VP Gets Sued for Trying to Ruin Company

By  //  August 24, 2021

A new lawsuit out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is suing the former vice president of a construction company for allegedly trying to undermine its business. 

Devon Overall was the VP of the Marine Structures Division for Coastal Bridge LLC until the company president discovered that Overall had spent most of 2019 using his position to steal clients and a land lease for the benefit of his father’s rival construction company, according to the lawsuit. 

The lawsuit also alleges Overall was in the process of buying his father’s company, called Coastal Contractors Inc. 

Supposedly, one of Overall’s first moves was to take away a crucial land lease for Coastal Bridge and give it to Coastal Contractors, according to the lawsuit. The lease was up for renewal every five years. 

When contacted about renewing the lease, which was his job, Overall convinced the owners of Plaquemine Yard, A. Wilbert’s Sons, that Coastal Bridge no longer wanted a lease with them, and they should instead sign a new lease with Coastal Contractors, the lawsuit said. 

The owners of Plaquemine Yard agreed to the arrangement, and part of the lawsuit is demanding that the lease be reinstated, as it was changed under fraudulent pretenses. 

“In order to secure the Lease for Coastal Contractors, Overall made blatant misrepresentations,” the lawsuit said. “Specifically, Overall touted the Wilbert’s long-standing relationship as being with the Overalls as opposed to Coastal Bridge and that the Overalls were now operating as Coastal Contractors doing bridge construction work.

He further represented that Coastal Bridge had been purchased by an employee in the road division and that all parties had agreed that Coastal Contractors would take over the bridge division and Coastal Bridge would continue with the road division. This statement by Overall is false.”

Overall also stole money from Coastal Bridge, according to the lawsuit, in the amount of at least $6,000, according to an invoice and email cited in the lawsuit as evidence of Overall’s guilt. 

He also spent most of 2019 diverting business from Coastal Bridge to Coastal Contractors, using his position, email and letterhead at Coastal Bridge, and then switching to his Coastal Contractors position “when it became advantageous,” the lawsuit said. 

Overall also successfully took clients from Coastal Bridge and billed them from Coastal Contractors, according to the lawsuit, which says Overall once again used his position to schedule work with customers including BERARD and Mammoet USA South, Inc., but then billed them from Coastal Contractors. 

At one point, a Coastal Bridge employee questioned why some offloading work for Mammoet was being done when she had no knowledge of the project, the lawsuit said. 

Overall emailed back: “We have nothing to do with it but I just tried calling Mammoet to see if it’s them and I’m waiting to hear back.”

“Of course, Overall knew exactly who it was because he had recently completed a job for Mammoet at the Plaquemine Yard on behalf of Coastal Contractors,” the lawsuit said. “Overall’s response to Coastal Bridge was blatantly false.”

Coastal Bridge is now seeking damages from both Overall and Coastal Contractors. 

“The diversion and appropriation of business from Coastal Bridge to Coastal Contactors of work at the Plaquemine Yard and conversion of the Lease essential to such business, constitutes a breach of Overall’s fiduciary duty to Coastal Bridge,” the lawsuit said.

“Coastal Bridge is entitled to all damages suffered as a result of this breach of fiduciary duty, including but not limited to lost profits, equipment rental and depreciation, and for essentially driving Coastal Bridge out of business it had enjoyed at least from the 1980’s at the Plaquemine Yard location.”