W.Va. AG Wins $256K Judgment, Shuts Down Contractor

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey won a $256,000 judgment and a permanent injunction that blocks a contractor from any future work in the area of home improvement.

The judgment stems from a May 2019 lawsuit that targeted contractor Ben Burns who performed work as Brenco Construction LLC, Brenco Home Solutions, The Conards Builders and Prestige Builders, LLC.

The recent court order awards $256,406.72 in consumer restitution and permanently prohibits Burns from any future home contracting work as either an owner, employee, subcontractor or other method. The monetary award represents the total Burns collected from 16 affected consumers.

“This order sends a loud and clear message to anyone attempting to deceive consumers,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Our office takes defending West Virginia consumers seriously, and those who violate the state’s consumer protection laws will be held accountable.”

The lawsuit stemmed from more than a dozen complaints filed against Burns for home improvement contracts entered into with consumers in Kanawha, Putnam, and Clay counties. Several of the projects were valued at more than $10,000.

The court determined that Burns collected payment, but either failed to provide the contracted service or did so in a substandard or incomplete fashion. The Attorney General had argued a building inspector in Putnam County told one homeowner that Burns’ work violated building codes.

The court further found Burns performed work without the necessary licenses or liability insurance. The lawsuit claimed he misrepresented himself to customers as having both.

The court also found that Burns violated the state’s consumer protection law by entering into unlawful contracts and failing to notify consumers of their three-day right to cancel. The lawsuit further alleged that Burns ignored repeated cease and desist orders from state and local licensing boards.

The court order also awarded the state civil penalties and attorney fees, the amount of which will be determined at a later date.

Read the court’s order at https://bit.ly/32QDKQu

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