Lentino v. Cullen Center Bank and Trust, No. 14-94-00175-CV

CourtCourt of Appeals of Texas
Writing for the CourtBefore MURPHY; MURPHY
Citation919 S.W.2d 743
PartiesMarta A. LENTINO, Eduardo P. Lentino, and Jorge A. Lentino, Appellants, v. CULLEN CENTER BANK AND TRUST, Appellee. (14th Dist.)
Decision Date29 February 1996
Docket NumberNo. 14-94-00175-CV

Page 743

919 S.W.2d 743
Marta A. LENTINO, Eduardo P. Lentino, and Jorge A. Lentino, Appellants,
v.
CULLEN CENTER BANK AND TRUST, Appellee.
No. 14-94-00175-CV.
Court of Appeals of Texas,
Houston (14th Dist.).
Feb. 29, 1996.
Rehearing Overruled April 18, 1996.

Scott Rothenberg, Bellaire, for appellants.

Richard T. Howell, Jr., Houston, Warren W. Harris, Houston, Jill M. Tillman, Houston, for appellee.

Before MURPHY, C.J., and ANDERSON and FOWLER, JJ.

OPINION

MURPHY, Chief Justice.

Appellants, Marta A. Lentino, Eduardo P. Lentino, M.D., and Jorge A. Lentino, M.D., appeal from a partial summary judgment and jury verdict in favor of appellee, Cullen Center Bank and Trust. Appellants bring six points of error, contending: (1) the trial court improperly granted appellee's motion for partial summary judgment; and (2) the trial court erred by overruling appellants' motion to modify, correct, or reform the judgment when there was insufficient evidence or no evidence to support the jury's verdict. Appellants also request that in the event this case is reversed and remanded, this Court reverse the awards of prejudgment and postjudgment interest, attorney's fees, costs of court, and several postjudgment orders by the trial court relating to the seizure of appellants' property. We reverse and remand for a trial on the merits.

In November 1982, Eduardo and Jorge Lentino individually executed separate promissory notes for $150,000 to appellee in order to finance their bank stock purchases. Both notes were renewed in November 1983. On December 14, 1984, Eduardo and Jorge Lentino and four other parties, jointly and severally, executed a new promissory note to appellee in the original amount of $2,252,250. Also on that day, Eduardo and Jorge Lentino executed guarantee agreements in favor of Cullen that unconditionally guaranteed payment of the $2,252,250 note. Appellee advanced no additional funds to appellants as consideration for increasing their obligation.

In February 1986, appellee filed individual suits against Jorge and Eduardo Lentino for default on the December 1984 note, which matured on November 30, 1985. In March 1987, both Eduardo and Jorge Lentino entered into separate compromise settlement agreements with appellee. According to the terms of these agreements, Eduardo and Jorge agreed to execute new promissory notes to pay appellee $148,842 and $171,186.29, respectively. The compromise settlement agreements further provided that: (1) appellee would pay Eduardo and Jorge each $10 and release them of their joint and several liability under the 1984 note and guaranty agreements; (2) if Eduardo or Jorge defaulted on their notes, the defaulting party could be liable for the outstanding balance on the original 1984 note; and (3) Eduardo and Jorge waived all affirmative defenses and causes of action relating to the loan documents in the underlying lawsuit.

Both Eduardo and Jorge subsequently defaulted on their 1987 notes, and in 1990, appellee filed separate lawsuits to collect on these notes. The trial court entered final judgments in favor of appellee and awarded actual damages, prejudgment interest, attorneys fees, costs of court, and postjudgment interest. During postjudgment discovery, however, appellee allegedly discovered fraudulent transfers by Jorge, Eduardo and Marta Lentino made during the time the compromise settlement agreements were executed. Appellee subsequently filed this suit, claiming fraud, fraudulent transfers, breach of contract, conspiracy, negligence, and negligent misrepresentation. The appellants responded with a general denial and asserted

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several affirmative defenses, including usury. The appellants also filed counterclaims alleging usury, slander of title, unreasonable collection efforts, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

In June 1993, Cullen filed a motion for partial summary judgment, requesting the trial court to hold that the compromise settlement agreements barred appellants' "affirmative causes of action" which relate to the underlying loan documents. Following the appellants' response, appellee filed its reply, clarifying that the compromise settlement agreement barred all of the Lentinos' claims and affirmative defenses. See Stiles v. Resolution Trust Corp., 867 S.W.2d 24, 26 (Tex.1993) (indicating that specific grounds for summary judgment may be stated in movant's reply in order to comply with rule of civil procedure 166a(c)). The trial court subsequently granted appellee's motion and held the compromise settlement agreements barred all of appellants' causes of action and affirmative defenses.

