No new trial for no-show defendant in suit over commission advance

David Yates Apr. 2, 2012, 12:00pm

A Beaumont judge declined to give pro se defendant, who failed to show for his trial, a new trial on Monday.

As previously reported, Starco Impex, doing business as Wholesale Outlet, filed a lawsuit Nov. 3, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court against John Curtis, a Kingwood resident, alleging he never repaid his employer the thousands of dollars advanced to him.

The case was slated to go to trial Jan. 17; however, Curtis failed to appear.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, signed off on a final judgment on Jan. 25, awarding Starco $13,977.64 in actual damages, $5,000 in attorney's fees and 595 in pre-judgment interest, court records show.

A court official told the Southeast Texas Record that a hearing was held on April 2 but Judge Wortham declined to give Curtis a new trial.

In its suit, Starco claims it advanced Curtis $20,500 against his sales commission proceeds pursuant to an agreement regarding the distribution of certain products. Under the agreement, Curtis promised to repay Starco in full.

Starco maintains it never received the total amount of money it lent to Curtis, the suit states.

"Plaintiff withheld future commissions from Defendant totaling $6,522.36 leaving an amount due to Plaintiff of $13,977.64," the complaint says.

"As a result of Defendant John Curtis' s breach of contract, Plaintiff has sustained financial harm and has lost the benefits expected to be received from the contract if defendant John Curtis had performed as promised."

John Werner of Reaud, Morgan and Quinn in Beaumont represents Starco.

Case No. A188-737

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