Incapacitated

In a breach of contract case, a group of defendants appealed from the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff. The defendants argued that the plaintiff lacked standing to sue them because there was no evidence it had privity of contract with any of the defendants. The court of appeals rejected that argument, holding that the defendants were actually challenging the capacity of the plaintiff to sue or be sued. The plaintiff had standing to sue on the contract because it pleaded and proved it was “formerly known as” the party named in the agreement. As to the challenge to the plaintiff’s capacity, the court held that the defendants had been untimely in making that challenge, as the verified denial of capacity required by Rule 93 was only filed the morning of the summary judgment hearing — not 7 days before as required by Rule 63. The trial court’s summary judgment order indicated that it had not considered the amended pleading, stating that it had considered the “pleadings timely filed,” not all of the pleadings in the case. Nor was the issue of capacity tried by consent as part of the summary judgment proceeding, since the response to the summary judgment motion raised no issue of the plaintiff’s capacity to bring suit. Likewise, the court of appeals rejected the claim of one of the individual defendants that he could not be personally liable on the contract because he had signed it as CEO of the defendant corporation. Because the defendant had not timely filed a verified denial of his capacity to be sued individually, that issue was also waived. As a result, the trial court’s judgment was afffirmed.

John C. Flood of DC, Inc. v. SuperMedia, LLC, No. 05-12-00307-CV

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