Ohio fire repair company faces lawsuit over work

Nick Rees Nov. 30, 2009, 3:27pm

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - A Columbus company that allegedly targeted Ohioans whose homes had recently been damaged by fire is facing a lawsuit from state Attorney General Ricard Cordray alleging the company took advantage of those homeowners.

The lawsuit, filed against Columbus Fire Repair and in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, charges Columbus Fire Repair and its owner, William Bridge III, violated Ohio consumer law for failure to deliver, shoddy workmanship and unfair, deceptive and unconscionable sales practices.

"This company targeted consumers whose homes were severely damaged by fire," Cordray said.

"Representatives arrived at consumers' homes, sometimes within hours of the fire, and promised to repair the damage. Ultimately, though, the company did only minimal work. What makes this especially egregious is that the company and its owner targeted low-income consumers who had just experienced a very traumatic event."

Columbus Fire Repair, the lawsuit alleges, subscribed to a news pager service that would alert the company to fires throughout the city and its surrounding environs to allow it to quickly arrive at the scene of a fire where it would then take advantage of the recent traumatic event.

The lawsuit also alleges that, after receiving payment from a consumer's insurance company, Columbus Fire Repair would then leave the fire damaged home in a state of disarray.

Cordray's lawsuit is seeking injunctive relief against Columbus Fire Repair, consumer restitution and civil penalties.

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