HOUSTON – The First Court of Appeals recently wiped a $228,500
verdict against Cash America Pawn in a malicious prosecution lawsuit.
The lawsuit was brought by Ronald Alonzo, a former Cash America
employee, back in 2017 and also named Stephanie Fields and Robert Elder
Court records show Alonzo was an assistant manager at a Katy Cash
America. In May 2016, he helped an employee who was also a customer and
wanted to save her loans and layaways. Alonzo agreed to execute a series
of transactions for her, on the condition that no money or merchandise
would leave the shop.
Alonzo was terminated as a result and the Harris County Sheriff’s
Office was brought in. In January 2017, the case against him was
dismissed. A few months later the record was expunged.
In turn, Alonzo sued Cash America for malicious prosecution. At
trial, a jury awarded him $128,500 in damages, plus $100,000 in
exemplary damages, court records show.
The jury also found in favor of Cash America on its counterclaims
for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, but awarded the company no
On Sept. 14, the First Court reversed the award and rendered a take-nothing judgment against Alonzo.
“We hold that there was no evidence that the appellants acted in
the absence of probable cause, and therefore the evidence is legally
insufficient to support the jury’s malicious prosecution verdict,” the
Alonzo is represented by attorneys John Sullivan III and Robert Filteau.