LONE STARR CONSTRUCTION, INC.
San Antonio, Texas
"Aggie Owned and Operated Since 1983"
Risk Manager, Lone Starr Construction, Inc.
Larry Starr, President
Lone Starr Construction, Inc.
Potential claim against Titus Steel
September 13, 2020
As you have surely heard around the office over the last few months, Lone Starr Construction has had a great deal of trouble with the quality of some $350,000 in steel rods and plates that we have purchased from Titus Steel. Our plan was to use this steel in our various commercial construction projects in the greater San Antonio Area, but great inconsistency in the length (of the rods) and width (of the plates) has rendered this huge stockpile of steel unusable for us. Titus refuses to take back the steel products, and I fear we may ultimately be heading to court.
In conversation at last week’s Chamber of Commerce meeting, I happened to find out that another local company, Bemex International, had sued Titus Steel over some similar quality issues back in 2015. Lone Starr’s outside litigation counsel (mainly as a favor to me) agreed to obtain documents from Bemex International v. Titus Steel so we could get some possible ideas of what a lawsuit against Titus would look like. That case ultimately settled, incidentally, for an undisclosed amount and confidential terms. Thus, we do not know exactly what happened after the litigation documents we now possess. The Bemex representatives won’t talk to us about the matter, either. I suspect that their settlement contained a non-disclosure provision.
Since you recently completed your M.Jur. degree from Texas A&M University School of Law, I thought you might be the best person to review these documents, initially, as we think through whether we should consult our litigation counsel further.
Please review the collection of documents I have provided to you. They are available in the module on our website that contains this assignment. Then, write a report for me (maximum 2,000 words) in which you do the following:
- Summarize the basic facts of the underlying dispute (the reason why the parties ended up in a lawsuit) in the Bemex case;
- Summarize the basic facts of how the litigation proceeded (the so-called “procedural facts”) in the Bemex case;
- Describe (very briefly) potential claims we might have against Titus based on what you learned from the Bemex documents and any (minimal and optional) supplemental research you do regarding the legal claims in Bemex; and
- Highlight any potential risks you spot that you believe we (Lone Starr Construction) should be aware of before we sue Titus Steel. In other words, if Bemex International made any mistakes, we certainly do not want to repeat those!
I also expect your report to have an “executive summary” type introduction paragraph, four sections (with headings) that line up with the four topics described above, and a conclusion paragraph.
This 2015 litigation will not tell us everything we need to know, but I think it is a good starting point for our company's consideration of this matter and whether we should involve outside legal counsel.
Follow the general instructions provided to you by Mr. Starr, your supervisor for purposes of this problem. By no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, 2020, you must upload the final, revised version (carefully proofread, no typos) of your report in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx) to the course website. Do not submit a document in any file format other than Microsoft Word format.