The Ohio Attorney General’s Office announced lawsuits against two home improvement contractors Tuesday — including one case that will be heard in Delaware County — alleging that they had failed to deliver on promised services and had done shoddy work.
Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office filed two lawsuits Tuesday, one against Big Ten Construction LLC, of Columbus, and Columbia Exteriors LLC, of Cincinnati.
The case against Big Ten Construction LLC will be heard in Delaware County Common Pleas Court and the Columbia Exteriors LLC case will be heard in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.
Officials from the Attorney General’s Office said the case against Big Ten Construction was being tried in Delaware County because while Big Ten operates in four counties, and at least one of the victims is lives in Delaware County.
“In these cases, consumers paid thousands of dollars for home repairs they never received as promised,” DeWine said. “We have an obligation to protect consumers, and when we find a pattern of violations and a contractor’s unwillingness to resolve problems out of court, we have to act.”
DeWine’s office alleges that Big Ten Construction and its owner, Eric Tischer, violated Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitation Sales Act. The lawsuit alleges that the company offered home remodeling and repair but failed to fulfill the contracts, obtain proper permits, violated agreement terms with the Ohio Attorney General and failed to give consumers proper notice of their right to cancel a door-to-door sale.
DeWine’s office reported that since 2015, it had received seven complaints against Big Ten Construction with alleged losses totaling more than $51,000.
His office will seek restitution for affected consumers, as well as an end to any violations of Ohio’s consumer laws and civil penalties for Big Ten Construction.
DeWine’s office recommended a few tips when hiring a home improvement contractor:
• Talk to friends and family and ask for recommendations or suggestions of a contractor.
• Be skeptical of contractors who come to your door unexpectedly.
• Research a company carefully before making any payments.
• Get multiple estimates from different companies.
• Check your cancellation rights.
• Avoid making large down payments.
• Demand a detailed written contract.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG