5/2/22 - News
SHJ Wins Trial Victory in Breach of Contract Case
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Intertek, a large, multinational consulting firm, attempted to breach its lease with Trical Commercial, an arm of the Los Angeles-based development company Bycor and Trical Construction, over allegations of toxic mold. Trical Commercial engaged SHJ to file suit for breach of contract and seek millions in damages.
The three-week trial in Harris County, Texas, was one of the county’s first in-person jury trials since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, requiring the SHJ trial team to successfully navigate a host of novel procedural constraints: from jurors and witnesses wearing face masks to social distancing guidelines. At trial, we relied on six environmental and mold experts to scrutinize the defendant’s allegations, leveraging our extensive experience presenting and cross-examining experts in a variety of scientific and technical disciplines. We discovered that the defendant’s primary expert was actually owned by the defendant, presenting a clear conflict of interest. We then argued that Intertek did not actually need the space and sought to use Hurricane Harvey as a pretense to escape its contractual obligations. The jury agreed, and awarded our client 100% of its claimed damages plus 10% yearly interest and attorneys’ fees.