HUNTINGTON – A Milton couple is suing two cabinet companies they claim breached their contract with them and caused them damages
In the fall of 2013, Chris Sergent and Jill Sergent met with J&N Cabinets Inc. to discuss purchasing cabinetry for their new home that was under construction and after J&N conducted a site visit, the Sergents informed J&N that they wanted the Merillat brand of cabinets, but the company suggested they consider Conestoga, according to a complaint filed Feb. 23 in Cabell Circuit Court.
The Sergents claim J&N described the Conestoga cabinets as custom-built, solid wood cabinets that were of a much higher quality.
The couple explained to J&N that they wanted an espresso finish and they were concerned that the Conestoga cabinets may not display the same espresso finish as the Merillat sample they had originally chose, according to the suit.
The Sergents claims J&N informed them that they would get E&T Cabinets Inc. to make a sample, custom-stained cabinet for them to inspect and approve and when they saw the sample cabinet, it was the same espresso finish and, upon the presentation of the sample, they selected the Conestoga brand for their kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and desk adjacent to the kitchen.
J&N informed the Sergents they must pay full price of the cabinets in the amount of $18,974 at the time of ordering and on Dec. 21, 2013, they placed their order and paid in full, according to the suit.
The Sergents claim on May 2, the cabinets were delivered and were left in the garage, unboxed and unprotected from the elements.
The following day, when the Sergents went to visit the new home and inspect the cabinets, they noticed the cabinets were not the desired espresso finish that had been promised and appeared to be an ashy, mocha color and there was a large amount of variation in the color among the cabinets, according to the suit.
The Sergents claim they contacted J&N regarding the problem and, following an impolite response, J&N agreed to contact E&T about the problem.
E&T informed the plaintiffs that since the cabinets had already been treated with polyurethane, E&T could not add additional stain, according to the suit.
The plaintiffs claim when they asked if E&T used the Conestoga espresso finish that was promised, they were informed that E&T always uses Sherwin-Williams and was not aware of what Conestoga used in their factory finishes, but that it would contact Sherwin-Williams and Conestoga for recommendations to correct the problem.
On May 5, E&T contacted the Sergents to inform them of a fix and two days later, a sample of the re-stained cabinets was presented to them, which they agreed to because it matched the original sample closely enough, according to the suit.
The Sergents claim the re-stained cabinets were delivered several days later, however, due to the multitude of cabinets in the garage, it was impossible for them to inspect each re-stained cabinet upon delivery.
On June 10, the Sergents' contractor because installing the kitchen cabinets and informed them that the stain on the inside of the cabinets did not match the outside and on June 11, they contacted J&N, who told them to address their problems to E&T, according to the suit.
The Sergents claim when they contacted E&T they were informed that none of the insides of the cabinets were re-stained and that E&T would not be doing any additional work on the cabinets.
E&T informed the Sergents that no one could see the inside of the cabinets, so it did not matter if they were re-stained or not, according to the suit.
The Sergents claim on June 15, they against contacted J&N and requested someone contact them regarding a resolution for the inside of the cabinet doors and, when they did not receive a response, they called again on June 18.
Later that day, J&N called and left a message on the Sergents' voicemail stating that the cabinets "are what they are" and that J&N would not take further action, according to the suit.
The Sergents claim they called J&N again and, after a lengthy conversation, it agreed to inspect the cabinets with them and did so on June 25, along with a representative of E&T.
After inspecting the cabinets, J&N only offered excuses and inapplicable analogies as to the cabinets' appearance and it became clear to the plaintiffs that neither J&N nor E&T were going to remedy the breach of contract they had caused, according to the suit.
The Sergents claim they had notified the defendants on multiple occasions regarding the deficiencies in the cabinets and of the breach of the agreement and also gave them the opportunity to repossess the cabinets in exchange for return of the purchase price, but the defendants had refused.
The Sergents are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Charles M. Johnstone II and Madeline G. George of Johnstone & Gabhart LLP.
The case is assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.
Cabell Circuit Court case number: 15-C-123