YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today announced a lawsuit against a home improvement contractor accused of failing to deliver promised services to northeast Ohio consumers.
The lawsuit accuses Anthony J. Luttrell and Falcon General Contractors LLC of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act. In the lawsuit, the Attorney General seeks reimbursement for affected consumers and an injunction to prevent further violations.
According to the lawsuit, Luttrell operated Falcon General Contractors from 5547 Mahoning Ave., Suite 335, in Austintown before closing it. He offered large home improvement projects, such as house additions, room renovations, and porch or deck installations.
Consumers complained that they paid Falcon for work that was never completed and that their money was not returned. Seven complaints were filed with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office against Falcon. Reported losses total more than $40,000.
The lawsuit, filed in the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, accuses Luttrell and Falcon of failure to deliver and performing substandard work.
To help consumers avoid home improvement problems, Attorney General DeWine offered the following recommendations:
- Research a company before making any payments. Ask for recommendations, and talk to past customers about their experiences. Search for complaints on file with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office or Better Business Bureau. Find out if the business is registered with the Ohio Secretary of State. Conduct an internet search with the name of the business and words like “reviews” or “complaints.” Be skeptical if you find no information. Some operators change business names regularly to make it harder for consumers to detect their record of shoddy work.
- Get multiple estimates. For a large job, consider contacting at least three different businesses before making a final selection. Keep in mind that the company that gives you the lowest estimate may not necessarily deliver the best results.
- Check your cancellation rights. If a home improvement contractor does not have a fixed place of business or comes to your door to offer services, you may be entitled to a three-day right to cancel the contract under Ohio’s Home Solicitation Sales Act. Make sure you receive detailed written information about your cancellation rights.
- Make sure verbal promises are put in writing. Get a detailed written contract including any verbal claims the contractor makes and other important details, such as the estimated cost of the work, the expected start and end dates, and the names of the individuals who will perform the services.
- Be wary of requests for large down payments. It’s reasonable for a contractor to require a down payment, but be skeptical if you’re asked to make a large down payment (such as half or more of the total cost) before any work begins. If possible, pay in increments as the work is completed.
A copy of the lawsuit is available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.