Apartment owners in dispute with contractor over repair delays

Kelly Holleran Jan. 19, 2010, 9:56am

The owner of a Jefferson County apartment complex has filed suit against a contractor, alleging it lost rent after the contractor failed to complete work in a timely manner.

Longfellow of Ohio, which owns Longfellow Apartments in Beaumont, claims it hired J&W Travis Enterprises to perform repairs and renovations to its apartments.

According to the complaint filed Jan. 13 in Jefferson County District Court, the work was to be completed within 20 weeks from the time the contract was signed on Dec. 10, 2008.

However, Longfellow alleges J&W Travis Enterprises failed to complete the work on time, failed to perform the work in a good and workmanlike manner, failed to pay its subcontractors and suppliers, failed to properly man the job, failed to complete the contract and failed to honor warranties, the suit states.

"As a result of such breaches by Defendant, Plaintiff incurred the following actual damages, among others: lost rents due to apartments being unavailable for rental longer than should have been necessary; additional construction supervision costs incurred by Plaintiff; costs incurred in dealing with Defendant's unpaid subcontractors and suppliers; and costs incurred by having to hire other contractors to perform work which Defendant should have performed," the complaint says.

In the meantime, J&W Travis Enterprises has threatened to file a lien against the property, Longfellow claims.

Longfellow is asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment against J&W Travis Enterprises stating that the plaintiff does not owe it any money and that any lien threatened by J&W Travis Enterprises arising out of the contract is void.

In addition, it is seeking actual damages, attorney's fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief to which it may be entitled.

Kerwin B. Stone of Moore Landrey in Beaumont will be representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D185-697.

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