Ill. AG files suit against contractor alleging shoddy work‏

Nick Rees Feb. 4, 2010, 3:00pm

Lisa Madigan (D)

CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has filed a lawsuit against a home repair contractor who allegedly solicited contracts and collected fees for work that was never performed or completed in a substandard manner.

Everett and Myra Henson, the operators of Henson Construction, Pole Barns & More and Do-It-Rite Home Improvements, are alleged in Madigan's lawsuit, filed in Washington County Circuit Court, of entering into contracts for home remodeling services and accepting consumers' down payments before failing to complete the work or preforming the work in a substandard manner. They are also alleged to have refused to provide refunds to consumers.

Consumers in Franklin, Jackson and Washington counties had filed five complaints about the defendants' work with the attorney general's Consumer Fraud Bureau.

"Prosecuting home repair fraud cases and raising consumer awareness of the potential for this kind of fraud is a high priority for my office," Madigan said. "Every year, complaints about home repair fraud are among the largest number of consumer complaints that we receive.

The defendants' alleged actions, Madigan's suit says, are violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business practices Act and the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act. The defendants are also alleged to have failed to provide written contracts and the "Home Repair: Know Your Consumer Rights" pamphlet to consumers, which are both required under Illinois law.

Madigan's suit seeks to prohibit the defendants from further engaging in the home repair trade in Illinois. The suit also asks the court for restitution for affected consumers, a civil penalty of $50,000 and additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to be committed with the intent to defraud. The suit also seeks $10,000 per violation found to have been committed against a senior 65 years or older.

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