Co-owner files counter suit against former partner in Kemah restaurant

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 14, 2009, 7:24am

GALVESTON – A LaPorte man has filed a counter suit against his partner in a Kemah eatery and his partner's attorney after being hit with a temporary restraining order.

Milad Elias is suing his former associate Erik C. Miller as well as Miller's lawyer, for ousting him from ownership of Heads N Tails Bar & Grill in October 2008.

Elias claims Miller failed to honor an agreement between them that Miller would not be involved in the day-to-day operations of the restaurant and would keep his job at a Chevrolet dealership.

The plaintiff also argues that Miller engaged in behavior detrimental to the business. The suit was filed on April 1 in Galveston County District Court by Houston attorney Hal D. Hale.

Court papers say Elias and Miller started the restaurant two years ago with an agreement that they share the profits on a 50/50 basis and Elias responsible for the restaurant's daily operations.

Elias alleges that they agreed he would be in charge because Miller had a history of problems with drugs and alcohol and no experience running a bar and grill.

The restaurant opened in March 2008, but Elias claims that Miller then lost his job at Alliance Chevrolet in LaPorte for alleged sexual harassment and began spending more time at Heads N Tails.

"Miller began to engage in improper conduct, including but not limited to having sex with employees, snorting cocaine in the presence of employees, and becoming so high and inebriated that it caused him to neglect his duties to the business and Elias," the suit states.

Elias and Miller reportedly had a couple of altercations in August 2008 and, according to the complaint, Elias tried to call the defendant on alleged misbehavior.

In October 2008, Elias suspected a few things were amiss when he could not enter the business or access his personal property and the restaurant's bank accounts.

Then Miller, with the help of Cypress attorney Michael T. Fuerst, sought a temporary restraining order and temporary injunction against Elias from Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia.

He claimed Elias abandoned Heads N Tails and tried to ruin business with disruptive conduct.

The move supposedly stripped the Elias of any power he had over Heads N Tails.

Elias counter suit also names Fuerst and James R. Roberts, a friend of Miller's, as defendants.

Elias seeks damages for mental anguish and financial losses.

The case has also been assigned to Judge Mallia.

Case No. 09CV0449

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