A New York company that is in the business of renting and selling heavy
construction equipment has filed suit against Pennsylvania business over claims that the defendant is in illegal possession of its merchandise.
Attorneys for Beck Equipment Inc. filed a civil action last week against McGrew Equipment Co. and G.W. McGrew Auction Co. over claims that the defendants unlawfully sold six pieces of construction equipment that are owned by the plaintiff after the products were transferred from a client.
Beck began renting the six pieces of equipment, which consisted of two excavators, a dozer, a skid steer and a loader backhoe, to a business identified as Irving Dutch Tree Co. this past summer, according to the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg by attorneys Andrew K. Stutzman and Parker V. Sherry, of the Philadelphia firm Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young.
Charles Brasington, who is identified in the lawsuit as the owner of Irving Dutch Tree Co., rented the equipment under the guise of using it in furtherance of his business, the suit states, but the man actually failed to pay for the rental of the equipment, instead unlawfully delivering it to the defendants in the current civil case.
Neither Brasington nor his girlfriend, Bridgitt Eggleston, who aided her boyfriend in the unlawful transfer, had title to, or the rights to sell the plaintiff’s equipment to the defendants, the complaint states.
The defendants ultimately agreed to the demands of Brasington and Eggleston, who requested tens of thousands of dollars in cash and wire transfers in exchange for the six pieces of construction equipment, according to the lawsuit.
“Although Defendants were receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment from Brasington and Eggleston in a short period of time and turning over tens of thousands of dollars in cash, checks and by wire transfer to Brasington and Eggleston, Defendants failed to investigate, require or receive proof of ownership and title to the Equipment, or further act in a reasonable business manner, prior to carrying out the transactions with Brasington and Eggleston,” the complaint states. “Defendants have profited from the transaction with Brasington and Eggleston by selling the Equipment further through their business and auction.”
Beck Equipment says that it believes the equipment has been removed from the defendants’ facility to other locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and British Columbia, Canada.
When Beck discovered that Brasington no longer had the construction equipment, it contacted the New York State Police, the record shows, filing theft charges and seeking the return of the equipment.
It is believed that Eggleston has been arrested for theft and Brasington is currently a fugitive being sought by law enforcement.
Beck is seeking to have a judge award it declaratory judgment stating that the plaintiff’s title to the equipment is superior to that of the defendants and any other entities that may currently possess the construction equipment.
The suit also contains counts of conversion and unjust enrichment.
Beck also seeks monetary damages in the amount of $367,350, which is the value of the missing equipment.
The federal case number is 1:14-cv-00579-CCC.