Flower shop owner settles leaky roof suit minutes before trial

David Yates Mar. 7, 2011, 8:00am

While potential jurors waited to be processed, the owner of a flower shop settled her suit against the contractor she claims failed to properly install her leaky roof.

As previously reported, Julie Avant, doing business as Garrison Flowers, sued Theodore B. Harp Jr. last January, claiming she hired the roofer in January 2008 to place a new roof on her business at 3049 Proctor St. in Port Arthur.

On the day of the trial, March 7, the parties announced they had reached an undisclosed settlement, ending the litigation minutes before potential jury members could be seated.

Court records show Avant hired Harp to certify the roof as being in accordance with the International Residential Code 2003 upon the roof's completion.

Allegedly, Harp issued a final certification, but should not have done so as the roof failed after a heavy rainstorm on Feb. 16, 2008, which caused interior damage.

Avant was forced to hire a second roofing contractor to build a new roof at the same business premises because of the damages, the suit states.

"Plaintiff would show that it was Defendant's responsibility to inspect during construction to ensure the roof was properly installed before he certified it," the suit states.

Avant was seeking treble and discretionary damages, attorney's fees and court costs.

Brandon P. Monk of The Monk Law Firm in Port Arthur represents her.

Harp is represented by attorney Thomas Burbank.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, presided over the litigation.

Case No. D185-772

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