the claims asserted before June 5, 2015 (the
Mix subsequently asserted a new claim against Gloria for
breach of fiduciary duty. In support of this claim, Z Ready Mix
asserted that after settlement, Gloria collected cash
payments from Z Ready Mix customers, but did not deposit the
payments in Z Ready Mix's bank account. Z Ready Mix also
asserted that Gloria accepted payment in the form of services
to her new concrete company, Solid Rock Ready Mix, for debts
owed to Z Ready Mix. Z Ready Mix alleged that Gloria breached
her fiduciary duty "when she converted accounts
receivables for her benefit, and for that of her company,
Solid Rock Ready Mix."
conclusion of trial, the jury found Noelia and Mario had not
breached the settlement, but that Gloria had breached her
fiduciary duty. The jury determined the amount of money to
"fairly and reasonably compensate Z Ready Mix,
Inc./Noelia Garcia/Mario Zermeno [sic]" for the breach
was $467, 000. The trial court rendered a final judgment
ordering Gloria to pay Noelia, Mario, and Z Ready Mix $467,
000 in actual damages.
appealing party 'may not complain of errors which do not
injuriously affect him or which merely affect the rights of
others.'" Buckholts Indep. Sch. Dist. v.
Glaser, 632 S.W.2d 146, 150 (Tex.1982) (quoting
Jackson v. Fontaine's Clinics, Inc., 499 S.W.2d
87, 92 (Tex. 1973)); Branch v. Monumental Life Ins.
Co., 422 S.W.3d 919, 922 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.]
2014, no pet.) (same). Although Ricardo and Solid Rock Ready
Mix were parties to this action in the trial court, they have
standing to appeal only if the judgment prejudiced their own
interests. See Branch, 422 S.W.3d at 922.
portion of the judgment under review prejudiced only
Gloria's interests. The portion under review does not
affect Ricardo's or Solid Rock Ready Mix's rights.
Because Ricardo and Solid Rock Ready Mix do not have standing
to appeal a ruling that is adverse only to Gloria's
interest, we lack subject-matter jurisdiction over their
appeal. See id. (dismissing appeal for lack of
subject-matter jurisdiction as to appellant whose rights were
not affected by ...