Marblecrafters seeks summary judgment against sign vendor

David Yates Apr. 26, 2010, 8:15am

Last January, the Southeast Texas Record reported on a suit filed by Marblecrafters, a Nederland-based company who sued the makers of its $35,000 sign after it was pummeled by Hurricane Humberto.

Currently, Marblecrafters is seeking summary judgment against one of the defendants in its suit, Curtis Elbert Thiele.

Marblecrafters filed its motion Feb. 9. A hearing was slated for Monday, April 26, in Judge Bob Wortham's 58th District Court. However, the matter has been reset for June 7.

In its suit, Marblecrafters claims defendants David Sarles Jr., owner of First Time Signs, and Thiele guaranteed the sign could handle winds of up to 120 miles per hour.

Court documents show that Marblecrafters hired Sarles and Thiele to fabricate a new pylon sign in 2006 because Hurricane Rita damaged the company's original.

An engineer's drawing signed by Thiele on March 15, 2006, indicated the sign would be designed to withstand wind of up to 120 mph, the suit states.

However after Hurricane Humberto made landfall on Sept. 12, 2007, the company discovered damged acrylic sign panels. The National Weather Service reported Humberto as a Category I hurricane with highest winds at around 90 mph.

Because the sign was supposedly not up to windstorm specifications, Marblecrafters insurance claim was denied � leading the company to file suit.

According to the summary judgment motion, Thiele has repeatedly failed to respond to Marblecrafters' written discovery request, entitling the company to a judgment in its favor.

Marblecrafters is seeking unspecified actual, consequential, incidental, mental anguish, statutory and exemplary damages, plus attorney's fees.

The company is represented by Wyatt D. Snider and Jason M. Byrd of Snider and Byrd in Beaumont.

Thiele is representing himself.

Case No. A183-009

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