Munro's Dry Cleaning seeks summary judgment in suit over missing clothes

David Yates Apr. 15, 2010, 4:37am

Six months ago, local resident J.D. Roberts filed suit against Munro's Dry Cleaning, claiming not all of his clothes were returned to him even though he had contracted with Munro's to store them.

In his suit, Roberts says sometime in September 2007 he requested that the items be returned to him, but found that a great number of the articles of clothes were no longer stored by the store.

On March 25, Munro's filed a no-evidence motion for summary judgment, arguing that "despite the passage of nearly six months since the case was filed, Roberts has failed to present any evidence."

"In fact, the evidence established that the 'injury' alleged in this lawsuit took place in the year 2003, such that all claims asserted against defendant are barred by the applicable statute of limitations," the motion states. "Defendant is entitled to summary judgment on each of these grounds."

Court papers show that on April 12, 2002, Roberts had Munro's clean a "voluminous amount of clothing" that had sustained fire damage.

When it finished the cleaning, Munro notified Roberts his items were ready for pick up upon payment of the bill, which totaled $4,676.60.

Roberts was unable to pay the amount and Munro's agreed to allow him to pay his bill in monthly payments and retrieve his items as he paid.

"Mr. Roberts refused to make any payments on his dry leaning bill ... forcing Munro's to store the items for free," the motion states. "On July 16, 2003, Munro's sent Roberts a certified letter requesting payment and notifying him that legal action would be taken if he did not pay."

Roberts responded by making a $1,000 payment. However, court papers say he again stopped making payments and the company was forced to take him to small claims court.

The financial struggle continued between the two parties for several more years until June 2007, when Munro's decided to donate his remaining clothing to charity.

"This is the standard practice in the dry cleaning industry for disposing of unclaimed goods," the motion states. "At the time of the donation, Munro's had not received a full payment on Roberts' account in seven months."

In his response to the motion, Roberts argues his claims are not barred since his clothes were not donated until June 2007.

The summary judgment hearing has been slated for April 16 in Judge Donald Floyd's 172nd District Court.

Because of his lost clothing, Roberts claims he has suffered mental anguish, has incurred out-of-pocket expenses and lost use of the items.

His is represented by attorneys John D. West and Scott Renick of Beaumont.

Munro's is represented by Mehaffy Weber attorney Ernest Boyd.

Case No. E184-811

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