Hayhurst comes up short in other collection suits

By Lawrence Smith | Jul 23, 2010

PARKERSBURG - Prior to going to prison, Richard Hayhurst met with little success in winning other suits where he thought money was due him.

PARKERSBURG - Prior to going to prison, Richard Hayhurst met with little success in winning other suits where he thought money was due him.

In addition to one filed in April against Eagle Pointe nursing home, and Scott Morrison, Hayhurst filed three suits seeking compensation. The first was from a former client, the second against a storage company for lost property and the third against General Motors for failure to repair his car under warranty.

Exactly a year before filing his suit against Eagle Pointe and Morrison, Hayhurst filed suit against Robert Keith Sheppard. In his suit, Hayhurst alleged Sheppard defrauded him out of $5,575.93 in legal services in helping to defend him against a fraud lawsuit filed by two other attorneys, J.C. and Eric Powell.

Records show in January 2009 the Powells filed suit against Sheppard alleging he enticed them to invest money with Larry George and Dr. Michael W. Johnson, a Parkersburg chiropractor, to become partners in the Endurance Group, a limited liability company overseeing development of a proposed retail outlet at the intersection of W. Va. 68 and Corridor D/U.S. 50 in South Parkersburg called Neal Run Crossing. In addition to Sheppard, the Powells filed separate lawsuits against George and Johnson when the only retail development that materialized in Neal Run Crossing was a Western Sizzlin' Steakhouse solely owned by Johnson.

A month after her answered the Powells' complaint as "tabloid trash," Hayhurst withdrew from the case. Hayhurst said he severed his relationship with Sheppard after he not only failed to pay a $10,000 retainer, but also mislead him into believing he was either refinancing property or securing a loan to pay the retainer.

Records show Judge Robert A. Waters dismissed the case on July 23 after Sheppard declared bankruptcy 10 days earlier, and two days before a hearing on a motion Hayhurst made for summary judgment.

A month after the dismissal in the Sheppard case, Hayhurst filed suit against People's Cartage, and Central Van and Storage of Charleston for loss of furniture belonging to his late mother. In his suit, Hayhurst alleged that after making arrangements to move the furniture where it had been stored at People's facility in Canton, Ohio to Parkersburg in June 2009 he learned that somehow it was transferred to Central Van's facility in Poca only to come up missing.

Hayhurst placed the value of the furniture at $8,000.

When neither People's nor Central Van filed an answer, Hayhurst made a motion for default judgment which Judge Jeffrey B. Reed granted on Oct. 2. In his order, Reed also set Nov. 24 for a hearing on damages.

The hearing was never held as Reed dismissed the case on Nov. 3 following a motion by Hayhurst to voluntarily withdraw the suit.

Finally, on Dec. 21 Hayhurst filed suit against Candie Fonseca and General Motors after receiving assurances they would reimburse him for repairs made to his 2003 Cadillac on Oct. 28. In his suit, Hayhurst alleges he paid Wharton Cadillac/Olds in Parkersburg $3,215.27 to service his car after the "Check Engine" light came on.

He alleges Fonseca and GM assured him on Nov. 10 they would pay his claim within two weeks. When no check came, Hayhurst filed suit seeking judgment in the amount of the repairs plus $15,000 in punitive damages.

Records show, GM, though its attorney David Berz, with the Washington, D.C., office of Wiel, Gotshal and Meges, on Jan. 5 reminded Hayhurst that the company was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. However, a separate settlement was reached with Fonseca on Feb. 26.

The terms of the settlement were not stated in court records. Records are unclear as to who Fonseca is, and her involvement with Hayhurst's dispute.

Hayhurst was unavailable for comment due to his incarceration at the Hazelton Penitentiary in Bruceton Mills for a 21-month sentence for tax evasion.

Wood Circuit Court, case numbers 09-C-156 (Sheppard), 09-C-412 (People's Cartage) and 10-C-640 (Fonseca)

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