Griffith Barbee recently obtained a nearly $1 million judgment for Texas-based furniture chain, Home Zone Furniture, following a jury trial in September 2022 in Jefferson County, Texas.
The case stems from a sublease for retail space in Beaumont, Texas between Academy Sports + Outdoors, as sublessor, and Home Zone, as sublessee. Home Zone, a family-owned furniture chain with 18 locations, subleased the property from Academy from 2010 to 2015.
Academy sued in 2019 alleging Home Zone failed to make roughly $100,000 in required repairs before turning over the property and failed to pay late fees and interest on past due rent. Relying on the savings statue, Home Zone countersued, alleging Academy failed to rebuild the “flying V” structure commonly seen on Academy storefronts after it collapsed during the sublease term.
After a four-day trial, the jury returned a verdict for Home Zone for over $500,000 in lost profit damages, awarded Academy approximately $10,000 in damages for late fees and interest, returned a take-nothing verdict for Academy’s repair damages claim, and awarded $0 in attorneys’ fees and expenses for both sides.
Following post-verdict motions by both sides, the trial court agreed with Griffith Barbee and signed a final judgment for Home Zone for over $975,000. Specifically, the trial court disregarded the jury’s finding of breach by Home Zone as to late fees and interest, affirmed the over $500,000 actual damages award to Home Zone, and awarded Home Zone $335,000 in attorneys’ fees and expenses, $133,000 in pre-judgment interest, court costs, and post-judgment interest.
“This result exemplifies our team’s ‘never give up’ attitude,” said Michael Barbee. “Our client came to us to defend a lawsuit and we turned it around through creativity and a relentless desire to win.” “We are thankful to have such a principled client that saw this case through to the end.”
Griffith Barbee partner Casey Griffith led the trial team with associate Gracen Daniel as second chair. Michael Barbee, Kirk Voss, and Ashley Norton also contributed to the trial victory.