Speedy justice: Trial ends 20 minutes after start
Charles Gordon Reed
Twenty minutes after the trial of David Elie et al vs. Wave Tec Pools Inc. et al officially started, plaintiff's attorney Charles Reed walked over to his clients and said, "Merry Christmas … we got everything we asked for."
The abrupt non-jury trial began and ended Wednesday, Nov. 12, in Judge Donald Floyd's 172nd District Court.
The trail ended when Wave Tec Pools' counsel withdrew its answer and motion to transfer venue, entitling the suits' dozen plaintiffs to a default judgment in their favor.
Reed said the defendants had "no problem" with his clients' asking amount, leading them to raise the proverbial white flag before any testimony was heard.
David Elie and his wife Margaret sued Wave Tec Pools and its sister company Superior Funding Inc. in January 2007, alleging the companies conspired together to defraud its customers' "lack of knowledge."
The suit would later grow to encompass around a dozen more plaintiffs, who also alleged the defendant companies took advantage of them after they purchased a pool by giving them the old "bait and switch," court papers say.
According to case files, Wave Tec Pools and Superior Funding are "inextricably entwined." Once a customer purchases a Wave Tec pool, the customer must obtain financing through Superior Funding, who allegedly subjected customers to a 60 percent interest rate.
The plaintiffs' suit further alleged Wave Tec never started construction on the dates promised. And once construction began, employed inept workers who built the pool "in a hap-hazard manner."
"The (Defendants') salesmen are trained to mislead the customer and make statements that take advantage of the lack of the plaintiffs' knowledge," the suit says. "This practice results in a gross disparity between the value received and the consideration paid in the transaction."
The four-count suit had accused the defendants of negligence per se, usery, breach of contract and Deceptive Trade Practice Violations.
The plaintiffs were suing for actual and exemplary damages, plus all court costs.
The default judgment amount will become public once Judge Floyd approves the order, which should be sometime this month.
The defendants were represented by attorney Christopher Peterson.
Case No. E178-378