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Supreme Court of Texas
March 20, 2018, Argued; June 1, 2018, Opinion Delivered
[*104] In this case, we consider whether the trial court erred in failing to apply the one-satisfaction rule and award a nonsettling [**2] defendant settlement credits. We hold that the one-satisfaction rule applies to this case, and the trial court therefore erred in denying the nonsettling defendant the settlement credits. We reverse the judgment of the court of appeals and remand the case to that court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
In 2007, Ilan Israely and Abraham Gottlieb formed Sky View at Las Palmas, L.L.C. for the purpose of purchasing and developing land in Hidalgo County. In March 2008, Sky View acquired a tract of land containing 38.416 acres in Hidalgo County (the Property), from M Construction, Ltd., the president of which was Hugo Martinez (Hugo). Sky View purchased the Property for $6.5 million, and it financed $4 million of the purchase price through a Promissory Note and Deed of Trust with Compass Bank1 (the purchase loan). Sky View and M Construction also entered into a construction agreement in which M Construction would serve as the project's general contractor.
After obtaining the purchase loan, Sky View, through Israely and Gottlieb, sought a construction loan with Compass Bank for $9 million, but the bank said it would take months to complete the due diligence for this [**3] loan. To keep the project moving while it waited for this loan, Sky View sought a second construction loan for approximately $1.5 million. Israely, through a connection made by Hugo, approached Romano Geronimo Martinez Mendez (Martinez) about providing the financing for this second construction loan. There is evidence that Martinez was provided with Israely's personal financial statements indicating Israely's net worth to be approximately $35 million.
To help facilitate this loan agreement with Sky View and Israely, Martinez retained the law firm of Kittleman, Thomas & Gonzales, LLP (Kittleman) to draft the loan documents. Martinez also retained San Jacinto Title Services of Rio Grande Valley, LLC (San Jacinto) to close the transaction and serve as the title company. San Jacinto was an agent authorized to issue title insurance policies for Fidelity National Title Insurance Company (Fidelity). Martinez agreed to make this second construction loan to Sky View (the Martinez loan), which consisted of Martinez's loan of $1.275 million to Sky View and Sky View's promise to repay the loan within six months at 18% interest (the Note), secured by a lien on the Property. This was the second lien [**4] on the Property behind Compass Bank's lien. Israely and Gottlieb also agreed to each provide a personal guaranty of the Martinez loan.
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555 S.W.3d 101 *; 2018 Tex. LEXIS 515 **; 61 Tex. Sup. J. 1268; 2018 WL 2449349
SKY VIEW AT LAS PALMAS, LLC AND ILAN ISRAELY, PETITIONERS, v. ROMAN GERONIMO MARTINEZ MENDEZ AND SAN JACINTO TITLE SERVICES OF RIO GRANDE VALLEY, LLC, RESPONDENTS
Subsequent History: Rehearing denied by Sky View at Las Palmas, LLC v. Mendez, 2018 Tex. LEXIS 959 (Tex., Sept. 28, 2018)
Appeal dismissed by, Settled by Sky View at Las Palmas, LLC v. Mendez, 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 1723 (Tex. App. Corpus Christi, Mar. 7, 2019)
Prior History: [**1] ON PETITION FOR REVIEW FROM THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE THIRTEENTH DISTRICT OF TEXAS.
Sky View at Las Palmas, LLC v. Mendez, 548 S.W.3d 18, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 389 (Tex. App. Corpus Christi, Jan. 19, 2017)
settlement, damages, one-satisfaction, attorney's fees, credits, settling, trial court, court of appeals, cause of action, nonsettling defendant, settlement agreement, double recovery, amounts, guaranty agreement, title company, injuries, title insurance policy, joint liability, jointly liable, jury award, satisfaction, nonsettling, asserts, cases, joint tort feasor, collateral-source, recovering, parties, sellers, indivisible injury
Civil Procedure, Judgments, Entry of Judgments, Multiple Claims & Parties, Torts, Settlements, Multiple Party Settlements, Partial Settlements, Evidence, Inferences & Presumptions, Presumptions, Rebuttal of Presumptions, Creation, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Procedural Matters, Multiple Defendants, Multiple Defendants, Distinct & Divisible Harms, Contribution, Burdens of Proof, Allocation, Contracts Law, Remedies, Damages, Measurement of Damages, Collateral Source Rule, Insurance Payments, Costs & Attorney Fees