Carrie Salls Sep. 1, 2016, 11:31am


DALLAS – Dallas Cowboys receiver Desmond D. “Dez” Bryant has filed a counterclaim against State Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) as part of a lawsuit filed by Royce amid allegations Bryant damaged the senator’s rental property.  

The counterclaim, filed by Bryant in July in Dallas County District Court, makes allegations against West of bad faith actions, misrepresentations and abuse of his attorney-client relationship with Bryant.

 

“Bryant will show that Royce West breached the professional and fiduciary duties he owed to Bryant, all for the benefit of Royce West and his ‘business associates’ and to Bryant’s substantial detriment,” the counterclaim said.

 

Bryant said in the counterclaim that West acted as his attorney, representative and adviser in managing many of Bryant’s business, legal, financial and personal affairs, beginning in about 2010.

 

Bryant said he relied on and trusted West and expected him to act in Bryant’s best interests.

 

“Instead of fulfilling the role of ‘trusted adviser,’ Royce West capitalized on Bryant’s notoriety and hard-earned success to improperly line his own pockets and those of his business associates,” the counterclaim said.

 

In the counterclaim, Bryant alleges West put a bail bondsman “with a shady history” in charge of Bryant’s finances, that payments from Dez I Enterprises, Inc. “stopped at Wells and/or West, but never reached Bryant,” and that West used his close relationship with Bryant to convince Bryant to lease West’s rental property, which was managed by Wells.

 

After he found new legal counsel and terminated a power-of-attorney agreement with Wells, Bryant said West refused to turn over requested documents.

 

“In the end, Wells - the financial manager handpicked by Royce West - absconded with more than $200,000 of money owed to Bryant under endorsements and other agreements,” Bryant’s counterclaim said. “For his part, Royce West and his law firm, West & Associates, LLP, received more than $300,000 in compensation from Bryant while Royce West simultaneously was breaching his fiduciary duties and other obligations to Bryant.”

 

Through his counterclaim, Bryant seeks actual and exemplary damages, a constructive trust to be placed on all proceeds, funds and property received in breach of West’s fiduciary duties, forfeiture of all fees obtained in breach of West’s fiduciary duties, court costs, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law and payment of attorney fees.

 

West’s lawsuit against Bryant, which was filed June 17, seeks up to $200,000 in damages. West’s suit alleges Bryant did more than $61,000 in damage to the rental property.

 

“Bryant returned the property to Mr. West in February 2016, however, Mr. West found it in a state of serious disrepair: littered with trash and feces, missing blinds and shutters, with cracked windows and blackened carpeting,” West’s lawsuit said. “Mr. Bryant has been unwilling to accept responsibility for the damage, forcing Mr. West to file this suit.”

 

In a response to Bryant’s counterclaim, West said in an Aug. 15 court filing that he “generally denies each and every, all and singular, of the material allegations set forth in the counterclaim and demands strict proof of the same by a preponderance of the evidence.”

 

West also asked the court to impose sanctions against Bryant in connection with the counterclaim. West said Bryant has a no evidence to support his counterclaim allegations and is using them to defame West and intimidate him into dropping his suit against Bryant.

 

West said the court should order Bryant to pay $500,000 in sanctions in the form of a donation to the United Negro College Fund.

 

A hearing on the sanctions motion is scheduled Oct. 10.

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