Judge finds for company in Edwardsville retaining wall dispute

Amelia Flood Aug. 6, 2009, 10:21am

Madison County Associate Judge Clarence Harrison II has returned a verdict for a landscaping company involved in a payment dispute with an Edwardsville attorney.

The dispute centered on what the company, Lee Services Inc., claimed attorney Earl Vuagniaux and his wife, Alice, owed for building retaining walls at the couple's Edwardsville home.

Vuagniaux had disputed what the company was charging and what he agreed to pay in an oral contract.

Harrison awarded the compnay $14,754.75, pre-judgment interest and costs, in an order entered Aug. 3. The case was a non-jury trial.

Harrison had appeared visibly annoyed as testimony progressed during the trial's opening day.

Leroy Horvath Jr. and Earl Vuagniaux, who represented himself, repeatedly bickered over details such as how to get from Earl Vuagniaux's home to his son's and what shoes Horvath Jr. wore to work on the job.

According to the complaint, Horvath Jr. and Vuagniaux agreed to an oral time and materials contract whereby Vuagniaux would pay Lee Services $50 an hour, $50 per hour of machine operation, the cost of materials for the job and a 10 percent mark-up on the material costs.

Vuagniaux allegedly paid the company twice before balking and demanding to see tax returns, receipts and time cards, according to the complaint and Horvath's testimony.

The two men ended the arrangement in May 2007, with Vuagniaux still owing about $14,700.

Lee Services filed a mechanic's lien against Vuagniaux and his wife in August of the same year.

The trial opened July 28.

Lee Services was represented by Todd Sivia.

The case was Madison case number 08-CH-247.

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