Woman sued by contractor for $95K debt submits original answer into lawsuit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Apr. 15, 2013, 3:50pm

GALVESTON - A Pearland woman allegedly sued over a $95,000 debt has issued a formal response, recent court records show.

Kristine Barton entered a three-page original answer into Harris County contractor David Sanders's lawsuit on April 8.

Sanders, doing business as Master Builders, claims in litigation launched Feb. 22 that Barton owes him $94,684 stemming from a project on a home in Friendswood.

Both parties executed a written owner-contractor agreement on April 12, 2012, and then a construction-permanent loan agreement four months later.

According to Sanders, the defendant breached contract when she sent him a notice of termination earlier this year, stating he was due the disputed amount at the time.

He further explains that an individual named Damian Lopez, who is not a party in the case, attached a document which apparently certified “sufficient cause” for termination, however, the latter “had no personal knowledge of any facts that would support termination and only relied upon the untruthful statements [made] by the defendant.”

The complainant unsuccessfully sought assistance from Compass Bank, the entity named as the lender in the Aug. 10, 2012, contract, and then issued an $18,000 check to a subcontractor that turned out to be no good for which he blames Barton, the suit says.

Barton's answer asserts that "her failure to comply with the contract, if any, was excused by [her] previous failure to comply with one or more material obligations of the same contract."

"Such material breaches by the plaintiff include failure to provide an accounting or budget for the project, failure to pay subcontractors, failure to provide evidence of payment to subcontractors, failure to perform the work in a good and workmanlike manner, failure to make applications for payment as required by the contract and failure to achieve substantial completion within the time set forth in the contract," it states.

The response additionally accuses the plaintiff of making false representations and concealing material facts.

Attorney Teri A. Walter of the Walter Law Firm, P.C. in Houston is representing the respondent.

Case No. 13-CV-283

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