David Yates Dec. 3, 2012, 2:21pm

A woman who sued the owner of a construction company claiming he reneged on his promise to build her home was recently awarded more than $500,000 from a default judgment.

Janet Daniels claims she hired Rich Cove Construction on May 1, 2010, to construct a pre-built home on land she owned. As a partial payment toward the construction, Daniels paid Rich Cove Construction $177,437.60, according to the complaint filed April 27 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court records show that on July 25 Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, signed off on a default judgment after the defendant failed to appear.

The judgment awards Daniels $147,822.60 in actual damages, $59,145 in attorney’s fees, and $295,645.20 in exemplary damages.

The suit alleges the construction company failed to make any improvements on Daniels’s property. On July 13, 2010, Daniels learned that the company had gone out of business, the complaint says.

Daniels claims she lost the money she paid to the company.

“Defendant intentionally, knowingly, and/or with intent to defraud Plaintiff, misapplied the construction trust funds, in that they were used, disbursed or otherwise diverted in such a manner that they were not used for the construction of the Plaintiff’s home,” the suit states.

Daniels named the company’s managing partner, Richard L. Granquist, as a defendant, saying he knew the company was in financial trouble and could not complete construction on her home. Still, he deposited the payments from Daniels, according to the complaint.

Bill Richey of Griffin & Matthews in Beaumont represents the plaintiff.

Case No. D192-372

More News