LOUISVILLE, Ky. — From a father with cerebral palsy to a veteran with disabilities, customers said their contractor cost them thousands of dollars, threatening their livelihoods.
They told us James McKinley Dupin of L.D. Construction promised them upgrades to their homes, but ended up leaving their homes in disrepair.
"He needs to be stopped," said Bobby Dobson, a father with cerebral palsy.
Showing us documentation, Dobson said back in July, he paid Dupin $13,700. He said he was promised upgrades, including an addition to his home for a study and exercise room, hopeful his daughter would have a nicer place. He said he had planned on the renovations to be complete by Christmas, but said Dupin hasn't been returning his calls.
Thirty-six miles away in Irvington, another customer, Roy Cornett, showed us a house he's feared will collapse. "He knew I was a disabled vet when he built the house," Cornett said. "Nothing is handicap accessible."
Attorney James Craig told us situations like these are common. "The cards have been stacked against homeowners versus this industry," Craig said.
According to the Home Builders Association of Kentucky, there are no state laws in Kentucky or Indiana requiring residential contractors to be licensed. States like Florida that do require licensing believe it's one step toward incentivizing contractors to adhere to stricter building codes. The Better Business Bureau's office in Louisville said they've received 424 complaints about contractors this year through November 30, up from 401 in 2018.
We reached out to Dupin for his reaction to customer complaints. He told us: "They're lying," adding he's never mistreated anyone. His wife said he's been in business for 40 years, with many happy customers.
We requested interviews with those customers, but never heard back.
The Kentucky Attorney General's Office said they have four complaints against Dupin and his contracting companies: L.D. Construction, LLC and L.D. & Sons Construction, LLC.
Before you hire a contractor, the Better Business Bureau has these tips:
1. Request references
2. Get multiple quotes
3. Verify license and insurance
4. Have dates in your contract for when the work will be done
More tips from the Better Business Bureau.
More from FOCUS
Have a story tip? Contact the FOCUS Investigative team at FOCUS@whas11.com