Briscoe v. Laminack Tire Service, Inc.

Citation546 S.W.2d 695
Decision Date01 February 1977
Docket NumberNo. 8431,8431
PartiesH. H. BRISCOE, Appellant, v. LAMINACK TIRE SERVICE, INC., Appellee.
CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas

Burns Parum, Grand Prairie, for appellant .

Fred S. Abney, Abney, Conner & Mills, Dallas, for appellee.

CHADICK, Chief Justice.

The appellant, J. H. Briscoe, one of the three defendants below, has perfected an appeal from a judgment that awarded Laminack Tire Service, Inc., the plaintiff below, a joint and several recovery of actual damages together with $20,000.00 exemplary damages ffrom Briscoe and his two co-defendants.

The single point of error briefed is concerned with the award of exemplary damages. It is as follows:


The point, and argument under it, submits as the issue in the appeal whether or not there is an absence of evidence to support a finding that Briscoe acted wilfully or intentionally to injure Laminack Tire Service, Inc.

Appellant, J. H. Briscoe, was President of AGRI-PET, INC. a defendant below, which engaged in the business of selling fuel and tires at wholesale. In early March 1974, Jerry Bristol, an employee of AGRI-PET, INC. and the thrid defendant below, received an inquiry from Bobby E. Laminack, President of Laminack Tire Service, Inc., relative to acquisition of 2,800 automobile tires that were understood to be available as a result of confiscation by the sheriff of Rockwall County, Texas. As a follow-up to the inquiry and discussions with Laminack, Bristol and Briscoe appeared at the Laminack Tire Service, Inc. place of business with a written AGRI-PET, INC. invoice made out to Laminack Tire Service, Inc. for the 2,800 tires. In the invoice the tires were described, priced and sizes and quality guaranteed together with a specified date of delivery. At that time Briscoe stated to Laminack that the tires were in a warehouse in Rockwall County in the custody of the sheriff of the county. Briscoe said, also, that he had arranged to buy the tires on or before April 2, 1974, and that it would be a cash transaction. To make the purchase, Briscoe informed Laminack $48,020.00 cash would be needed. Laminack paid him that amount and received the tendered invoice for the tires.

The foregoing facts are uncontroverted. With respect to other evidence in the record, it suffices to say that the purchase transaction by which Briscoe was to obtain the tires was not consummated. Briscoe claimed that he failed to obtain the tires because he was the victim of a confidence scheme, in slang terms a 'con game,' in which he paid out $25,000.00 of the money paid him by Laminack to an unknown bogus deputy sheriff and that the tires Briscoe sold to Laminack were not in the custody of the sheriff and not in a warehouse in Rockwall County, as no such tires existed.

The trial judge found from the evidence that Briscoe and his co-defendants represented to Laminack the following: That on the date of the transaction between them, March 30, 1974, the 2,800 tires were then in storage in a warehouse in Rockwall County; that Briscoe had at that time a firm and established arrangement whereby he was entitled to purchase and have delivery of the tires on or before April 2, 1974; that the representations so made were false. The other elements of legal fraud were also found and in addition it was found that Briscoe and his co-defendants, jointly and severally, acted with reckless disregard of the plaintiff's rights and interests; and that the sum of $20,000.00 was a reasonable and proper amount to award as exemplary damages.

The trial court did not make a finding as a basis for awarding exemplarydamages in the words of the point of error, that is, that Briscoe 'acted wilfully or intentionally to injure.' However, the conclusion is reached that the finding made, that Briscoe 'acted with reckless disregard for the rights and interests' of Laminack Tire Service, Inc., is equivalent to a finding of wilful and intentional action. See LaCerra v. Woodrich, 321 Ill.App. 107, 52 N.E.2d 461 (1943); Hull v. Seaboard Air Line Ry ., 76 S.C. 278, 57 S.E. 28 (1907); 36 Words and Phrases 785 (1962); 17 Tex.Jur.2d, Damages, Sec. 178. In the Hull case, it is said:

'Each of the words, 'wantonness,' 'willfulness,' and 'recklessness,' embodies the element of malice, either express or implied, and are in law substantially the equivalent of each...

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  • Evans-Reid v. District of Columbia, 00-CV-1083.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • July 12, 2007
    ...105 N.H. 410, 413, 200 A.2d 851, 853 (1964); Clairmont v. Cilley, 85 N.H. 1, 7, 153 A. 465, 468 (1931); Briscoe v. Laminack Tire Serv., 546 S.W.2d 695, 697 (Tex.Civ.App.1977); Chapman v. Troy Laundry Co., 87 Utah 15, 32-33, 47 P.2d 1054, 1062 16. Appellant also argues that the forensic expe......
  • Colley v. Carleton, 1324
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
    • September 21, 1978
    ...Co. of Dallas v. Rossco, Inc.,550 S.W.2d 419 (Tex.Civ.App. Eastland 1977, writ ref'd n. r. e.); Briscoe v. Laminack Tire Service, Inc., 546 S.W.2d 695 (Tex.Civ.App. Texarkana 1977, writ ref'd n. r. The judgment of the trial court is accordingly REVERSED and cause REMANDED for trial. -------......
  • Republic Nat. Life Ins. Co. v. Heyward, 5103
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
    • June 1, 1978
    ...the converse of such testimony in the absence of independent evidence to support such finding. Briscoe v. Laminack Tire Service, Inc., 546 S.W.2d 695 (Tex.Civ.App. Texarkana 1977, writ ref. n. r. e.); USLIFE Title Insurance Company of Dallas v. Rossco, Incorporated, 550 S.W.2d 419 (Tex.Civ.......
  • Ransom v. Iselt, 5034
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas. Court of Civil Appeals of Texas
    • July 14, 1977
    ...the converse of their testimony when there was no independent evidence to support such finding. Briscoe v. Laminack Tire Service, Inc., 546 S.W.2d 695 (Tex.Civ.App. Texarkana 1977, writ ref. n.r.e.). The testimony by the attorney who drew the will that "evidently Mr. Brade had been consulti......
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