BEAUMONT – The Ninth Court of Appeals recently nixed a $50,000 jury verdict levied against American Air Systems over a leaky A/C unit.
Plaintiffs Jeffery and Veronica Book sued American Air Systems on Nov. 17, 2011, in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the company installed a leaky unit in their home.
However, on March 9 justices found their claim is barred by the statute of limitations, finding that the plaintiffs should have discovered their injury and right to seek a legal remedy more than two years before they filed suit.
The trial of Book v. AAS began Aug. 31, 2015 in Judge Kent Walston’s 58th District Court and ended four days later.
According to the original petition, the system installed by the defendant was constantly leaking and caused tremendous damage to the couple’s home.
Although the jury found that neither party was negligent, jurors did find that American Air Systems engaged in deceptive acts, according to the charge of the court.
Jurors awarded the couple $4,675.51 for past property damages and $6,228 for repair costs. Individually, the Books were awarded $6,000 a piece for their mental anguish, bringing their total damages award to $22,903.51.
The jury also found the defendant failed to perform their repair service in a good workmanlike manner, awarding identical damages.
For representation in the trial court, plaintiffs’ attorney John Morgan was awarded $27,721.66, according to the charge.
Following the trial, American Air Systems filed motions for directed verdict, judgment notwithstanding the verdict and for a new trial, which Walston overruled, rendering judgment on the verdict for the plaintiffs last October, court records show.
On Dec. 30, 2015, American Air Systems filed an appeal, questioning, among other issues, if the trial court err by denying AAS’ directed verdict and JNOV based upon its affirmative defense of statute of limitations.
“Because the Books’ claims are barred by the statute of limitations, the trial court erred by denying American Air’s motion for directed verdict and motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict,” states the Ninth Court’s opinion.
AAS is represented by Joe Dodson, attorney for the Strong Pipkin Bissell & Ledyard law firm.
Case No. A191-364