April 9, 2018 | By Bekah Harger
Recently, McCathern Houston partner Isaac Villarreal, with the assistance of attorney Eric Utermohlen, received a favorable outcome after a jury trial in Harris County, Texas.
Mr. Villarreal and Mr. Utermohlen represented a client and his company in a complex business lawsuit that generally centered on the joint ownership of a concrete ready-mix company and the parties’ respective rights and obligations related to the running of the business.
Mr. Villarreal and Mr. Utermohlen brought direct and derivative claims against the Defendant alleging breach of two separate contracts, breach of fiduciary duties and other business torts on behalf of their clients and also sought various declarations from the trial court aimed at helping their clients meet certain business goals and objectives for the concrete company post-trial.
The Defendant asserted several defenses seeking to avoid liability and filed his own counterclaims seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
The combination of creative pre-trial strategy, meticulous trial preparation and a great trial presentation lead to a jury verdict that found that the Defendant breached two contracts and was liable to Mr. Villarreal’s clients for damages totaling over a million dollars, plus attorney’s fees through trial, court costs and contingent post-judgment attorney’s fees. The jury also found that the Defendant should take nothing on his counterclaims.
Importantly, the trial court also entered the declaratory judgment sought by Mr. Villarreal and his clients, generally allowing Mr. Villarreal’s clients to expel the Defendant from the concrete company. The expulsion would result in Mr. Villarreal’s clients owning 100% of the concrete company and its assets going forward.
“A judgment award for more than $1 million is always going to be considered a big win for us and any of our clients. However, for business lawsuits like this one, I think it is often just as important to help our clients plan to deal with ongoing business goals and objectives for when the litigation ends. The declaratory judgment entered by the Court in this case helps to do just that.”
Congratulations Isaac and Eric and the rest of the McCathern Houston team!