Judge takes Signal's summary judgment motion under advisement

David Yates Aug. 31, 2010, 6:13am

Signal International is seeking summary judgment against a Louisiana-based business which sued the company claiming considerable costs after a crane and man-lift it leased sunk under its watch.

As the Southeast Texas Record reported in February, Rectec filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court against Signal International and Fireman's Fund Insurance Co.

A few months after the suit was filed, Signal filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing there is no evidence, written contract or law which substantiates Rectec's breach of contract claims.

A hearing on the matter was held Aug. 27 in Judge Milton Shuffield's 136th District Court.

Afterwards, the judge said he would take the summary judgment under advisement.

Court papers show Rectec leased the crane and man-lift last August. Under an oral agreement, Rectec agreed to allow defendant Signal to use the leased equipment at its dry dock in Port Arthur.

According to the suit, while Signal used the machines someone left a valve open at the dry dock and allowed it to sink, resulting in the total loss of the crane and man-lift.

Fireman's insured Rectec for a commercial general liability policy at the time of the incident. The policy was effective until March 1, 2010, and should have covered the cost of the equipment loss, the suit states.

However, when Rectec informed Fireman's of the loss on Aug. 24, it refused to pay for the machines, court papers say.

Rectec is seeking actual and consequential damages.

The company is represented by attorneys John E.W. Baay II, Connie L. Hawkins and Lauren C. Cancienne of Gieger, Laborde and Laperouse in Houston.

Signal is represented by attorney David Bland.

Case No. D185-890

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