A family has not received compensation after winning their court case

A decade ago, a tornado churned up timber on the Williams' land. And they said the man they hired to help actually made things worse.

WEBSTER COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Be careful who you do business with. That’s the warning from one family in Webster County.

What seemed like a simple deal with a licensed forester turned into a financial and legal nightmare with the Williams family and their attorney today about why their case has proved so difficult.

“This individual should not be in this type of business,” Davey Williams said.

Davey Williams and his family have been dealing with the repercussions of a contract gone south.

After a tornado knocked down trees on their property, Davey Williams’ father, David Williams, hired Alan Rone, a Mississippi forester to take care of the timber. But the Williams family said it’s been a mess.

“He breached his contract. He breached his judiciary contract, part of the contract to the landowner. In other words, he didn’t keep his end of the bargain that he was supposed to,” Williams said.

The tornado back in 2011 cut the Williams’ property in half leaving over $19,000 in damages. However, after multiple legal cases in 10 years, the family still has not seen a dime.

They took Rone to court. And won.

“According to the judge, he made a ruling it was supposed to be like $19,000 to my father and like 5% interest per year, he didn’t pay. And to this day, it’s not been settled,” Williams said.

Mississippi code does not require a paper trail. And that’s where some third-party contractors can take advantage of people selling their timber.

“When they do these tickets on the logging operations, you can not tell where the timber comes from according to the Mississippi code, they’re not doing the tickets right. They’re not showing where the tracks come from or whose timber it is,” Williams said.

And without the tickets, no money was paid to the Williams for their timber.

Williams’ attorney, Tina Scott, said the family has not received any money, despite winning the case. She said Rone’s business closed just before the court date – leaving it impossible to pay.

“Well, what it is is Mr. Rone had a corporation so he hid behind the corporate veil. And so, it was entered against his corporation, Rone Forest Management Inc., not him personally, which of course, he was the only stockholder. We issued roots of garnishment to try to garnish his bank accounts but he had moved all his money,” Scott said.

Scott and Williams said this case could hurt other foresters and logging consultants in the industry – simply because of a lack of trust.

“You’ve got hard-working loggers in this business and to have someone like this individual come in and start a job and then leave, it’s not fair to the landowner. It’s sad that we got an individual that’s going around taking advantage of the elderly,” Williams said.

Rone gave WCBI a statement where he said Williams was “putting out a bunch of lies” and he will be looking to file a “slander libel case”.

Williams is hoping to continue the case in Jackson where the state will get involved in the issue.

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