George D. Thomas Builder Inc. v. Timmons – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In George D. Thomas Builder Inc. v. Timmons, 658 S.W.2d 194 (Tex. App.--El Paso 1983, writ ref'd n.r.e.), the Timmonses purchased a home for $ 30,000. Id. at 195.

They claimed that their real estate agent "represented to them that the home had 1,420 square feet of improved living space," and that they relied on that representation when agreeing on the purchase price. Id. When they subsequently decided to sell the home, it was determined that it actually had only 1,286 square feet of living space. Id.

The Timmonses sued the real estate agent for violations of the DTPA. Id. At trial, the jury found that the representations as to square footage were "material" and found "that $ 3,000.00 would fairly and reasonably compensate the Plaintiffs for their actual damages." Id.

On appeal, the real estate agent challenged the legal and factual sufficiency of the evidence supporting the jury's finding of damages. Id. at 197.

Based on an examination of the evidence, the court of appeals determined that it was apparent that the jury "calculated damages by using the difference in actual square footage in the home and the square footage represented." Id.

The Timmons court determined that "the cost of the house per square foot as represented would be $ 22.33, and the square footage deficiency would be 134 square feet. Multiplying the two, damages would be $ 2,992.22." Id.

The court held, "This is a permissible measure of damages in a case of this nature." Id.