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Chapa v. Traciers & Associates
Texas Court of Appeals
267 S.W.3d 386 (2008)
Marissa Chapa defaulted on payments for her white 2002 Ford Expedition. Ford Motor Credit Corporation (FMCC) (defendant) hired Traciers & Associates (Traciers) (defendant) to repossess the truck from Marissa. Traciers provided Paul Chambers (defendant), a Traciers employee, with the address to complete the repossession. However, Traciers and Chambers did not realize that the address belonged to Marissa’s brother and his wife, Carlos and Maria Chapa (plaintiffs), who owned a Ford Expedition of the same make and model as Marissa’s. Chambers went to the given address, parking two houses away. At the same time, Maria exited the home and put her two young children in the Expedition, an action not seen by Chambers. Because another car was parked behind the Expedition in the driveway and blocking its exit, Maria first backed the other car out onto the street. Maria then backed her Expedition onto the street, leaving the keys in the ignition while she returned the other car to the driveway. When Maria briefly reentered the home, Chambers quickly towed the Expedition away, unaware of the children’s presence in the truck. Maria called her husband and 911 upon finding that the Expedition and children were gone. At the same time, Chambers heard sounds from the Expedition, saw the children, and immediately returned to the Chapas’ home with the truck. Carlos and Maria brought suit against FMCC and Traciers, claiming that Chambers’s improper repossession caused the Chapas severe emotional damage. The trial court granted summary judgment in the defendants’ favor, and the Chapas appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Guzman, J.)
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