GALVESTON - A Galveston County couple is suing the owner of a pool installation business after he demanded payment for a work order that was reportedly ruined during Hurricane Ike, recent court documents say.

Plaintiffs Gary and Nancy Svestka claim they hired J.R. Richard, doing business as Richard's Total Backyard Solutions, in early September 2008 to install electrical, plumbing and filtering equipment for their swimming pool, but instructed the defendant to postpone the job because of Hurricane Ike's imminent landfall.

In a lawsuit filed Sept. 13 in Galveston County Court No. 3, the Svestkas claim the defendant and his staff ignored the request and proceeded with the installation.

"There was little doubt that the equipment would be subjected to substantial (if not total) damage by bringing and leaving the equipment in Galveston with such imminent threat to Galveston," the original petition states.

"(Hurricane) Ike in fact made a direct landing on Galveston on September 13, and the equipment was damaged or irreparably damaged."

Defendant Richard told the plaintiffs that they would have to pay $5,445 to fix the damaged equipment, but failed and refused to honor their requests, the suit says.

It also alleges that Richard did not procure a permit from the Indian Beach Property Owners Association, causing the Svestkas to pay a $1,000 fine.

The plaintiffs consequently seek unspecified monetary damages.

Attorney Karen A. Mahoney of Galveston is representing the Svestkas, and the case has been assigned to Galveston County Court No. 3 Judge Roy Quintanilla.

Cause No. 63,671

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