Lawsuit filed in apparent dispute over cranes

GALVESTON - Maxim Crane Works LP alleges Malin International Ship Repair & DryDock Inc. illegally took possession of two of its cranes, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed Oct. 25 in Galveston County District Court states Maxim Crane recently attempted to conduct an inspection of said cranes in Galveston only to discover they were gone.

The cranes - a 1999 15-ton lift capacity Dresser Galion Rough Terrain Crane and a 2006 30-ton lift capacity Terex Rough Terrain Crane - were previously rented to PRC Environmental Inc.

PRC Environmental reportedly agreed not to sell, transfer or encumber the cranes.

More than a year since it loaned the cranes, the plaintiff sent an employee to PRC Environmental's area jobsite to check on the pieces of heavy machinery.

The suit says that the employee "learned for the first time" that the cranes were no longer in PRC Environmental's possession, but instead, with Malin International.

It adds Maxim Crane demanded the respondent return the cranes to no avail, stating the complainant received "conflicting" reports about the equipment in question.

"Maxim Cranes has a possessory right to the two cranes and Malin International unlawfully appropriated and/or secured Maxim Crane's two cranes with the intent to deprive Maxim Crane of the cranes," the original petition says.

"Malin International continues to refuse to return the cranes, which rightfully belong to Maxim Cranes."

According to the claimant, it is unable to exercise its right under its rental contract with PRC International.

Consequently, Maxim Cranes seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Galveston County 56th District Court Judge Lonnie Cox granted the plaintiff a temporary restraining order.

A temporary injunction hearing is set for 10:30 a.m., Nov. 4.

Attorney Russell Lewis of Baker Botts L.L.P. in Houston is representing Maxim Cranes.

Case No. 13-CV-1363

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