The Red Roof Inn, Beaumont

An insurance company has filed suit against the plumbing business it blames for causing a water leak at a hotel that cost the insurer more than $700,000 in repair costs.

Association Casualty Insurance Co. claims it insured Marlin Commercial, which later entered into a contract with defendant Mayte Rocha, doing business as Hawkins Plumbing in El Paso, to perform plumbing work at the Red Roof Inn in Beaumont.

By August 2009, Marlin Commercial had completed all plumbing work for the Red Roof Inn, according to the complaint filed March 14 in Jefferson County District Court.

On Feb. 17, 2010, the Red Roof Inn sustained substantial water damages due to a water leak in the connection of a bath tub valve on the hot water side in room 309, the suit states. The valve had not been properly glued, the complaint alleges.

As a result of the damages, Association, as Marlin Commercial's insurer, claims it was stuck paying the $720,807.72 in damages the hotel sustained.

However, Association claims Marlin was not to blame for the damages caused to the hotel.

Instead, it blames Hawkins for causing the leak, saying its employees negligently created the leak, hired people who were unable to perform proper plumbing work and failed to properly oversee plumbing work performed.

In addition, Hawkins negligently supplied plumbing materials that were incapable of meeting the hotel's plumbing needs, failed to stop water from entering the Red Roof Inn, failed to remedy the defective condition and failed to advise Marlin Commercial to remedy the defective condition, according to the complaint.

In its suit, Association alleges negligence, breach of contract and breach of warranty against Hawkins.

Association is seeking actual damages, plus costs, attorney's fees, pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest legal rate and other relief the court deems just.

Dan C. Kelley of Hoffman Kelley in Austin will be representing it.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Case No. B189-584

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