Action Construction lands $429K verdict in breach-of-contract trial

David Yates Nov. 16, 2010, 4:22am

A Jefferson County jury recently ruled that Compro Tax breached a contract with Dennis Dickerson, awarding the man's company, Action Construction, more than $400,000 in damages.

On Nov. 1 jury selection began in the trial of Action Construction vs. Compro Tax in Judge Donald Floyd's 172nd District Court. A verdict was reached a week later and officially filed in Jefferson County District Court on Nov. 16.

In May 2008, Action Construction sued Compro Tax in order to collect more than $400,000 in unpaid invoices stemming from a pair of construction contracts.

A few months before the trial, Action Construction had filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the evidence shows the company is entitled to the money.

Judge Floyd denied the motion on Oct. 5, ruling that "there are genuine issues of material fact on substantially all of the facts" alleged by Action Construction.

A month later, jurors agreed that Compro Tax breached its contract and awarded Action Construction $429,540.50 in damages.

The jury further concluded that in no way did Action Construction breach the contract, assigning 100 percent of the blame on Compro Tax.

According to testimony and court records, the companies entered into written contracts on May 9, 2006, and Aug. 2, 2006, to pour a concrete slab and erect a metal building on the Compro Tax property.

"Plaintiff was performing its contractual obligations and Defendant breached by failing to tender payment upon demand," Action Construction's suit states.

"Defendant's breach caused injury to Plaintiff including an overdue unpaid balance of $437,998.00, court costs and attorney's fees. Plaintiff seeks unliquidated damages within the jurisdictional limits of this court."

Court papers show Compro began changing the details of the plans after construction was well underway.

In its suit, Action Construction claims it "tried to no avail to accommodate" Compro but the company refused to pay.

During the trial, Compro argued that Action Construction failed to complete the job and comply with change orders.

Compro is represented by Beaumont attorney Kerwin Stone of the Moore Landrey law firm.

Action Construction is represented by Beaumont attorney Brett Thomas of the Roebuck & Thomas law firm.

Case No. E181-706

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