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Del Sol Homes, LLC v. Hidalgo County Head Start Program

Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg

November 7, 2019

DEL SOL HOMES, LLC AND JOSE DE LA FUENTE, Appellants,
v.
HIDALGO COUNTY HEAD START PROGRAM BY AND THROUGH HIDALGO COUNTY, Appellee.

          On appeal from the County Court at Law No. 1 of Hidalgo County, Texas.

          Before Chief Justice Contreras and Justices Hinojosa and Tijerina

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JAIME TIJERINA, Justice

         Appellee Hidalgo County Head Start (HCH) sued appellants Del Sol Homes, LLC and Jose De La Fuente (collectively, Del Sol) for breach of contract, and Del Sol counterclaimed for the same. The trial court granted HCH's motion for summary judgment in opposition to Del Sol's counterclaim and its motion for summary judgment on its breach of contract claim. By two issues, Del Sol contends that the trial court erred in granting both summary judgments. We affirm.

         I. Background

         A. HCH's Original Petition and Del Sol's Counterclaim

         On or about October 24, 2012, HCH and Del Sol entered into a contract for the relocation of a building, which Del Sol was to complete by December 31, 2012. Del Sol substantially completed the project on April 12, 2013, four months after the contract deadline. On September 12, 2013, HCH filed its original petition against Del Sol, asserting it breached the contract by failing to timely relocate the building. Del Sol filed an answer and counterclaim alleging HCH breached the contract by "changing the terms of the contract and requesting extra work without following proper procedures." According to Del Sol, HCH Program Director Teresa Flores changed the plans of relocation after its bid had been accepted and approved by a board of directors, which resulted in delays.

         B. HCH's Motion for Summary Judgment in Opposition to Del Sol's Counterclaim

         On May 23, 2014, HCH moved for a traditional and no evidence summary judgment asserting there was no evidence to substantiate Del Sol's counterclaim that HCH breached the contract by: altering the terms of the contract; requesting extra work without following proper construction procedures; authorizing any plans which required approval by the commissioner's court or policy council board; or threatening appellants. To support its motion, HCH attached the affidavits of Flores and Assistant Director Steven McGarraugh along with the contract in question and Del Sol's original bid sheet.

         C. Del Sol's Response to HCH's Motion for Summary Judgment

         On June 25, 2014, Del Sol filed a response to HCH's no evidence summary judgment motion, arguing that summary judgment should be denied "because [HCH] has not provided any summary judgment proof . . . ." To support its response, Del Sol attached De La Fuente's affidavit, in which he averred: "The project was not completed by December 31, 2012, mainly because of the fault of [HCH] in changing the plans after [HCH] had approved the bids submitted by [Del Sol]." According to De La Fuente, this "raises a genuine issue of material fact as to whether [HCH] breached the contract by changing the plans after [HCH] had accepted the bid from [appellants]." After reviewing the pleadings, the trial court granted HCH's motion for summary judgment in opposition to Del Sol's counterclaim. On June 20, 2017, Del Sol asked the trial court to reconsider its February 11, 2015 order granting HCH's no evidence summary judgment as to Del Sol's counterclaim.

         D. HCH's Traditional Motion for Summary Judgment

         On February 12, 2015, HCH filed a traditional motion for summary judgment on its claim for breach of contract, claiming that as a matter of law, Del Sol breached the contract, and HCH incurred the following damages: delay damages provided for in the contract; costs for a lease agreement with another entity; costs of electrician services; and attorney fees. As evidence to support its summary judgment motion, HCH attached the contract, the affidavit of the Assistant Program Director, the electrician's bill of services, and its attorney's affidavit.

         Del Sol responded by asserting that there were genuine issues of material fact as to: whether HCH breached the contract; whether HCH threatened Del Sol; whether HCH failed to provide necessary water meters; whether HCH approved the changes after December 31, 2012; whether HCH provided electrical plans in May; whether rain delays prevented Del Sol from completing the work; and ...


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