Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

Texas Causes of Action & Affirmative Defenses

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Elements of Suit on (Sworn) Account (Tex. R. Civ. P. 185)

   
ELEMENTS OF SUIT ON ACCOUNT IN TEXAS

The elements of a cause of action on a sworn account are (1) a sale and delivery of the goods; (2) that the amount of the account is just, that is, that the prices are charged in accordance with an agreement or, in the absence of an agreement, they are the usual customary and reasonable prices for those goods; and (3) that the amount is unpaid. See Site Work Group, Inc. v. Chem. Lime Ltd., 171 S.W.3d 512, 513–14 (Tex. App.-Waco 2005, no pet.); PennWell Corp. v. Ken Assocs. Inc., 123 S.W.3d 756, 766 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, pet. denied

ELEMENTS IN SUIT ON ACCOUNT CAN BE PROVEN IN SUMMARY JUDGMENT WHEN DEFENDANT FILES A SWORN DENIAL AND THUS CONTROVERTS PLAINTIFF'S PRIMA-FACIE CASE

 “A defendant’s verified denial of the correctness of a plaintiff’s sworn account, in the form required by Rule 185, destroys the evidentiary effect of the itemized account and forces the plaintiff to put on proof of its claim.” Site Work Group, Inc. v. Chem. Lime Ltd., 171 S.W.3d 512, 513 (Tex. App.—Waco 2005, no pet.) (citing Rizk v. Fin. Guardian Ins. Agency, Inc., 584 S.W.2d 860, 862 (Tex. 1979)). However, even when a defendant verifies its sworn denial to a suit on a sworn account, a plaintiff may properly obtain a summary judgment on its sworn account claim by filing “legal and competent summary judgment evidence establishing the validity of its claim as a matter of law.” PennWell Corp. v. Ken Assocs., Inc., 123 S.W.3d 756, 765 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] 2003, pet. denied) (citing United Bus. Machs. v. Entm’t Mktg., Inc., 792 S.W.2d 262, 264 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] 1990, no writ)).

 SOURCE: 01-08-00890-CV (Houston Court of Appeals - 1st District) (11/5/09)

RULE 185 - SUIT ON ACCOUNT
Rule 185 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure