Couple sues law firm for breach of contract

By Kyla Asbury | Apr 27, 2015

BECKLEY – A couple is suing a North Carolina-based law firm after they claim it breached its contract with them.

James Withrow and Terry Withrow own Lot 5 in Fayette County that Sammy Black with R&R Mountain Living LLC personally contracted the plaintiffs to sign off on the covenant and restriction of the subdivision to allow the defendant to install a cellular tower on Lot 6, according to a complaint filed March 20 in Raleigh Circuit Court.

The Withrows claim after several conversations, Black then presented that if the plaintiffs would agree to allow the cellular tower to be constructed on Lot 6, the plaintiffs would be granted the option of purchase of Lot 4 and Lot 6, subject to the parcel to be utilized by the cellular tower company.

On Aug. 6, 2012, the parties entered into an option agreement for the plaintiffs' purchase of Lot 4 and Lot 6 and the plaintiffs provided a check to Casey & Casey Law Office of Boone, N.C., in the amount of $1,500 for the option.

On Aug. 6, 2013, the Withrows provided a second check in the amount of $1,500, and the defendants cashed that check and extended the option agreement until Aug. 6, 2014, according to the suit.

The Withrows sent an addition check for $1,500 for the extension of the option agreement on Aug. 6, 2014,  and on Aug. 28, 2014, Stephen R. Berndt wrote a letter to the plaintiffs acknowledging the $1,500 check and advised that the extension was only extendable for one year and that the defendant desired to sell the property.

On Dec. 2, Berndt returned the plaintiffs check marked "void"  and the Withrows' counsel provided a letter on Dec. 30, to Berndt, but no response was received, according to the suit.

The Withrows claim the defendants breached the option agreement.

It was later determined that the defendants did not own or have title to Lot 4 and that the very inception of the option agreement was fraudulent, according to the suit.

The Withrows are seeking the amount of $3,000, with was paid on the fraudulent contract, plus $50,000 for the loss of agreement, embarrassment, inconvenience, mental anguish and intentional issuance of a fraudulent contract. They are being represented by W.F. Richmond Jr. of Richmond Law Office.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number: 15-C-225

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