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Bizarre American Arbitration Case Degenerates into Terror Threats

Wednesday, November, 9, 2011

The American Arbitration Association was contacted in a case involving Trailer Safety Devices, LLC, but in a strange twist, the defendants in the case have reportedly sought a hit man to kill the plaintiffs.  The case began when Robert Yonke, owner of the trailer safety devices company, alleged breach of contract and fraud against a company named Safety Sentry along with individuals Karl Pratt and Gwendolyn Cannon.  Safety Sentry is based in Tarrant County, Texas.


The exact claim for damages specified that Pratt claimed to be an inventor of new trailer hitches that would provide enhanced safety, but in fact was operating "a Ponzi scheme which defrauded more than thirty investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars," according to a complaint filed in Tarrant County Court.


Yonke Sought American Arbitration


Yonke decided to seek commercial arbitration as a means to resolve the dispute.  Arbitration is a non-judicial procedure in which a panel of arbitration attorneys hears evidence from both sides and issue a decision that is usually the "final word" on the case.  According to Yonke, the defendants refused to agree to any arbitration proceedings.  Neither would they pay any of the costs associated with the process. 


Instead, according to the complaint filed in court, "Pratt claimed to a witness that he had a hit man in mind that would do the job and even went so far as to call the man and speak to him about the price that would be charged for killing Yonke."