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Koster files lawsuit against contractor who allegedly cheated Joplin victims

By Bryan Cohen | May 17, 2013

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) -- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit Thursday against a Dana Point, Calif.-based contractor and his company for allegedly cheating victims of the Joplin tornado.

Clark Baxter and his company, Sustainable Design Inc., allegedly failed to provide construction materials and home-repair services that were paid for by Missourians in Joplin.

"Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers during times of tragedy," Koster said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleges that Joplin homeowners paid Baxter and Sustainable Design tens of thousands of dollars for construction materials that were required to rebuild their homes.

Baxter allegedly failed to deliver the construction materials and ceased working on the victims' homes before they were completed. As a result, consumers needed to buy the materials elsewhere at an additional cost.

Koster's office seeks an injunction that would require Baxter to stop conducting business in Missouri and provide restitution to victims. The lawsuit also seeks civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and for the payment of all court and attorney costs.

Since the tornado in May 2011, the Attorney General's Office has taken legal action against five other contractors for illegal behavior related to construction work on the homes of Joplin citizens.

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