Fiber optics company at trial over breach of contract claims

Christina Stueve Feb. 21, 2012, 10:59am


A dispute over a commission worth more than $100,000 between two long-time acquaintances has wound up in trial this week in Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla's courtroom.

J2 Management Owner James Mihalich of New Berlin is suing American Fiber Comm LLC, an Edwardsville fiber optics company, alleging AFC did not fulfill its part of a contract.

Mihalich also is suing American Fiber Comm company owner Thomas M. Allen.

Godfrey attorney Phil Hamilton represents Mihalich and his company.

"They (AFC) owed $140,000 plus interest, and they just don't want to pay," Hamilton told jurors on Tuesday afternoon. "They claim Jim deceived AFC."

According to the lawsuit, J2 Mgmt had an agreement with American Fiber in which J2 would be given a 10 percent commission on work completed by American Fiber within two years of the contract.

American Fiber Comm sold a duct partially enclosed in a steel pipe $1.075 million in 2010.

The duct runs from Walnut Street in St. Louis underneath the Mississippi River over to Locust Street in East St. Louis.

Mihalich J2 claimed American Fiber Comm failed to pay him more than $100,000 in commission on the deal.

"Tom fired Jim in 2009," Hamilton said. "Jim thought he should be paid on all these different projects, because he had contracts."

Testimony will continue Wednesday.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 11-L-53

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