A Texas jury recently returned a $1.85 million verdict in favor of Central Freight Lines, finding that a local company breached its contract to provide workers’ compensation insurance and claims administration services.
Jurors found that Rockwall, Texas-based TrendsetterHR and its owner, D.W. Bobst, failed to honor the terms of the contract and wrongfully billed Central Freight for services and coverage that were never provided.
Trendsetter originally sued for breach of contract in 2013 after Central Freight stopped its payments. Central Freight, a Waco, Texas-based company, filed a countersuit.
“It’s rare to receive a verdict of this magnitude in a counterclaim, but Trendsetter’s failures and wrongs were particularly egregious,” Central Freight attorney William Chamblee said in a news release. “Trendsetter, its affiliates and its owner made numerous misstatements to my client in an effort to hide the facts and justify their wrongdoing.”
Central Freight is requesting that interest be added to the verdict amount, which could push the final award to more than $2 million. A decision on interest should come in a few weeks.
Trendsetter signed the contract with Central Freight in 2008 before adding several amendments to broaden the administrative services provided to the company and its employees. The countersuit claimed that for more than three years Trendsetter accepted payments from Central Freight, but failed to properly deposit the funds for workers’ compensation coverage.
Central Freight’s lawsuit also alleged that Trendsetter made “every effort to protect itself in anticipation of the looming regulatory and coverage problems it had created for Central, as well as the likelihood for litigation.”
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