The parties proceeded to trial and at the close of evidence, the trial court directed a verdict in favor of appellee as to its claims for breach of the compromise settlement agreements. The trial court also rendered judgment on the jury's verdict, which addressed other issues, and awarded $1,817,525.42 in actual damages and $2,500,000 in exemplary damages against each Jorge and Eduardo Lentino, along with attorneys' fees, prejudgment interest, postjudgment interest and costs of court.

In their first point of error, appellants contend the trial court improperly granted appellee's motion for partial summary judgment, in part, because a fact issue exists as to whether the 1984 note was usurious. Appellants argue that...

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4 practice notes
  • Arce v. Burrow, No. 14-95-00360-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • October 30, 1997
    ...evidence Page 254 that raised an issue of fact on the elements of causation and damage. See Lentino v. Cullen Ctr. Bank and Trust, 919 S.W.2d 743, 745 (Tex.App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1996, writ denied) (stating that if movant's motion and summary judgment proof facially establish right to j......
  • Lentino v. Frost National Bank, No. 14-05-01179-CV (Tex. App. 8/2/2007), No. 14-05-01179-CV.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • August 2, 2007
    ...[14th Dist.] Feb. 14, 2002, pet. denied) (not designated for publication) and Lentino et al. v. Cullen Center Bank and Trust, 919 S.W.2d 743 (Tex. App.CHouston [14th Dist.] 1996, writ den.) for a more detailed rendition of the facts underlying this...
  • Fry v. Commission for Lawyer Discipline, No. 14-97-00485-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • June 25, 1998
    ...1996, writ Page 336 denied), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 117 S.Ct. 1698, 137 L.Ed.2d 824 (1997); Lentino v. Cullen Ctr. Bank and Trust, 919 S.W.2d 743, 745 (Tex.App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1996, writ denied). Thus, because the Commission established its right to judgment as a matter of law,......
  • Shafer v. Frost National Bank, No. 14-06-00673-CV (Tex. App. 5/22/2008), No. 14-06-00673-CV.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • May 22, 2008
    ...Bank's predecessor, Cullen Bank, when necessary in discussing the issues related to merger. 2. Lentino v. Cullen Center Bank and Trust, 919 S.W.2d 743, 745, 747 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1996, writ denied) (reversing summary judgment in favor of bank in Harris County case number 91-18......
4 cases
  • Arce v. Burrow, No. 14-95-00360-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • October 30, 1997
    ...evidence Page 254 that raised an issue of fact on the elements of causation and damage. See Lentino v. Cullen Ctr. Bank and Trust, 919 S.W.2d 743, 745 (Tex.App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1996, writ denied) (stating that if movant's motion and summary judgment proof facially establish right to j......
  • Lentino v. Frost National Bank, No. 14-05-01179-CV (Tex. App. 8/2/2007), No. 14-05-01179-CV.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • August 2, 2007
    ...[14th Dist.] Feb. 14, 2002, pet. denied) (not designated for publication) and Lentino et al. v. Cullen Center Bank and Trust, 919 S.W.2d 743 (Tex. App.CHouston [14th Dist.] 1996, writ den.) for a more detailed rendition of the facts underlying this...
  • Fry v. Commission for Lawyer Discipline, No. 14-97-00485-CV
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • June 25, 1998
    ...1996, writ Page 336 denied), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 117 S.Ct. 1698, 137 L.Ed.2d 824 (1997); Lentino v. Cullen Ctr. Bank and Trust, 919 S.W.2d 743, 745 (Tex.App.--Houston [14th Dist.] 1996, writ denied). Thus, because the Commission established its right to judgment as a matter of law,......
  • Shafer v. Frost National Bank, No. 14-06-00673-CV (Tex. App. 5/22/2008), No. 14-06-00673-CV.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Texas
    • May 22, 2008
    ...Bank's predecessor, Cullen Bank, when necessary in discussing the issues related to merger. 2. Lentino v. Cullen Center Bank and Trust, 919 S.W.2d 743, 745, 747 (Tex. App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1996, writ denied) (reversing summary judgment in favor of bank in Harris County case number 91-18......

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