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Holt Atherton Indus., Inc. v. Heine – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Holt Atherton Indus. v. Heine, 835 S.W.2d 80 (Tex.1992), the appellees sued Holt Atherton for wrongfully refusing to repair a tractor pursuant to a warranty. 835 S.W.2d at 82.

On appeal, Holt Atherton asserted that no evidence supported the trial court's award of lost profits. Id. at 83.

The supreme court agreed, noting, among other problems with the evidence, that the appellees did not identify which contracts were lost as a result of Holt Atherton's actions, how much profit they would have had from those contracts, or who would have awarded them contracts. Id. at 85.

The supreme court summarized, "The bare assertion that contracts were lost does not demonstrate a reasonably certain objective determination of lost profits." Id.

In Holt Atherton Indus., Inc. v. Heine, the plaintiff testified that he had suffered $200,200 in lost income. 835 S.W.2d at 84.

The Supreme Court concluded that testimony was legally insufficient because it did not provide any indication of how the plaintiff had determined what his lost profits were. Id.

The Supreme Court also held that the bare assertion that contracts were lost--absent specification of which contracts were lost, how many were lost, how much profit would have come from the lost contracts, and who would have awarded the contracts--did not demonstrate a reasonably certain objective determination of lost profits. Id. at 85 ("Recovery of lost profits must be predicated on one complete calculation.").