Atwood files suit over Starvin Marvin's sign

Kelly Holleran Jul. 29, 2011, 6:58am

Two Jefferson County residents claim they face the possibility of losing tens of thousands of dollars after city officials declared a sign on their property illegal.

Marvin and Brittaney Atwood, doing business as Home Energy Conservation, filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court against Signtronix and its employee, Robert Arnold.

In their complaint, the Atwoods allege they purchased a sign from Signtronix for $69,147.26. The sign was subsequently erected at Starvin Marvin's Bar and Grill at 2310 North 11th St. in Beaumont, according to the complaint.

The Atwoods contributed $20,000 toward the sign as a down payment and financed the remaining $49,147.26, the suit states.

However, the couple now wants its money back after they say they discovered the illegality of the sign.

"Signtronnix and/or its agent and/or its independent contractor Robert Arnold intentionally made false statements and assurances to Mr. Atwood and Brittaney Atwood that: (1) the sign was absolutely legal and would be in conformity with the city of Beaumont's laws; and (2) Robert Arnold would obtain any necessary permits from the city and that he had done this many times," the complaint says.

When the Atwoods discovered that the sign was not legal and that Arnold failed to procure the necessary permits, Arnold stopped communicating with them, they claim.

In their complaint, the Atwoods allege fraud, fraudulent inducement, conspiracy, negligent misrepresentation, negligence and violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act against the defendants.

They seek a temporary restraining order mandating that Signtronix cease from enforcing the terms of the sales contract and keep from destroying any of its records. In addition, they seek actual, economic, treble, punitive and exemplary damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, attorneys' fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Atwood has also been facing legal problems over the legality of the live music on Starvin Marvin's outdoor patio. The city claims the music violates noise ordinances.

David E. Bernsen and Cade Bernsen of The Bernsen Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing them.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D190-555

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