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Tough Guy Fights Battle In Court

June 29, 1988

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) _ Mr. T, the glittery tough guy of television, is drawing a steady stream of fans to a courtroom where his lawsuit against a contractor is being heard.

Mr. T is suing Kenneth J. Tomkins, owner of Kenlor Development, who he claims overcharged him for remodeling his mansion in Lake Forest, north of Chicago on Lake Michigan.

The trial was in its fourth day today in the courtroom of Lake County Circuit Judge Stephen E. Walter, whose 10-year-old son managed to get a photograph signed by the actor.

The suit stems from the remodeling in late 1986 and early 1987 of Mr. T’s estate and included work on bathrooms, interior painting, and security gates.

Tomkins contends winter weather slowed his progress and is countersuing over the $168,000 project. Tomkins claims the actor owes him nearly $18,000, including the cost of a company sign Mr. T angrily ripped down.

Mr. T, wearing blue-striped overalls minus his trademark gold jewelry, said work crews cemented the fence posts improperly and failed to stain the wooden fence. The sign insulted him, he said.

″I was really hot, so I grabbed the sign and tore it down,″ he said.

Mr. T played Sgt. Bosco ″B.A.″ Baracus in the television adventure series ″The A-Team.″

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