Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Tony's restaurant company sued for having churchgoers' cars towed

Tony's Vallone's restaurant company sued over tow of cars parked by Lakewood Church worshipers at his restaurant in Greenway Plaza on a Sunday 

Five people who say their cars disappeared while they attended Sunday services at Lakewood Church in August 2013 have brought a lawsuit against Timmons Restaurant Partners, LTD for wrongfully towing their vehicles parked near Tony's at 3744 Richmond Ave.

In addition to naming the restaurant company, the plaintiffs bring claims against Meyerland Collision & Towing, Inc. and Apple Towing. Tony Vallone is named in the petition as agent for service, and is not being sued as an individual.

In their complaint, filed yesterday (12/29/2014), the churchgoers seek to recover reimbursement of expenses incurred for towing and storage, statutory fees and damages, and litigation expenses including attorney's fees.

The plaintiffs are bringing the civil action as a class action, to allow for inclusion of others who also had their vehicles removed while attending church but did not pursue legal recourse as co-plaintiffs. The named plaintiffs claim in their original petition that more than a dozen people were stranded in the mid-summer heat after they came out from the church and found that their vehicles were gone.

Lakewood Church attendees' complaint about having their cars towed on orders of Tony's Restaurant 
The lawsuit was filed electronically with the Harris County District Clerk and was assigned to the 11th District Court, presided over by Judge Mike D. Miller. The aggrieved church-goers are represented by The Webster Law Firm, with Omar R. Chawdhary shown as attorney in charge.

It should be noted that facts stated in court pleadings are just allegations and that most need not even be denied specifically once a defendant has been served and are required to file an answer.

To enhance their exposition of the facts in this case, the plaintiffs attorneys inserted two photographs of the location from which the vehicles were allegedly towed. Inclusion of images is not a common litigation practice for initial pleadings.

CASE INFO: Cause No: 2014-74250 Daniel E. Timmins et al vs. Timmons Restaurant Partners LTD, et al, pending in Harris County District Court, 11th Judicial District.

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