Several warring companies are attempting to hammer out their differences before a judge can rule on one of the party's motion to strike counterclaim.

In February 2008 the Southeast Texas Record reported on a suit filed by Ricky Lightfoot, who claims Kelly Family Investments and Allied Electrical Contractors of Beaumont Inc. trespassed and dug a drainage ditch on his property without permission.

Court documents show that Lightfoot owns the property known as Washington Village Parkway in Beaumont.

Two years after the suit was filed, Kelly Family Investments and Allied Electrical filed a counterclaim, in which the companies assert Lightfoot's suit is "frivolous and without merit" and nothing more than an attempt to "extort monies."

Lightfoot responded by filing a motion to strike the companies' counterclaim and continue the case.

On Monday, May 3 a hearing regarding the issue was held in Judge Milton Shuffield's 136th District Court.

Judge Shuffield told the Record he is taking the motion under consideration but allowing the companies time to try and strike an agreement.

Lightfoot says in his suit that he has suffered serious and substantial damage, and is demanding that the drainage ditch now be filled with dirt or with pipe and covered with dirt.

"Plaintiff has incurred costs and expenses in the prosecution of this suit, and the Defendants should reimburse Plaintiff for the costs and expenses incurred in this matter," the suit said. "Plaintiff should be entitled to recover exemplary ... and actual damages."

Kelly Family Investments and Allied Electrical are represented by attorney Daniel Clayton.

Lightfoot is represented by attorney Robert Dunham.

Case No. D181-168

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