KITE BROS. LLC
TIMOTHY ALEXANDER ANDLISA ALEXANDER
FROM THE THIRTIETH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF VERNON,
NO. 89, 985 A HONORABLE C. ANTHONY EAVES, DISTRICT JUDGE
L. Simms, Jr. Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT: Kite Bros. LLC
Michael A. Smith, Jr., Alvin C. Dowden, Jr. Dowden &
Smith, L.L.C. COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANTS/APPELLEES: Timothy
Alexander Lisa Alexander
composed of John D. Saunders, Shannon J. Gremillion, and John
E. Conery, Judges.
SHANNON J. GREMILLION, JUDGE.
Bros., LLC, appeals the judgment in favor of defendants,
Timothy and Lisa Alexander, rejecting Kite Bros.' demands
against defendants resulting from damage to a recreational
vehicle (RV) that defendants traded in when they purchased a
new RV. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE
Alexanders previously purchased two RVs from Kite Bros. prior
to October 15, 2013, when they purchased a 2014 Torque RV
(the Torque) from Kite Bros. and traded in their 2006
Fleetwood Gearbox fifth wheel "toy-hauler" RV (the
Gearbox). The manner in which this deal was perfected is
disputed by the parties. The Alexanders claim that the deal
was discussed and perfected during a meeting in the office of
Kite Bros.' manager, Mr. Robert Kite, on October 15,
2013. Mr. Kite, on the other hand, testified that he and Mr.
Alexander discussed the purchase price of the Torque and the
trade allowance on the Gearbox in a phone call on October 13,
2013. Kite Bros. allowed the Alexanders $25, 495.00 for the
trade-in. No one at Kite Bros. inspected the interior of the
Gearbox prior to perfecting the transaction, according to Mr.
Kite testified that he relied upon his prior dealings with
the Alexanders and, thus, did not inspect the interior of the
trailer. Mrs. Alexander testified that during their October
15 meeting, Mr. Kite and his son, Jeff, left her and her
husband in his office while they inspected the trailer, and
Mr. Alexander confirmed this in his testimony. Mrs. Alexander
denied seeing either Robert or Jeff Kite enter the trailer;
however, when he returned to his office, Robert Kite
complimented her on how "new" looking she kept the
interior. Mr. Alexander also confirmed this.
Gearbox was not without flaws when the Alexanders traded it
in. The awning had been torn off in a storm and there was
damage around the fender wells. Robert Kite requested that
they file a claim with their insurer for replacement of the
awning. The Alexanders agreed to do that, and their insurer,
USAA, paid the claim.
sale of the Torque was finalized by the execution of a
"Retail Installment Sale Contract" between the
Alexanders and Kite Bros. This contract provides that the
Torque was sold "AS IS," with only the
manufacturer's warranty. The contract requires the
Alexanders to maintain property damage insurance on the
Torque for the term of the contract, ten years. It obligates
the Alexanders to pay the entire amount under the contract
even if the Torque is damaged, destroyed, or missing. It
provides for various remedies available to Kite Bros. should
the Alexanders be delinquent in their payments or in outright
default. The contract is silent on any warranties on the
completing the paperwork, Kite Bros. personnel readied the
Torque and the Alexanders moved their personal effects from
the Gearbox into the Torque. Robert Kite entrusted the
Alexanders with his credit card so they could fill the tank
of the Torque's generator. They then returned the credit
card and drove home, the Torque in tow.
November 2013, Kite Bros. contacted Mrs. Alexander and
advised her that the roof of the Gearbox had been damaged.
The Alexanders went to the dealership and were shown an area
where the membrane roof material had been peeled back a
corner over the garage section of the trailer, beneath which
was a "hole" in the roof deck. Mrs. Alexander
testified that she did not think the damage she was shown
could have developed during the month Kite Bros. had owned
manufacturer of the Gearbox, Fleetwood, had declared
bankruptcy, according to Robert Kite. It took some months for
Kite Bros. to obtain the parts needed to repair the awning.
After those parts arrived in February 2014, the Gearbox was
moved into a garage to be repaired, and deterioration inside
the Gearbox was discovered. Robert Kite contacted the
Alexanders, who agreed to file a second claim with USAA. Mr.
Kite testified that the Gearbox has been stored indoors
paid a portion of the damages but denied others as resulting
from lack of maintenance or wear and tear. The Alexanders
denied any responsibility for the damage.
2014, Kite Bros. filed their "Petition for Breach of
Contract" against the Alexanders. The petition alleged
that the Alexanders traded the Gearbox and that Kite Bros.
fixed the trade-in value "solely on the defendants [sic]
. . .description of the trade-in as having no leaks, rotten
wood, water damage, and in good condition, never having a
leak or being damaged in any manner." The petition
further alleged that Kite Bros. inspected the Gearbox on two
separate occasions and, despite that, did not discover that
the Gearbox had been "leaking for a long time, had
sustained water damage, and had deteriorated to the extent
that is was a total loss[.]" The leaking was such,
according to the petition, that it could not be detected by
reasonable and simple inspection. It concluded with a prayer
for adequate compensation, costs, and attorney fees.
matter proceeded to trial in August 2018. The testimonies of
the Alexanders and Robert Kite have already been discussed.
The trial court also heard from Eyoul Slaydon. Mr. Slaydon is
a friend of the Alexanders and went hunting with Mr.
Alexander in Colorado on several occasions in the Gearbox.
After the Alexanders traded the Gearbox, Mr. Slaydon
considered purchasing it from Kite Bros. with full knowledge
of the deterioration, which he thought he could repair. When
Mr. Slaydon examined the trailer, it was sitting ...