Kyle Barnett Aug. 6, 2014, 7:45am


GRETNA – A moving company is being sued by a couple who alleges that more than $72,000 worth of damage was done to their belongings during a move.

James and Kimberly Mathes Shepack filed suit against College Student Movers Inc., Fast & Affordable College Student Movers, their insurer and Shelly and Justin McDuffie in the 24th Judicial District Court on July 1.

The Shepacks claim they hired College Student Movers  to move their possessions from their home located at St. Tammany Parish to house located at 1601 Concord Ave. in Metairie and that the move was to be completed and done by Dec. 27, 2013. The plaintiffs assert that under the term of their agreement with the defendant company they were to have three able bodied movers assist in moving their belongings for which they would be charged $98 per hour per mover. The Shepacks contend on the day of the move two men and a female showed up at their home.

The plaintiffs allege the two men began to move fragile furniture along with an assortment of items and all of the heavy items with a dolly and hand trucks while the female mover occasionally moved a piece. Shortly after the three workers arrived the Shepacks assert they called the defendant company’s office to complain about one of the movers who was cursing and using abusive language and along with the slow pace at which the move was proceeding and later called to complain about not having three men on the job as contracted.

The Shepacks contend that the move lasted throughout the night as it began to rain and that the employees place dirty, wet tarps and blankets on top of the furniture where it stayed through the night and soaked through the furniture. In addition, the plaintiffs allege that during the move the movers dropped an antique table as well as a pool table.

At the end of the day the movers were allegedly unable to start the moving van and had to borrow a set of jumper candles from a neighbor and drove a car onto the grass in order to jump the vehicle. As the night ended the movers demanded $552 for their work and the Shepacks disagreed with the amount because the job was not yet complete and because of the amount of time it took at which time one of the movers became verbally abusive with her.

After calling the defendant’s office the plaintiffs worked out a deal in which they paid $414 and a third man would show up the next day to unload the van. The plaintiffs assert that because the van had gaping holes the contents were destroyed by rain and that as they began to unload the items the movers continually told the plaintiffs to make a claim as they mishandled the possessions.

The defendant is accused of breach of contract, proving a moving they knew was unfit for the job, not protecting the plaintiffs’ property overnight and intimidation.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for physical damage to belongings in the amount of $72,000 and mental anguish.

The Shepacks are represented by attorney Louis B. Merhige of Metairie.

The case has been assigned to Division D Judge Scott U. Schlegel.

Case no. 739-940.

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