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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Being Sued for Breach of Contract

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Texas
    Hello,
    Had a plumber come out to repair gas riser and he put 21 times the pressure on our gas piping as what the gas normally comes in at. In other words 85 lbs. but that's in writing - he said he put 100 lbs. on it. Needless to say, the plumber was amazed at how many joint leaks he then found and all the dope powder now resting under each joint that was leaking.

    City plumbing inspector will testify in court this caused the leaks. I offered to pay for what he came for - not the damage - they charged me to repair this damage!!! So, they wouldn't take what I offered. Now the case is in court through the Grand DADDY corporate law firm. They filed the $3100 in CIVIL - not small claims - JP court - TEXAS.

    So, they send me interogs, and production of docs. - that's when I found out that it wasn't in small claims court!!!! So, I fired right back my own interogs and production of doc.s for them to answer for me.

    Question: My son (who sued Yellow Cab himself in small claims and won a landmark case - which set the precident that small claims court rules of procedure applies also in the higher appeals court process in TX - sorry corporate lawyers - in TX now you can't run to appeals court when you lose in small claims and have the evidence thrown out anymore - haa ha) Yes, so my son said that I could motioin to dismiss this Civil case to have it moved to ADR and or small claims court so that I have the opportunity to fight this wrongful claim against me. He said to say in my motion this is a rampent abuse of the system to take a little guy over a little amount to Justice civil court when the same judges hear the small claims cases - that this filing in the civil court is intimidation and the mere fact of economics denies my ability to contest this wrongful claim.

    Alright - my son is under the gun at work and can't help me - how do I file the motion in form - to dismiss to the small claims court?

    My daughter also told me her friend was sued in Dist. court by an idiot and her lawyer got her $5,000 up front from the plaintiff for her legal fees BEFORE any trials could take place. So it seems the little guy can have a chance - just don't know how to style it or say it. for the small claims. I'd like to counter sue the bas****ds, but can't unless we get to small claims. They've cost me so much work and time and I even had to have another plumber come fix this idiots work! Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,423

    Default Re: Deceptive Trade Violator Suing Me - Through Corporate Attorney

    You can countersue in any court.

    Your son claims to have already invented the wheel, so it's a bit much to ask us to reinvent if for you. If your son knows a trick to force the company to litigate in small claims court, have him share the governing statutes, court rules and case law. Post that information here if you don't understand it, and somebody may help you out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Deceptive Trade Violator Suing Me - Through Corporate Attorney

    Thank you for your response.

    I found out that the only way we can get it moved to small claims is if they broke some law filing it in the court they did. The answer to that is - they did not break the law.

    My question is this. I need to counter sue for the Texas Deceptive Trade as they broke this law. I have proof out the wazoo and the City Inspector wants to testify that what they did was the cause of the damage in the house and that the city has had complaints on this outfit before.

    According to the remedy part of the law I can sue for 3 times the amount in question. So, that would be $9,000.

    How do I counter sue - phrasing I mean - in the Justice court? The formality of this Justice court is what puts pro se folks at a clear disadvantage.

    My daughter's thought is - counter sue for the $9,000 - then file a motion for Alternative Dispute Resolution.

    What do you think of this and how would I word this counter suit? They came to my home to do one thing - screwed that up and had to do it 3 times and then blew out my attic - every joint in the house. They fixed their error and then charged me for their repairs.

    Thanks a great deal, this has been a very bothersome outrageous 2 years.

    Then, the lawyer for them called today asking for us to e-mail them the Interogs and requests for documents we sent for them to answer - they are lazy and have a great deal of nerve.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,656

    Default Re: Deceptive Trade Violator Suing Me - Through Corporate Attorney

    If you don't wish to hire a lawyer to assist you in drafting your pleadings, see if you can find model documents in the county law library or see if you can find a clerk at the courthouse who will help you find an answer and counter-claim from another case that you can use as an example for your own. Generally speaking, a counter-claim is titled as such and otherwise pretty much follows the format of a complaint.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Deceptive Trade Violator Suing Me Through Corporate Attorney

    Thanks Aaron, We plan a trip to the county court house law library tomorrow. I agree - this is the best source.

    Also I picked up a book from the library - title caught my eye.

