Breach of contract suit filed over apartment renovations

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 2, 2012, 12:16pm

GALVESTON - United Multifamily Construction Inc. and Tarrant County resident Michael Noah say Dallas County business owner Jim Bonier failed to timely complete a project at a Galveston apartment complex, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed Dec. 2 in Galveston County District Court claims Bonier, doing business as Bonier Furniture Manufacturing, "failed to complete his scope of work" at The Park At Cedar Lawn within a specified timeframe.

UMCI served as the general contractor for the interior and exterior renovation of the property. It brought Bonier in to manufacture and install new cabinets and countertops, to strip and refinish existing cabinets and install new cabinet hardware at the apartments for $263,000.

The suit states that a contract between the parties expressly provided that UMCI would be entitled to liquidated damages in the event the defendant did not finish the project on time. The contract also stated the plaintiff would be entitled to $100 per day per unit in a particular building for every day after the scheduled completion date.

UMCI asserts the respondent failed to timely complete five buildings and caused the complainant "to incur substantial costs for extending its 'general conditions' at the project well after the anticipated completion date."

Bonier claims it sent UMCI a demand letter seeking payment of $90,125 for labor and materials. The plaintiffs terminated the contract on Nov. 16 and asked for the $197,074 difference "owed as a result of the defendant's breach of contract."

The defendant then filed a lien against the project in the amount of $90,125 "with full knowledge of the liquidated damages owed to UMCI and without complying with the procedural prerequisites of Chapter 53 of the Texas Property Code," the suit says.

UMCI adds the defendant made false statements about Noah, its principal.

Lovein Ribman is representing the plaintiffs, and Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-1909

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