AG wins judgment against Putnam County flooring contractor
CHARLESTON - A Putnam County flooring contractor has been permanently blocked from any future work in the area of home improvement sales and installation after West Virginia’s attorney general won restitution, a civil penalty and a court order against the man.
The judgment represents a full refund to those who alleged Xpert Tile and Hardwood Installation, by way of its owner Chad Akers, provided incomplete or substandard service.
Their complaints triggered Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s lawsuit, according to a news release, which accused the company’s owner of violating the state’s consumer protection law by entering into unlawful contracts and failing to complete the agreed-upon work.
The judgment, entered in Kanawha County Circuit Court, requires Akers to pay $10,304.54 in consumer restitution and a $4,000 civil penalty for engaging in repeated and willful violations of the state’s Consumer Credit and Protection Act, according to the release.
The order further prohibits Akers from engaging in any future contracting work either as a business owner or in any other capacity. The court also said it would entertain the awarding of attorney fees and costs.
The lawsuit stemmed from four consumer complaints filed against Xpert Tile and Hardwood Installation, a business Akers ran from his residence in Fraziers Bottom.
Three of the four consumers, each from neighboring Cabell or Kanawha counties, allege Akers performed substandard work and failed to complete bathroom renovations at their individual homes, according to the release. Each project was valued at more than $2,500 for a mix of tub, shower, tile, drywall, flooring and backsplash installation.
A Mason County consumer’s complaint involved substandard work and damage during the course of a kitchen flooring renovation.
All four consumers faced the potential of incurring additional expense to repair, replace and complete Akers’ work.
According to Morrisey’s office, Akers neither answered the lawsuit in court nor appeared at a hearing on the attorney general’s motion for summary judgment, and he repeatedly failed to respond to prior inquiries from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, including attempts to secure compliance without the necessity of litigation.
The lawsuit charged that Akers failed to begin or complete work by the date promised, failed to substantially perform the home improvement contract and failed to notify consumers of their three-day right to cancel.