    "Sue the Bastards" very fitting - ha

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Being Sued for Breach of Contract

    Hello we are in Texas

    First, I want to say I feel totally helpless to help my dad here. This totally reminds me of when I was raped and then sued by the rapist of all things and all the laws protected him and his rights. I fought through that criminal and the civil case he brought against me - but I had a lawyer and the District Attorney to do my talking. I researched and told the lawyer what to say - but he could write up the paper work and talk with the plaintiff's lawyers. I begged the DA not to let the defense attorney get by with the usual stuff and not to just plea it out like they were going to do and somehow I convinced the defense attorney I wasn't playing games and they gave up after 2 years and plead out on my terms. Anyway, this plumbing situation makes us hiring a lawyer impossible - and so basically - these scum bags wreck dad's house and he has to pay for it - regardless of all the evidence we have in our favor - plenty to win in small claims. We don't know how to file a counter in formal court and we don't know how to admit the evidence if we do get to court. They wanted interogs and requests for doc. and we asked the same - if they can't answer one question - then we have them and can motion to dismiss - but in the meantime - we need to counter sue by the end of the week. Here's the story:

    I'm trying to help my dad with a law suit brought on by a national plumbing chain franchisee. They came out to replace a gas riser and blew out all the joints in the house with 85 lbs. psi (per them in writing) and 100 psi per them verbally. We have the city inspector who will testify that this caused all the damage in the house.

    This pressure test (85 - 100 psi) caused them to have to replace the work they'd already done as well.

    Dad refused to pay them for the repairs in the house (all joints were holding at 50 psi the day before they used 85 - 100 psi) as they caused them all, just as they had to repair what work they performed on the exterior riser due to the excessive pressure test. In fact, the plumber had a terrible time trying to get the riser to hols and later we had to have another plumber come out and again repair one of the risers dumb head had replaced.

    So, the plumbing chain has a lawyer in another city within our state suing us. We have in writing from the plumbing company that we tried to pay for the work they did excluding the in house repairs. We have the gas line testing proceedures from cities across the country and near by that says to use 3 psi to 20 psi. up to 60 psi for welded pipe - duh - residential doesn't use welded pipe.

    Anyway, we need to know how to word the counter suit from the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice and it should be fraud under the penal code as well. The bill for what dad agreed to was $700 - they want $3100. For Texas that's a felony. The State AG has an open complaint for us and the State Plumbing Examiners too. Both are waiting to see the outcome of this case - so there is a lot on the line for the plumbing company.

    They've also altered their invoice several times. Why - who knows - it's very odd and in the Texas Deceptive trade practices that's a no no too.

    The only law for the DTP I can find that would apply is 17.47 (b) (13) Someone suggested a breech in contract claim - but it was only a verbal on the risers. And actually, when the idiot said the second riser was leaking - it had so signs of leaking either - he just couldn't get the one he replaced to hold, so he kept looking to replace everything - and he ended up going back to the first riser at least 3 times in all of this mess.

    They are suing for Breach of Contract, Breach of Implied Contract, Quantum Meruit - ha, Reasonal and Necessary Attorney Fee, Prejudgement and Post-judgement Interest.

    Texas says you can sue on DTP for 3 times the monetary damages. I'm just beside myself in that in small claims court it is totally winnable for dad- but this formal court makes me want to puke.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,114

    Default Re: Being Sued for Breach of Contract

    You need to consult with an attorney in your area, and fast.

    The first consultation is usually free.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I play a researcher on the internet!
    Caution: I bite. WARNING: Do not send questions or complaints by PM. I'm likely to post them publicly and embarrass you half to death.
    I'm training for the MS Society's Bike to the Bay - and blogging about it!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Being Sued for Breach of Contract

    LawResearchMissy,

    I've consulted with 3 attorneys and called 4 more - they all say that for $3,100 we couldn't afford to hire them. That it would cost us more than that for their services - because the court only awards "reasonable" attorney's fees - that covers about a 1/3 or less of what they charge you.

    So, we are very much on our own - except these moron attorney's for the plaintiff got the trial date before they asked for discovery - so I feel quite certain we'll get a continuance so we can check out their answers and doc.s to our discovery on them.

    Actually, except for the wording of the claims and remedies we would seek in a counter suit - we're in good shape now. Spent 2 days at the law library at the court house - got more books from the public library - found an awesome Texas supreme court ruling that works for our case.

    If I could just get the right wording for the counter suit - we're great. We're on to how to offer evidence - found that the opposing side's attorneys have been pretty sloppy, etc.

    We are hoping that the attorneys when they review all of our evidence will come to the realization that they filed a suit based on fraud - we tried over and over to pay these idiots for the work they came to do in the first place and they refused it (in writing - total morons) they kept wanting payment for the property damage they caused to be repaired too.

    In the event that the lawyers do not see the risk they are in - especially with the state plumbing examiners board due to this case and this lawsuit they filed could be turned over for criminal prosecution - then we'll have to continue on. Ugh.

    One very important thing I wish we'd known: in TEXAS - if you are sued in the wrong court - precinct - county - etc. - you MUST file for the change in venue BEFORE or with your first response/answer to the lawsuit - otherwise it's your tough cookies. See the TX small claims court rules on line for details.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Being Sued for Breach of Contract

    Not sure where you are - but consultation fees here range from $100 - $300 each. That's for 1 hour. The bar association will refer you to someone for $20 that's for a 1/2 hour consultation. Never heard of a TX lawyer giving free consultations.

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