Sanctions hearing ends in dismissal

David Yates Mar. 29, 2010, 10:41am

In March 2008 Bob Hayes sued SETX Clearwater Environmental, claiming the company refused to return his Tankko unit.

Two years later, on March 25 the suit was dismissed with prejudice. SETX Clearwater Environmental agreed to return the unit and both sides agreed to pay their own incurred court costs and attorney's fees.

Hayes filed his suit in Jefferson County District Court, accusing SETX Clearwater Environmental owners Dr. LaWayne Miller and Dr. Saeed Ally of conversion.

Court documents show that Hayes had offered Miller and Ally use of the Tankko unit so long as he was made a partner in SETX Clearwater Environmental.

Allegedly, in January 2007 the doctors incorporated without Hayes and then refused to return his machine, court papers say.

Since that time, SETX Clearwater attorney Rhett Phares claims Hayes and his attorneys "have engaged in a course of conduct that is heinous and unconscionable," leading him to file a motion for sanctions on March 2.

The motion asserts that Hayes attorneys refused to show a letter proving that the Tankko unit belongs to him, despite several discovery requests.

During the hearing, an emotional Phares accused the plaintiff's attorneys of harassing SETX Clearwater, of trying to bankrupt the business, and of not making any demands in attempt to keep the case trapped in "frivolous" litigation.

Conversely, the plaintiff's attorneys accused Phares of implementing "Rambo tactics" and of "going mad," court papers show.

The March 25 hearing was supposed to be over Phares' motion for sanctions. However, Judge Bob Wortham asked the public to clear the courtroom before the hearing officially could start.

When the public was permitted to re-enter courtroom, the parties announced that the plaintiff non-suited his claim with prejudice for $0.00.

Around a dozen people were in attendance.

Hayes was represented by Wright & Pitre attorney Harry Wright, Boneau & Lewis attorney Richard Lewis, and Austin attorney Daniel Lawton.

Case No. A181-545

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