Suit against welding company blames shoddy work for insurance problems

Kelly Holleran Jan. 7, 2009, 8:49am

A Jefferson County man has filed suit against a local welding company, alleging the substandard building it constructed has prevented his ability to obtain windstorm insurance.

Court papers say plaintiff Fred Pouncy hired Jesse and Bonnie Blankenship of Blankenship Welding Co. on Oct. 4, 2006, to remove an existing carport and patio cover at his home, extend the concrete slab and construct a 30-by-40-by-10-foot steel building.

Pouncy claims he paid Blankenship Welding its final payment on Jan. 17, 2007, after the job was completed.

However, when Pouncy tried to get windstorm insurance on his building, an inspector informed him the building did not meet building codes and refused to issue a WPI-8, Pouncy claims.

Pouncy filed a lawsuit against the Blankenships and their company on Dec. 30, 2008, in Jefferson County District Court.

Problems with the steel building include an insufficient pitch on the roof that does not allow for proper drainage, which causes the roof to leak, and a sliding metal door that is not wind rated, according to the complaint.

The carport and patio covers were not installed correctly and also leak, causing damage to the inside and outside of Pouncy's home, the suit states.

In addition, the concrete slab Blankenship Welding installed is structurally defective and does not slope correctly, which allows for standing water, Pouncy claims.

Despite complaints, Pouncy alleges Blankenship Welding Co. has refused to repair the building, carport, patio cover, slab and damage to the inside and outside of his house.

Because of the company's refusal to fix the building, Pouncy has incurred costs to repair the property and damages to it, the suit states.

The suit names the following acts or omissions by defendants as violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act:

  • Misrepresenting that goods or services have characteristics, uses or benefits they do not have;
  • Representing that goods or services are of a particular quality they are not;
  • Representing that an agreement confers obligations it does not have;
  • Representing that a warranty confers rights it does not involve;
  • Representing that work or services were performed when they were not; and
  • Failing to disclose information concerning services at the time of the transaction with the intention to induce plaintiff into making a payment.

    "There was a gross disparity between the amount of money paid by Plaintiff and the value of the goods and services received from Defendants," the suit states.

    Pouncy is seeking unspecified actual and additional damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest in the highest amount allowed by law, attorney's fees, costs and other relief to which he may be entitled.

    David W. Starnes of Beaumont will be representing him.

    The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham of the 58th District Court.

    Case No. A182-952

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