A Multimillion Dollar Website and Breach of Contract

Almost every business needs a website. For some businesses, website functionality is crucial to generating revenue; and, most types of marketing (websites included) are expensive endeavors. But what if you paid $32 million for a website that didn’t meet your expectations? That’s exactly what happened to car rental giant Hertz, which is suing its former marketing company, Accenture LLP, for breach of contract.

Hertz engaged Accenture to create a new website and mobile applications. From 2016 to 2018, Hertz paid Accenture over $32 million, but Hertz claims it did not get the website and mobile apps it wanted. According to the lawsuit, Accenture did not develop medium sized displays for the new website and mobile apps. While desktop and mobile sized displays were created, tablet-sized displays were not. Hertz requested the website and apps be “responsive” meaning they would automatically resize for the device on which they are accessed, but the Accenture “demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional fees to deliver the promised medium-sized layout.”

Hertz also claims Accenture failed to deliver website coding that was secure, which could make the website vulnerable to hackers. Possibly the largest problem with the website is that it wasn’t extensible, meaning it couldn’t be expanded to be used for Hertz’s global brand. Hertz asserts the decision to disregard extensibility was deliberate and made without Hertz’s knowledge or consent. A website that’s not extensible leaves Hertz needing to spend additional marketing dollars developing websites and apps for global use.

What may seem like a simple breach of contract dispute on the surface can actually become much more complex in the digital age. Websites and mobile apps are incredibly complicated. When companies enter into a contract that does not discuss the specifics of every aspect of the project, disputes can easily arise between the parties as to what is included in the scope of work. Digital assets like websites are presenting unique legal challenges. When contracts involving websites are not thoroughly drafted, there’s more than enough room for disputes.

Houston Contract Attorneys

At Feldman & Feldman, our Houston contract attorneys understand the complexities of drafting contracts involving websites. We also regularly represent individuals and business owners in breach of contract disputes involving intangible marketing materials. If you are involved in a breach of contract dispute, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated attorneys.

Houston Law Firm Files Lawsuit Over Faulty Printer: Here’s What You Need To Know About Warranties

Picture this: you have a really important print job, but as you stand in front of your office printer it starts making strange noises. Before you know it, the printer is jammed and your print job isn’t happening anytime soon. This is a common scenario for anyone that works in an office, which can become incredibly frustrating, particularly if the printer is brand new and fails to operate properly at all. This was the case for a local Houston law firm who became so fed up with printer problems that they filed a lawsuit against HP, Inc. alleging breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of express warranty. While it’s unclear how this office drama will play out, it does serve as an important reminder to business owners about warranties.

According to the Houston law firm that bought an HP Color Laser Jet printer, the five-year warranty it purchased included promised in-person repairs, parts, and service “at your door the very same business day.” The firm claims the printer had problems since it was delivered, including constant paper jams and print jobs that would take hours. The firm tried to troubleshoot the issue with HP’s customer service call centers, but were unable to resolve the issue. The final straw broke when the firm needed several important printing jobs done, but the printer could only print one page every three to four minutes. Despite the promise in the warranty to send an on-site technician, the firm claims HP did not honor this promise and instead refused.

Like this Houston law firm, many businesses rely on technology and/or machinery to operate. In certain industries, when a business doesn’t have certain machines operational, everything comes to a complete stop, making warranties incredibly important. A warranty is a contract between two parties, so both are legally bound to uphold their end of the deal. When a breach of contract occurs – whether it is related to a warranty or not – businesses have the right to pursue legal action against the breaching party.

Houston Breach of Warranty Lawyers

The Houston breach of warranty lawyers at Feldman & Feldman understand how important warranties and contracts are to your business. That’s why we aggressively fight for clients who have faced financial consequences as the result of a breach of contract. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experience trial attorneys.

Monster Jam Launching Monster Lawsuit Against Toy Giant Mattel

When companies work together for years or even decades, a variety of issues can arise out of the agreements made and deals struck. When one company or business decides to part ways by ending the relationship, the resulting split has the potential to turn into a legal nightmare for both parties. In one such recent business divorce, the resulting lawsuit involves a myriad of commercial litigation issues.

