Fuel supplier asks court to prohibit removal of gas station equipment

Kelly Holleran Jun. 3, 2013, 1:36pm

More than four years after installing removable fixtures at a Beaumont gas station, a fuel supplier faces losing its property after the gas station’s owner threatened to destroy the fixtures if they are not removed within a certain amount of time.

PetroTex Fuels filed a lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court against I&U doing business as Shop N Save and Ismail Usman. 

In its complaint, PetroTex claims that on May 13 Usman gave it three days to retrieve removable fixtures from his gas station at 2675 South Fourth St. in Beaumont. PetroTex filed its complaint in hopes that the court would prohibit Usman from destroying or tampering with its property.

PetroTex had installed the fixtures at the Shop N Save gas station in 2009 after it struck a deal to sell motor vehicle fuel there. At the time of the agreement, Usman had mortgaged the property to Shop N Save, according to the complaint.

Ultimately, Shop N Save defaulted on its contract with PetroTex and on Usman’s loan, the suit states. On Feb. 5, Usman foreclosed on the property and informed PetroTex of his plans to remodel the store. He requested that PetroTex reactivate the motor vehicle fuel supply to the gas station under the terms of a new contract, the suit states.

PetroTex generated a new agreement, but Usman asked if he could instead purchase the equipment on the property, the complaint says. PetroTex claims it agreed to the sale of its equipment and subsequently drafted a sale agreement.

Unhappy with the asking price for the equipment, Usman attempted to lower the sales price, according to the complaint. PetroTex refused to agree to the lower price and never sold the equipment to Usman, the suit states.

Since then, Usman completed his renovations and is ready to open his business. However, PetroTex’s equipment still sits on his property, the complaint says.

“PetroTex has been informed by defendants that defendants will hire an individual to debrand the property and will ‘keep, sell or destroy all of the property of PetroTex Fuels’ if the property is not removed within three days,” the suit states.

Usman provided PetroTex with an itemized list of all equipment at his gas station, but PetroTex contends the list is incomplete.

Now, PetroTex is asking the court to determine which equipment it can remove from the gas station. It also wants the court to prohibit Usman from removing, altering or destroying any of its property.

In addition to the declaratory judgments it seeks, PetroTex is asking for actual damages, plus attorney’s fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Greg M. Dykeman and Stacie L. Augustine of Strong, Pipkin, Bisssell and Ledyard in Beaumont will be representing it.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. D194-349

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