Consumer restitution, penalties sought for Barnes Construction - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

State files lawsuit against Barnes Construction

Posted: Updated:
An old mugshot of Christopher Barnes after his arrest in July 2012. An old mugshot of Christopher Barnes after his arrest in July 2012.
The state has filed a lawsuit against Barnes Construction, which worked out of Maumee. The state has filed a lawsuit against Barnes Construction, which worked out of Maumee.
MAUMEE, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced a lawsuit against Barnes Construction Companies, Inc. and its owners, Christopher and Christina Barnes. The lawsuit charges the Maumee roofing business with performing shoddy work and failing to deliver services to consumers in Lucas County.

"Consumers who entrust businesses with their hard-earned dollars rightly expect to get what they were promised and what they paid for," said DeWine. "By law, businesses must honor their agreements with consumers, and my office is committed to making sure they do."

According to the lawsuit, Barnes Construction offered roofing and construction services to consumers in Lucas County. Despite collecting payment for services, the business performed shoddy work, or in some cases, did no work at all. One consumer won a new roof from Barnes Construction through a sweepstakes. The consumer expected to receive the new roof, but the business never delivered the services and did not return the consumer's calls.

The lawsuit charges the business and its owners with multiple violations of Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act. Counts include failure to deliver, performing shoddy work, and violating the Prize Rule. In the lawsuit, DeWine seeks consumer restitution, injunctive relief, and civil penalties.

Barnes' larceny trial in Monroe County is scheduled to start in July. He is charged with taking more than $30,000 from a Michigan homeowner and never fixing his home. Call 11 for Action brought that situation to light back in the summer of 2012.

Before entering into a home improvement contract, consumers should follow these guidelines:

  • Research a business with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau to determine whether other consumers have filed complaints.
  • Ask for references and personally speak to previous customers of the business to ask about their experiences.
  • Get written estimates from three or more different contractors before hiring one.
  • Be wary of businesses that require a large down payment (such as 50 percent of the total cost) before starting any work.
  • Get a detailed contract that includes all necessary information, such as start and end dates, as well as a breakdown of all costs.

Consumers who have questions or complaints about how they have been treated by any business can contact the following:

  • Ohio Attorney General's Office at 800-282-0515 or by visiting the website
  • Better Business Bureau at 419-531-3116 or by visiting the website
  • Toledo News Now's Call 11 for Action at 419-255-2255 or by visiting the section on our website to file a complaint

Related stories:

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.