Many businesses must have a license in place in order to operate. Additionally, there are industry-specific standards that govern the way Houston companies work. An accusation of violating those standards could result in costly business litigation proceedings that can drain time and money. As one Texas assisted living facility is learning, it is important to have proper documentation and representation.
In winter of 2011-2012, freezing temperatures caused a sprinkler system in the assisted living facility to break. Court documents state that roughly 200 people lived on the upper floors of the building and went without protection from a fire for eight months. The fire marshal's office and the attorney general's office both indicated that the facility should make the repairs, which would have cost less than $3,000.
In August 2012, the facility made the repairs after representatives from the Department of Aging and Disability Services noticed a noncompliance tag issued by the sprinkler system’s manufacturer. DADS referred the case to the state attorney general’s office, which filed a lawsuit citing that the facility violated the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and provided false information to the state. The defendants plan to contest the suit, stating that the facility never went without sprinkler coverage. Penalties from the suit could cost as much as $1 million. The facility is open but its license is pending.
Businesses should seek the help of an attorney when faced with lawsuits concerning trade practices and other disputes. A lawyer can help protect a company’s assets and build the strongest defense possible.
Source: Star-Telegram, “State sues Fort Worth assisted living facility over faulty sprinkler system,” Elizabeth Campbell, June 16, 2014