The Battle of the Monster Trucks

A recent case between the company that owns MONSTER JAM® and toy manufacturer Mattel undoes a 20-year partnership between the two companies. In July 2018, Feld Motor Sports – the parent company of MONSTER JAM® – alerted Mattel it planned to end their long-standing relationship. While the details of the decision to dissolve the partnership are unknown, Feld Motor Sports had licensed the Monster Jam name and logo to Mattel since 1999, with Mattel serving as the sole producer of official MONSTER JAM® toy trucks and other merchandise.

In a lawsuit filed late December 2018 (Feld Motor Sports, Inc. v. Mattel, Inc.), Feld claims Mattel infringed on its trademark by producing its own line of toy monster trucks with remarkably similar styles, names, and colors, alleging they are “virtually identical in shape and construction.” The lawsuit even claims Mattel repurposed the molds it created and used for decades manufacturing the MONSTER JAM® trucks in a gross violation of trademark laws. Additionally, Mattel announced in November it planned to hold its own event, titled “Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live,” which is a near perfect copy of Feld Motor Sports’ MONSTER JAM® event.

In addition to trademark infringement, Feld alleges Mattel chose not to complete the remainder of the licensing agreement in good faith by failing to supply retailers with their requested supplies of MONSTER JAM® products, resulting in a significant decline in sales for Feld Motor Sports in the third quarter of 2018 versus the same quarter in 2017. Feld claims Mattel “secretly and deliberately undersupplied MONSTER JAM® products” while still remaining the exclusive licensee, and therefore unlawfully blocked market access to the products.

Because of the long history between the two companies, litigation over these issues is sure to prove contentious, with claims ranging from trademark infringement to licensing issues to breach of contract. The issues involved can affect a wide-range of businesses, and the case merits close attention as it continues to unfold.

Commercial Litigation Attorneys in Houston

The commercial litigation lawyers at Feldman & Feldman have successfully litigated business disputes for over 40 years, and one of our founding partners, Cris Feldman, has significant experience in commercial litigation. If your business is facing issues with a partner or vendor, find out how we can help resolve those issues either in or out of the courtroom. Contact us today for a consultation.

Contract Disputes Are The Most Common Cause Of Construction Litigation

With any construction project, there are dozens of moving parts. If just one part fails, the rest of the project can be thrown off schedule. Construction litigation can be extremely costly and time consuming, making it difficult for projects to reach completion. The most common cause of construction litigation is contract disputes, which echoes the importance of drafting thorough and specific contracts with the help of experienced construction lawyers.

According to the 2018 Global Construction Disputes Report, contract disputes are the leading cause of legal issues for the construction industry, including contractual errors and omissions, poor contract administration and contractual misunderstandings. You might think a small omission wouldn’t have a huge impact on a project, but you’d be wrong. On average, construction contract disputes take 18 months to resolve. This means projects can be slowed down dramatically by even the smallest contract issue.

Construction contracts are a common cause of disputes, because unlike other types of contracts, they are often written in real time. Every little change needs to be documented in a change order to prevent confusion; however, there are many small details that can have huge implications. This means any time there is a contract dispute, the parties involved need to immediately contact an experienced construction lawyer. The right lawyer can help resolve issues before they drag out into an 18 month long ordeal.

Start With A Solid Foundation

The best way to protect yourself from litigation is to work with an experienced contract attorney; however, not just any contract attorney will do. The construction industry is extremely nuanced, and even attorneys with the best intensions can make costly mistakes. When looking for an attorney to help you with construction contracts, you must select an attorney with prior experience in the construction industry. You will need someone with industry knowledge to protect your best interests.

Know Where To Turn To When Litigation Arises

To prevent construction disputes from getting out of hand and delaying projects, you need to know where to turn to when litigation arises. Construction litigation can be incredibly complex, and you should only turn to attorneys with a successful track record. At Feldman & Feldman, our experienced construction lawyers are well versed on matters relating to the construction industry. We have helped draft solid contracts that prevent litigation and assisted clients when disputes threatened their projects.

