Steel fabricator sues contractor over work on BISD elementary schools

By Kelly Holleran | May 2, 2011

A Texas steel fabricating company claims it was not paid more than $50,000 for work it performed on two Beaumont elementary schools.

Steel Masters claims it worked as a subcontractor on the construction of Amelia Elementary School and Blanchette Elementary School. Steel Masters performed the steel erection work for the schools.

According to a lawsuit filed April 19 in Jefferson County District Court, Steel Masters claims it should have been paid $32,721 for the Amelia Elementary work. In a separate suit filed April 20, the company claims it is owed $24,585 for the job at Blanchette Elementary.

However, defendant Allco, which was the general contractor on the project, failed to pay Steel Masters for the work it performed despite receiving payment from the Beaumont Independent School District, the suit states.

At the time the work was completed, Travelers had issued a payment bond to BISD, which was meant to protect any unpaid subcontractors, the complaint says.

When Steel Masters sent Travelers a valid bond claim alleging unpaid amounts of $91,745.40, it states the insurance company refused to repay it.

Steel Masters is now suing for the money it says it is owed, alleging breach of contract against Allco, misapplication of trust funds against Allco's owner, T.W. Harrison, and failure to pay a government bond claim against Travelers.

In addition to its actual damages, Steel Masters is seeking exemplary damages, pre-judgment interest, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

It will be represented by W. Gene Human Jr. of Houston.

The cases have been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Amelia Elementary Case No. E189-804
Blanchette Elementary Case No. E189-810

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