Three Morgantowners sue for misrepresentation

By Audrey Holsclaw | Mar 22, 2006

MORGANTOWN -- A Monongalia County construction company has been accused of misrepresentation in lawsuits filed by three Monongalia County residents.

William and Sherry Bragg and Karen Taylor allege that Forquer Contracting L.L.C. claimed to have a "General Engineering" license that it, in fact, did not have.

Filed on March 16, the suits state that both the Braggs and Taylor fell victim to a man named "Mr. Johnson," who assured them that Forquer Contracting had a valid license to begin construction.

However, the Braggs and Taylor were suspicious and wrote to the West Virginia Contracting Licensing Board, who informed them that Forquer Contracting was lacking any valid license to do any and all kinds of
construction.

Filed by Brent L. Van Deysen of Gianola, Barnum, and Wigal, L.C., the suits go on to tell the stories of the Braggs and Taylor.

The Braggs were looking for someone to build a 28x40 garage onto their house. On Oct. 4, 2004, Forquer Contracting started the job and promised to be finished in under a month for $30,318.16.

By Feb. 15, 2005, when the structure was finally complete, the Braggs were surprised to receive an invoice totaling $33,694.86. They were even more surprised when the garage began to fall apart. The aluminum siding became to bend concavely, the shingles on the roof of the garage were falling off, and the concrete floor was cracked in more than one place. The Braggs demanded their money back. They received no response.

Taylor was looking for someone to lay a foundation for her new manufactured home for her elderly mother. On May 17, 2004, Forquer Contracting started the job understanding that Taylor needed it built as quickly as possible. Forquer Contracting responded that they would be able to start within the week and be finished in 15 days. She paid $20,135.88.

Two weeks later, she again hired Forquer Contracting to lay an 18x21 concrete pad for a porch and asked them to repair her now-leaking foundation.

As it turned out, Forquer Contracting had failed in not just the laying of the foundation, but it had also not installed a septic system, utility lines, and a crawlspace. Nor had the workers installed a groundwater swale or even leveled the land before laying the foundation, the suit alleges. The bottom of Taylor's house rotted off. She paid $12,620 in repairs from a different company.

Both immediately contacted and were alerted by the WVCLB that Forquer Contracting was working without a valid license. Both are seeking a trial by jury to award compensatory damages for repairs and construction defects, punitive damages for annoyance and inconvenience, attorney's fees and a decision as to whether or not they should be obligated to pay Forquer Contracting after its misrepresentation.

Monongalia Circuit Court case numbers: 06-C-166 and 06-C-167

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