Arnold & Placek wins trial 9 days after being retained

Written by A&P News on February 15th, 2020. Posted in News, Trial

Civil litigation is usually a slow burn. But when a national real estate and property management company approached Arnold & Placek just nine days before trial, we prepared for the challenge. And won.

Our client leased a large commercial space in central Austin to an international restauranteur planning an elaborate build-out. When the tenant, who agreed to shoulder all construction costs, ran out of money midway through the project, the contractors sued not only the tenant, but also the landlord, to recover nearly $700,000 in unpaid work.

Since the plaintiff contractors had no contract with the landlord, their theory of recovery was equitable: the landlord had been unjustly enriched, the plaintiffs argued, by benefitting from significant improvements the contractors performed in upgrading the plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems at the leased premises. Plaintiffs asserted that the landlord should pay for the reasonable value of the services performed that improved the leased premises.

The case sat on the docket for about a year, and attempts to settle proved unsuccessful. Then, on the Monday before a bench trial setting, the landlord reached out to Arnold & Placek. We quickly assembled a team and got to work absorbing the facts and documents, meeting with witnesses, and crafting a winnable legal strategy.

Arnold & Placek partner Matthew Foerster and senior associate Jonathan Chaltain represented the client at trial. After two days of the plaintiff’s case in chief, A&P moved for judgment as a matter of law, showing that equitable relief was not available to the plaintiff contractors under the facts presented.

Senior Judge Jimmy Carroll, former Chief Justice of the Austin Court of Appeals, presided over the trial as a visiting judge. The judge granted our motion and awarded a take-nothing judgment in favor of our client.

The case is Gameta Construction LLC v. NAU F&D Holdings Inc. et al., Cause No. D-1-GN-18-000074, in the 250th Judicial District Court of Travis County, Texas.

Arnold & Placek Obtains Judgment of Over $3,700,000

Written by A&P News on June 13th, 2012. Posted in Premium, Trial

261st District Court, Travis County

Arnold & Placek, P.C. today prevailed on summary judgment on behalf of its client and obtained a judgment of $3,712,042.00 and an additional $51,228.37 in attorney’s fees from the Defendant Pegasus Transportation Group, Inc. In the case, Arnold & Placek represented Texas Mutual on its claims against Pegasus, a trucking company, related to additional premiums owed on a series of workers’ compensation policies issued by Texas Mutual. Texas Mutual alleged that Pegasus had under-reported its payroll, thus obtaining workers’ compensation at a much lower premium than is prescribed by law. On summary judgment, Arnold & Placek demonstrated that the additional payroll which should have been disclosed to Texas Mutual would have resulted in additional premium of over $3.7 million. The Court agreed and also awarded Texas Mutual its attorney’s fees in having to pursue the breach of contract claims. Texas Mutual was represented by Scott Placek, Kyle Jones and Matthew Foerster of Arnold & Placek. Matthew Foerster argued and obtained the ruling on summary judgment for Texas Mutual.

Arnold & Placek, P.C. Obtains Summary Judgment on Bad Faith Claim

Written by A&P News on July 23rd, 2010. Posted in Bad Faith, Trial

67th District Court for Tarrant County, Texas

Arnold & Placek, P.C. obtained a summary judgment on behalf of the Travelers Group in a workers’ compensation bad faith claim, establishing, as a matter of law that there was no bad faith on the part of Travelers.  Thomas Sauvlet sued Travelers in Tarrant County, Texas contending that their dispute of his unwitnessed bathroom slip and fall accident was a breach of the duty of good faith.  Through carefully tailored discovery, Arnold & Placek was able to establish that, as a matter of law, a reasonable basis existed to dispute the claim.  Judge Don Cosby granted Travelers summary judgment after Arnold & Placek had previously obtained the dismissal of an identical suit Sauvlet had filed in Dallas County.  Kyle Jones represented the Travelers Group.

Dallas County Jury Returns Unanimous Carrier Verdict in LIBS Case

Written by A&P News on June 20th, 2010. Posted in Judicial Review, Trial

14th District Court for Dallas County, Texas

Arnold & Placek, P.C. obtained a unanimous jury verdict for Texas Mutual Insurance Company, overturning the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s award of Lifetime Income Benefits to Javier Esparza.  Mr. Esparza, who was one of two survivors of a 10 fatality auto accident, suffered the amputation of one leg and an injury to his right arm.  The DWC found that Esparza had total loss of use of the right arm, and awarded lifetime income benefits – an estimated future expense of over $1,000,000.  Based on the medical evidence and surveillance video, Arnold & Placek was able to establish that, in fact, Esparza had sufficient use of his right arm that he could get and keep employment requiring the use of the arm.  Scott Placek and Kyle Jones represented Texas Mutual at trial.  Javier Esparza was represented by Randell Johnson.  Judge Eric Moyé presided over the trial.