In December 2011, a homeowner hired a General Contractor (GC) to remodel her home in Downtown Austin.

However, shortly after construction began, the homeowner was surprised to receive a notice from the City of Austin that the proper permits had not been pulled for the construction site.

Despite multiple attempts by the homeowner to engage with the GC, he failed to address the permit violations with her or the City. Frustrated, the homeowner demanded the return of the contract price but the GC refused claiming he was entitled to be paid for the incomplete and poorly built structure that remained on the homeowner’s property.

In October 2012, Pete Reid Law, PLLC was retained by the Austin homeowner. A lawsuit was brought against the GC for breach of contract and deceptive trade practices.

Pete Reid aggressively took control of the litigation, setting a date for trial and demanding documents that would support the homeowner’s claims. Mr. Reid’s targeted discovery demands surfaced documents and admissions proving that the contractor never pulled the proper permits, that the partially constructed structure did not meet building codes, and that the GC had disbursed payments to sub-contractors for work that was never done.

At the same time, Pete Reid Law worked together with the Code Compliance Department of the City of Austin to build a case against the GC. The City then brought claims against the GC in the City of Austin Municipal Court, and a hearing on the violations was arranged just two days before the civil case was set for jury trial. As expected, the GC was forced to admit to permit violations in Municipal Court, and the following day, on the steps of Travis County Civil Courthouse steps, the homeowner’s case against the GC was settled.

Mr. Reid’s client received an extremely favorable settlement, recovering the vast majority of the contract price, along with attorneys’ fees, interest, and costs. In celebrating her victory, the homeowner thanked Pete Reid Law, PLLC for its creative and aggressive tactics, and commented that Mr. Reid was a “great attorney and a great person.”


CC Image Courtesy of Robert Hensley.