Failure To Submit Jury Question on Damages Does Not Waive Sufficiency Arguments on Appeal

At a trial involving, among other things, counterclaims for breach of contract, the counterclaimant forgot to submit a jury question on the issue of damages. Because the jury agreed with the counterclaimant for all other elements of the breach of contract claim, the counterclaimant moved for judgment and requested that the trial court find that damages for the breach of contract established as a matter of law. The trial court did not expressly rule on the motion for judgment, but instead rendered a take-nothing judgment on  the counterclaim.

On appeal, the Court addressed several issues, including whether the counterclaimants had waived any objection to the jury charge on appeal.  The Court explained that, under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure “[w]hen an element of a claim is omitted from the jury charge without objection and no written findings are made by the trial court on that element then the omitted element is deemed to have been found by the court in such a manner as to support the judgment.”  Based on this, the Court concluded that the counterclaimants did not waive their claim for damages by failing to submit a jury question on that element of their claim and that they had also not waived argument concerning the legal and factual sufficiency of the trial court’s “deemed finding.”

Alfia v. Overseas Service Haus

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