Need to counter sue for deceptive trade - formal court but small claims judge
Asked Sep 3, 2008, 07:56 AM
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 Districe 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. 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 - but this formal court makes me want to puke.