ENGlobal denied motion to dismiss by appeals court

By Marilyn Tennissen | Sep 23, 2014

ENGlobal fought a Jefferson County court's decision to deny its motion to dismiss a contract suit but had it's appeal shot down by a Beaumont court.

Texas Ninth District Court of Appeals on Sept. 4 affirmed 172nd District Court Judge Donald Floyd's decision to deny ENGlobal's motion to dismiss.

ENGlobal U.S. Inc. and Jefferson Refinery LLC entered a contract whereby ENGlobal agreed to provide consulting and engineering services regarding Jefferson’s Texas facility, the Winnie Refinery. 

ENGlobal subsequently sued Jefferson for suit on a sworn account, breach of contract, quantum meruit, violation of the Prompt Payment Act and lien foreclosure.

The suit was filed in Jefferson County in the 172nd District Court.

Jefferson filed a counterclaim against ENGlobal, alleging breach of contract, conversion, tortious interference and fraudulent lien.

ENGlobal moved to dismiss Jefferson’s counterclaim for failure to file a certificate of merit. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed Jefferson’s claims without prejudice.

When Jefferson filed an amended counterclaim with a certificate of merit, ENGlobal moved to dismiss on grounds that the certificate was insufficient.

"In this case, Jefferson, the defendant, filed a counterclaim against ENGlobal. Because section 150.002’s certificate of merit requirement applies to the party who initiates the action or suit, and does not apply to a party who asserts claims or causes of action within that suit, such as a counter-claimant, Jefferson was not required to comply with section 150.002," wrote Chief Justice Steve McKeithen.

The trial court denied ENGlobal’s motion.

In the appeal to the Texas Ninth District of Court of Appeals in Beaumont, ENGlobal presented two appellate issues challenging the denial of its motion to dismiss.

"We affirm the trial court’s order denying ENGlobal’s motion to dismiss," wrote McKeithen.

Jefferson County Case No. E194-140

Appeals Court Case No. 09-14-00120-CV.

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