Consumer Watch: Woman claims contractor leaves damaged home unfinished, contractor now suing woman


Posted on April 15, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 15 at 3:42 PM

(WHAS11) - This Consumer Watch takes us to West Louisville where a mother of four says a contractor has left her home in shambles. The contractor was hired to repair the home that was damaged in a November fire. But five months later the homeowner fired him.

"He's suing me for $15,000 for work he says he has done in my home and he's completed," says the homeowner Chastiney Coleman.

David Edwards was paid $25,000 on a $76,000 job. The bank was to issue two more checks as the job progressed. But the job didn't progress, at least not to the satisfaction of Chastiney Coleman. Five months after a fire in the second story of her home, the West Louisville mother of four is still fighting to get her house fixed.

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She says the man paid to do the work isn't getting the job done and her house is an absolute mess.

"Be careful coming up the stairs. He took my banister down and didn't put that back," says Coleman.

And the relationship with the guy she hired to fix her house is just as messy. Coleman's house caught fire in November. On December 1st she reached an agreement with a contractor to fix it. Her mortgage and insurance company set up a plan to pay in three installments. Both Chastiney and her contractor Edwards had to sign for the checks.

But after the initial $25,000 withdrawal, Coleman realized she might be in on a bad deal. And so did the contractor. Her issues were with the roof repair, the drywall, her floors, her porch ceiling, her basement and the window in her son's bedroom.

Edwards's attorney advised him not to talk for this story, but he told WHAS11 on the phone that he has issues with Coleman as well. He says she's asking for work not in his contract, and now he's suing her for $15,000.

Coleman says Edwards told her she didn't need individual receipts for the work that he did because she wasn't actually paying with her money.

"I said my mortgage company wants the receipts. They want completion of your job. He wouldn't show any receipts," says Coleman.

David Edwards tells WHAS11 he has detailed records of his expenses, and he plans to use them as evidence in a court. He also says he and Coleman had a deal that could get both of them into trouble. He says he got the job because he agreed to pay Coleman $5,000 in cash from that first $25,000 insurance payment.

Coleman doesn't deny the $5,000 payment, but she says it wasn't a condition to get the job. She says Edwards cut her a check to pay for her temporary housing.

Coleman says she's now hired someone else to finish the job, and she's changed her lock-box leaving Edwards on the outside looking in. But the insurance company hasn't yet cut that second check and now with a lawsuit and questions about who's doing what, this job may be a long way from finished.