844 So.2d 860
Court of Appeal of Louisiana,
Don M. COUSINS, Eagle Ventures, Inc., et al.
REALTY VENTURES, INC. and Leo M. Hodgins, et al.
Jan. 14, 2003.
Order on Rehearing in Part May 7, 2003.
Writ Denied Oct. 3, 2003.
MARION F. EDWARDS, Judge.
Following trial, the jury in this case found that defendants, Leo Hodgins, Realty Ventures, Inc., and 4141 Vets Limited
Partnership, breached their duty to plaintiffs, Eagle Ventures, Inc. and Veterans Villa Properties, Inc., and awarded
plaintiffs $1,750,000.00. At issue on appeal is whether the jury verdict and award are erroneous. For the following
reasons, we affirm in part, reverse and part, and render judgment based upon a de novo review of the record.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The named plaintiffs in this case are Don Cousins, Eagle Ventures, Inc., and Veterans Villa Properties, Inc. This case
arises from certain events surrounding plaintiffs' (Don Cousins, Eagle Ventures, Inc. and Veterans Villa Properties,
collectively referred to as "plaintiffs") interest in purchasing commercial property located at 3330 Lake Villa Drive in
Metairie. Don Cousins acted as the representative/agent for Eagle Ventures, which later assigned its rights to Veterans
Villa Properties. Mr. Cousins' first task for Eagle Ventures was to find a real estate investment for the corporation to
purchase. To do so, Mr. Cousins engaged the services of Leo Hodgins, a real estate agent/broker and owner of Realty
Ventures, Inc., ("RVI").
Mr. Cousins was aware of Leo Hodgins' reputation as a real estate broker familiar with the Jefferson Parish market, based
on the fact that Mr. Cousins rented space for his insurance business on 2700 Kingman Street in Metairie from Leo
Hodgins, who owned that building. In fact, their offices were located next to one another, and it was not uncommon for the
two men to interact on a daily basis. Additionally, Mr. Cousins chose to work with RVI and Leo Hodgins because Mr.
Hodgins held himself out as an experienced real estate broker and property manager. In early 1991, Mr. Cousins asked
Leo Hodgins to find some commercial real estate for Eagle Ventures to purchase. The two men did not execute a written