A Bulloch County jury found three local businessmen in breach of contract Tuesday regarding a disputed 2011 land transaction.
The case went to trial Monday after an eight-year wait.
On the second day of trial, the jury awarded convenience store entrepreneur Greg Parker a total exceeding $685,000 in damages after finding against Charles J. (Joey) Maxwell, Robert Tanner and Brad Williams, according to a document outlining the verdict, provided by the Bulloch County Clerk of Courts upon an open records request.
Parker, who filed the lawsuit in April 2011, doing business as Drayton-Parker Companies LLC, claimed the three men, doing business as CDD LLC, committed “fraud and failure of specific performance” when the group agreed to sell part of a larger parcel of land to Parker for $525,000, but then backed out of the deal.
According to court filings, CDD LLC “promised by contract” in February 2011 to sell Parker 1.5 acres, part of a 3.977-acre parcel at the corner of Veteran’s Memorial Parkway and Brampton Avenue, for $525,000.
The contract reportedly called for the group to have the 1.5 acres subdivided from the larger parcel and assigned its own tax number. The deed was secured by Citizens Bank.
The suit alleges CDD backed out of the deal a few days before it was due to be finalized, claiming the bank refused to subdivide the land, in spite of the members having already signed the contract.
The jury found Maxwell, Tanner and Williams “disregarded CDD, LLC’s separate corporate existence and therefore, are personally liable.”
The verdict also stated jurors agreed the three defendants “defrauded” Parker and “conspired with each other or CDD, LLC to do so.”
The document stated the three men admitted to the breach of contract.
The jury awarded Parker “compensatory damages” of $670,622.75 for the breach of contract, as well as $15,000 for fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Parker declined to comment, but his attorney, Carl Varnedoe, with the law firm Jones, Osteen and Jones of Hinesville, said, “Greg Parker and his entire team deserve all the credit. They did nothing wrong, stood their ground for eight long years, defended their position with honor and integrity and through Tuesday’s verdict, overwhelmingly and unequivocally prevailed. It was my privilege to champion the cause.”
Williams, Tanner and Maxwell were represented by Statesboro attorney Dan Snipes, with the law firm Taulbee, Rushing, Snipes, Marsh and Hodgin LLC, who said he was unsatisfied with the outcome.
“My clients were disappointed by the verdict,” he said. “We feel very strongly about the factors of the case and are weighing our options.”
The case was heard by Bulloch County Superior Court Judge Gates Peed.
Sometime after filing the civil suit in 2011, Parker purchased the entire parcel of 3.997 acres from Citizens Bank.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.