NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced a court victory against a now-defunct home warranty company that defrauded consumers in New York and nationwide.
National Home Protection Inc., was found by a state court to have engaged in false and misleading advertising, to have made multiple misrepresentations and to have violated New York consumer protection and insurance laws. The company and its principals, Leo Serrur, David Seruya and Victor Hakin, will pay $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs as a result.
Additionally, the company and its owners were permanently enjoined by the court order from running a home warranty business unless the first comply with the New York Insurance law by demonstrating financial responsibility.
"This company lured customers into purchasing its home warranty plans with a false offer of free gift cards and advertised services that it did not deliver," Cuomo said.
Consumers were sold yearly home warranty plans by NHP at an annual price of approximately $370. In its advertising and contracts, NHP promised to repair or replace consumers' household systems and appliances that failed to work properly as a result of normal wear and tear. Hundreds of consumers who purchased this plan subsequently complained to Cuomo's office and other agencies that NHP failed to provide the promised services or replacements.
The recent court decision and agreement to pay restitution, penalties and costs ends Cuomo's lawsuit, filed in New York Supreme Court, against NHP and its principals. As part of the lawsuit, Cuomo had applied for and was granted a temporary restraining order that froze bank accounts and other assets of NHP, preventing it from selling further home warranty plans pending further decision by the Court.
Cuomo's lawsuit against NHP was upheld by a decision and order by New York Supreme Court Justice O. Peter Sherwood on Dec. 8. The court also found that NHP had engaged in false and misleading advertising, failed to register with the New York Superintendent of Insurance and establish financial responsibility in violation of the New York Insurance law, failed to offer full refunds within the time frame required by the New York Insurance law, failed to post rebate forms on its website and failed to provide timely rebates in violation of New York's rebate law.
The Court ruled that Cuomo could recover on behalf of all aggrieved consumers, including those not within the State of New York, as NHP used New York to complete its deceptive transactions.