Galveston couple sues construction company for breach of contract

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 11, 2009, 9:47am

GALVESTON � Claiming their storm-damaged residence remained untouched despite paying more than $70,000 for repairs, a Galveston couple has filed suit against two local contractors and their construction business.

Leslie and Sandra Bartosh's lawsuit against Marco Garza and Danny Higgins, who are doing business as Coastal Framing, argues that the defendants failed to adhere to a written contract they entered with the plaintiffs in May by "failing to perform the construction detailed within the contract in a timely and appropriate manner."

"The defendants breached its expressed and implied warranties by failing to provide house renovation in accordance with the construction contract which did not meet the quality defendants represented it was to have, was not done in a good and workmanlike manner, and was unfit for proper use and habitation," the suit, which was filed Nov. 4, says.

The Bartosh's West End home was one of thousands on which Hurricane Ike wreaked havoc on Sept. 13, 2008.

After the Category 2 storm, the plaintiffs claim they interviewed and researched a number of building contractors to restore their home when they met Garza and Higgins.

The defendants made representations regarding the quality and services of Coastal Framing and showed the Bartoshes a house that was supposedly a further example of their work, the suit says.

Court papers show both parties subsequently drew up the contract in question, which called on the complainants to pay approximately $80,000 for restoration efforts and the defendants to perform renovations and improvements.

The Bartoshes say they paid Garza and Higgins $75,386 and bought materials in the amount of $4,260.

The case states that the defendants fraudulently obtained the necessary permits for the project by forging the Leslie Barthosh's signature without his permission.

It also faults them for failing to complete the task within a 14-week timetable imposed by the plaintiffs.

"There were no delays or lost time due to material or labor shortages or any weather or acts of God which should have delayed any progress," the suit says.

"By mid-August 2009, the defendants had failed to timely perform their obligations under the contract, including but not limited to, timely completion of the renovation and remodeling items, reimbursement for materials purchased by the plaintiffs, provision of appropriate quality materials, and proper installation of materials."

The Bartoshes claim they have been forced to solicit bids and retain additional contractors to complete the work contained within the construction contract to repair or replace contractual items which the defendants failed to provide or install at a cost of over $45,000 plus three extra months rent totaling $4,500, the suit states.

In addition to the funds reportedly spent toward the controversial work and other monetary damages, the plaintiffs demand a jury trial.

Dallas attorney G. Michael Stewart is representing the Bartoshes.

The case has been assigned to Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner.

Case No. 09CV2054

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