In Gengenbach v. Rodriguez, a defendant alleged a counterclaim for breach of fiduciary duty arising from a farming operation. No. 13-14-00711-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 12289 (Tex. App.—Corpus Christi November 17, 2016, no pet. history). The trial court refused to submit a question on that claim, and the jury found in favor of the plaintiff on the plaintiff’s fraud claim. The defendant appealed and argued, in part, that the trial court erred in refusing to submit his fiduciary duty claim to the jury. The defendant argued that there was some evidence in the record indicating that he and the plaintiff verbally agreed to be farming partners and that the plaintiff breached that agreement by, among other things, selling the crop without the defendant’s consent or approval.
The court of appeals found that the trial court’s error, if any, was harmless due to the jury’s answer to a different question. The court held that “error in the omission of a [jury question] is harmless ‘when the findings of the jury in answer to other issues are sufficient to support the judgment.’” Id. The court then held:
[Q]uestion two of the jury charge asked: “Did [Rodriguez] fail to comply with the verbal agreement [to share profits and losses]?” The jury answered “no” to this question. Based on Gengenbach’s theory of recovery, the jury’s negative answer to this question rejected the “breach” element of Gengenbach’s claim for breach of fiduciary duty. As such, even if the question had been submitted, it would not have altered the jury’s verdict. Therefore, we hold that the trial court’s error, if any, in omitting a jury question regarding breach of fiduciary duty was harmless.
Id. at *10-11.