Houston Construction Lawyers

If you are facing any type of construction law dispute, don’t wait to contact Feldman & Feldman today. We can analyze your case and explain your legal options. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

Why You Need An Attorney To Draft Contracts

Many people conduct business without the help of an attorney. Oftentimes business dealings like transactions and agreements seem straightforward and simple to the layperson, but the reality is these matters have serious legal implications. Whether you are conducting business without a contract or are using a contract that was not drafted by an experienced attorney, you need to be aware of the risks you are facing.

Contracts Are Legally Binding

One of the many benefits of a well written contract is that it is legally binding. This means both parties will be responsible for holding up their end of the contract. Imagine what would happen to a business if a supplier stopped supplying crucial parts? The business would come to a complete stop. Contracts give both parties legal recourse when a contract is broken. Unfairly or improperly drafted contracts can bind parties to unfair terms. People that sign contracts before reading or without fully understanding them put themselves at risk of serious financial jeopardy.

Poorly Written Contracts May Not Be Enforceable

Some people may choose to write their own contracts or use generic contracts they find online, but these are fraught with problems. One of the most common problems with poorly written contracts is vague language. Contracts need to written with a level of specificity, which means generic contracts found online simply won’t do because vague terms are difficult, if not impossible, to enforce.

Poorly written contracts also often lack crucial provisions such as details on how to terminate the contract, compensation for breach of contract, and many others. Depending on your business and industry, many specific circumstances must be addressed in the terms of your contracts. If these items are not addressed, you could find yourself tangled up in costly and expensive litigation.

Houston Contract Lawyers

The Houston contract lawyers at Feldman & Feldman have extensive experience drafting all types of contracts for businesses within a variety of different industries. We can make sure your contracts are legally enforceable, outlines fair terms, and protect you from litigation. To schedule an appointment with one of our contract attorneys, contact us today.

Rusty Hardin Trial Win Named Texas’ Top Business Law Verdict of 2010

Originally Published in Online PR Media

Trial partners, Cris Feldman and Rusty Hardin, win Texas’ largest verdict in 2010. A $2.8 million breach of contract verdict won by attorneys from Houston’s Rusty Hardin & Associates, P.C., against Stewart Title Guaranty Co. has been named as Texas’ top business law verdict of 2010.

Firm founder Rusty Hardin represented the Fort Bend-based business partnership Sugar Land-Settlers Way/Ponderosa Ltd. in the trial against Stewart Title along with firm attorney Cris Feldman.

The list of top verdicts is compiled by the Verdict Search jury verdict reporting service and appears in Top Texas Verdicts of 2010, which is published in the May 23 issue of Texas Lawyer. The verdict also ranks as the 78th largest verdict in the state last year. The publication lists the top 100 verdicts based on the nature of the claim and amount of monetary damages awarded.

According to the lawsuit, Sugar Land-Settlers Way/Ponderosa Ltd. purchased title insurance in 2007 on a piece of property in Sugar Land, Texas, and agreed to lease the property to JP Morgan Chase as a branch bank location. In September 2007, Chase discovered that the lot was prohibited from being used for a retail financial institution and cancelled the contract with Ponderosa.

On June 24, 2010, following a four-day trial in Harris County’s 61st District Court, jurors found that Stewart Title failed to comply with the terms of its title insurance policy, knowingly violated the Texas Insurance Code and was in breach of good faith and fair dealing. The jury awarded $2.5 million in damages plus $320,000 in attorney fees.

“This verdict was a very gratifying decision,” says Mr. Hardin. “My clients purchased insurance specifically to be protected from what happened. The jury had it right. What Stewart Title did was in violation of good faith and fair dealing and, without that, business just doesn’t happen.”

Rusty Hardin & Associates has built a solid reputation for establishing rapport with juries and obtaining favorable results in both civil and criminal matters.

Download Rusty Hardin Trial Win Named Texas’ Top Business Law Verdict of 2010 (PDF)