Tri-Con lands $61K verdict in breach of contract trial

By David Yates | May 13, 2010

A local petroleum product supplier landed a $61,260.33 verdict following a brief civil trial in a Jefferson County courtroom.

In November 2008, Tri-Con filed suit against CIMA Utility and Construction, hoping to recover more than $25,000 from a delinquent account.

After a year and a half of litigation, jury selection began Monday, May 10. A charge of the court was filed in the county's clerk's office three days later on May 13.

Jurors were asked if CIMA failed to comply with an agreement to pay Tri-Con for fuel products delivered to the company.

They did, finding that CIMA owed Tri-Con $26,260.33 for unpaid services. The jury also tacked on an additional $25,000 in court costs.

In its suit, Tri-Con says CIMA adamantly refused to continue making payments on the account, which forced the company to sue.

"Defendant has defaulted by failing to make the payment on (its) account after receiving plaintiff's products," the suit states. "The principal balance due plaintiff on the account is $25,738.05, plus interest occurred."

In its response to the suit, CIMA generally denied all of Tri-Con's allegations.

"Even if the allegations contained in plaintiff's petition are true, plaintiff is not entitled to recover because plaintiff committed fraud," the response states.

Tri-Con has been selling petroleum and lubricant products throughout the Southeast Texas area for 37 years, according to the company's website.

"With it's (sic) headquarters located in Beaumont Texas, the company specializes in providing competitive, reliable, and dependable fuel and lubricant supply to all of it's (sic) customers."

CIMA's website says the company specializes in wet and dry underground utility construction while providing a diverse industrial skilled labor pool, and "has been providing services in the trenching and excavation utility arena for the pass (sic) 9 years."

CIMA was represented by Danny Scott Jr.

Tri-Con was represented by attorney John Morgan.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, presided over the trial.

Case No. E182-738

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