Defendant declares bankruptcy in suit brought by ‘Swamp People’ over bounced check

By David Yates | Oct 11, 2012

A defendant in a suit brought by two reality television stars of the hit program “Swamp People,” who sued after a check for a guest appearance bounced, has declared bankruptcy.  

As previously reported, Elizabeth Choate and Kristi Broussard, along with Gator Queen Choate LLC and Justin Choate, filed suit against Karen Fuson and Debra Turner and Judy Turner on June 12 in Jefferson County District Court.

Court records show that on July 12 the plaintiffs filed a motion for default judgment against Judy Turner after she failed to respond to the suit within 30 days.

However, on Sept. 13 Judy Turner filed a notice of bankruptcy, stating the she filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy on June 29.

The lawsuit alleges that Debra Turner contacted the History Channel’s “Swamp People” co-stars in March with a business proposition to hire Elizabeth and Broussard to make an appearance at the South Texas State Fair on March 31 to promote the plaintiffs’ budding business, ETC Texas Custom Truck Accessories.

The day before the fair appearance, March 30, Turner wrote three checks; a $2,200 check to Broussard for her appearance; a $3,500 check to Elizabeth for her appearance; and a $56,000 check to Gator Queen Choate for merchandise, T-shirts and photos.

Even though the reality stars attended the fair and the merchandise had already been received, Broussard’s check bounced and a stop payment was put on the $56,000 check, the suit alleges.

The plaintiffs allege the defendants committed common law fraud and breached their contract.

They are suing for actual, economic and punitive damages.

Beaumont attorney Cade Bernsen represents them.

Nederland attorney Robert Barron of Barron and Barron represents Judy Turner.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. E192-555

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