Bidding war over tree removal project leads to litigation

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 24, 2012, 8:19am

GALVESTON - Claiming a company run by a former employee misrepresented itself to win a contractual bid from the city of League City, Environmental Tree and Design Inc. has filed a lawsuit.

Recent court documents filed April 12 in Galveston County District Court allege California-based Hess Landscape Construction Inc. wrongfully claimed the plaintiff's projects as its own in order to successfully bid on the Louisiana Avenue Compton Oak Relocation Project.

The defendant's proprietor, Erik Hess, worked for the complainant, doing business as Environmental Design Inc., from mid-2003 to 2006, when his position was terminated, according to the lawsuit.

The suit states the parties' paths "did not cross" as Hess operated a nursery and a tree supply company for several years prior to forming Hess Landscape Construction in late 2010.

At present, Hess is looking to expand its business outside of California, and specifically into Texas, the suit states.

Environmental Tree and Design claims it was in the running for the League City Project, which involves relocating a large oak tree because of a conflict with proposed road construction, when the respondent also threw its name into the bidding war.

According to the original petition, Hess included several projects and clients which were credited to the plaintiff to secure the subject job.

It is not authorized to do business in Texas therefore it is unqualified to make a bid, the suit says.

Hess is also accused of using images of the complainant's various works on its website and in marketing ventures.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks unspecified monetary damages.

It is represented by Ewing & Jones PLLC.

Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 12-cv-1016

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