Corporate Veil Covers the Contract, But Not Related Tort Claims Against Individuals

Majestic Cast, Inc. entered into a contract with ProCon Paving to serve as a subcontractor on the construction of a Montessori school. Citing numerous complaints, Majestic Cast terminated the contract and filed suit against “Majed Khalef d/b/a ProCon Paving and Construction, Inc.” for theft, conversion, breach of contract, and fraud. Majestic Cast’s posited that Khalaf was using ProCon’s corporate form as an empty shell to avoid liability, and that he should therefore be held personally liable as an alter ego of ProCon. The trial court granted traditional and no-evidence motions for summary judgment, and Majestic Cast appealed. The Court of Appeals reversed as to the claims for theft, conversion and fraud. Whereas Majestic Case had pleaded those tort claims against Khalaf individually, Khalaf had sought summary judgment only by arguing that Majestic Cast could not pierce the veil to hold him liable on ProCon’s contract.  Because a corporate agent can be held liable for his own fraudulent or tortious acts even while acting within the scope of the agency, Khalaf was not entitled to summary judgment on the tort claims. As to Majestic Cast’s breach of contract claim, however, the Court held that there was no evidence to raise a fact issue on any theory for disregarding the corporate fiction in order to make Khalaf individually liable for breach of the Majestic Cast-ProCon contract. Thus, summary judgment was affirmed only as to the contract claim, with the tort claims remanded for further proceedings.

Majestic Cast, Inc. v. Khalaf, No. 05-12-00112-CV