Property Keyed to Saxer
Austin Hill Country Realty, Inc. v. Palisades Plaza, Inc.
Palisades Plaza, Inc. (Plaintiff) owned an office complex in Austin, Texas. On September 15, 1992, Plaintiff entered a five-year commercial office lease with Austin Hill Country Realty, Inc. (Defendant). Defendant was a real estate brokerage franchise run by Barbara Hill, Annette Smith, and David Jones. The anticipated start date was November 15, 1992. One provision of the lease required Plaintiff to make improvements on the office. In October 1992, Plaintiff received conflicting instructions on how to proceed with improvements. Plaintiff informed Hill, Smith, and Jones that it was suspending improvements until they designated a representative to communicate decisions to Plaintiff. Hill, Smith, and Jones did not reply. On November 19, 1992, Plaintiff wrote to inform Defendant that it considered their failure to select a representative an anticipatory breach of contract. Plaintiff subsequently sued for anticipatory breach. At trial, Defendant sought an instruction that told the jury to reduce any damages by the amount that Plaintiff could have avoided by exercising reasonable care. The trial judge refused to allow the instruction. The jury found in favor of Plaintiff and granted damages in the amount of $29,716. The court of appeals affirmed.
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