This Just In: Recent civil suits filed in Galveston County District Courts

Shirley Willcock, Galveston Bureau Feb. 28, 2008, 10:00am

Feb. 18

  • Lucas Henslee et al v. Homier Distributing Co. Inc.

    PA - E. A. "Trey" Apffel, III, J - David Garner

    In February 2006 Plaintiff purchased a bungee cord strap from a manufacturer and retailer (Defendant) that sells products at various "Mobile Tool Services." On March 12, 2006, Plaintiff was attempting to use the bungee cord to tie down a tarp on his truck. Plaintiff was stretching the cord when it failed, and the S-hook tore through the rubber cord and hit Plaintiff in his right eye.

    Plaintiff's Wife is suing also for loss of consortium and other problems based on the accident that injured the Husband.
    Case No. 08CV0159

  • Mary Ellen Hall, individually and as Representative of the Estate of John O'Neal Hall, et al. v. Radiator Specialty Co., et al.

    PA - L. Jeth Jones, J - Susan Criss

    Plaintiff's Decedent, John O. Hall, was exposed to dangerous levels of toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, including benzene, while working at Union Carbide in Texas City, from c. 1963--1998. Plaintiff's Decendent developed a chemical related disease, namely Myelodysplastic Syndrome. He was diagnosed in April 2006 and died in July 2006.

    There are many defendants in this case, especially those that manufactured and sold hazardous substances. Defendants should have known, according to the Plaintiff, of cancer-producing chemicals. Plaintiffs, however, cannot assert a claim based on federal defenses.

    Plaintiff seeks all elements of damages under the Wrongful Death and Survival Statute and so on. Plaintiff also seeks punitive or exemplary damages in an amount within the discretion of the jury sufficient to deter and punish defendents.

    Case No. 08CV0161

    Feb. 19

  • Fifth Third Bank v. Steve Jones and Lynne Jones

    PA - Shawn K. Brady, J - Lonnie Cox, 56th Dist. Court

    Mr. and Mrs. Jones are the Defendents, and the Bank is the Plaintiff, owner and holder of the contract. Defendants originally executed a security agreement and a security interest in a Travel Trailer Vehicle. Plaintiff-Bank says that Defendants have defaulted on paying the note. Plaintiff-Bank requests the Court to enter an Order of Specific Performace directing Sheriff to seize the vehicle and deliver it to the Bank.

    The Plaintiff-Bank has filed a Writ of Sequestration due to the failure of Defendents to pay off or turn over the vehicle to the Bank. The Bank believes that the vehicle is in a storage facility in Galveston County, and if Defendants fail to pay storage, the storage facility could interfere with the vehicle.

    Case No. 08CV0162

  • Louis Fabrizio Vittori d/b/a Gopher Demolition v. GC Wealth Investment Group/La Marque Project, LLC

    PA - Travis G. Newport, J - Susan Criss

    Gopher Demolition, Plaintiff, agreed to accept $170,000 to raze a number of crumbling eyesores along the Gulf Freeway. Defendant GC Wealth, et al., paid a first payment of $40,000 to Gopher, but no further payments were forthcoming, and Gopher says that approximately 90 percent of the demolition services were done as per the parties' contract. The amount payable and outstanding on the contract should be $130,000 to Gopher.

    Gopher states that GC Wealth would be unjustly enriched if allowed to retain the materials and the services provided by Gopher in the contract. Gopher further says that it is entitled to help under the Prompt Payment Act, Tex. Prop. Code, Sec. 28.002, which includes 18% per annum if GC Wealth does not do its duty. Gopher protected its rights by filing a lien against the demolition contract. The plaintiff's petition includes an affidavit for Mechanics', Contractors' or Materialmans' Lien in the amount of $130,000.

    Case No. 08CV0166

    Feb. 20

  • Gas Light, Inc. v. Jim Vratis, Stingaree LLC and Stingaree Operating, LLC

    PA - Terry W. Wood, J - David Garner, 10th Dist. Court

    This lawsuit turns on the goodwill (or not) of brothers George and Jim Vratis. George and Linda Vratis have owned and operated Stingaree Restaurant for many years under the Gas Light name at Crystal Beach on Bolivar peninsula. George recently offered to sell the Stingaree to Jim.

    George and Jim were unable to agree on the purchase price. Jim allegedly transferred all the assets to Stingaree and other operating entities under the Stingaree banner. Jim has operated the Stingaree since Sept. 5, 2007, but George says that he has been excluded and that Jim and his companies have not paid George for fair market value in the Stingaree.

    George contends that Jim knowingly received a benefit that was not a gift (the Stingaree) and pleads unjust enrichment et al. and asks for exemplary damages in that Jim's conduct was intentional and with malice.

    Case No. 08CV0170

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