CHARLESTON - The office of state Attorney General Darrell McGraw is suing a home improvement company that allegedly did not provide services paid for nor refunds.
In a lawsuit filed April 17 in Kanawha Circuit Court, Jill Miles of the AG's office Consumer Protection Division says she has reason to believe Precision Windows and Doors Manager Jamie Crawford has violated the West Virginia Credit and Consumer Protection Act.
"The State seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, investigative costs, damages, restitution for consumers who were harmed by the defendants' business practices, civil penalties and attorney's fees," the lawsuit says.
Miles said she learned of the problem in early October.
"There is a pattern that we learned of in about October," she said. "We received some complaints today (Wednesday, April 19), too.
"Today we had two calls. We anticipate getting some more. There were already more complaints than just the attached affidavits."
The affidavits of three individuals were contained in the lawsuit, as well as the complaint of Virginia Wehrle of Charleston.
Wehrle says she gave Precision a down payment of $1,436, while Diana Goff of Dunbar ($1,946), Cheryl Ord of Poca ($1,090) and Fred Oxley of Charleston ($562.50) also complained of handing over down payments and receiving no services.
Miles accused Precision of failure to deliver goods and services as promised; failure to provide refunds; failure to substantially perform work; and failure to provide consumers with a notice of right to cancel.
She is seeking temporary relief in the form of a hearing on the petition for preliminary injunction and an order temporarily restraining Precision from engaging in business in West Virginia until the matter is resolved.
She is also seeking permanent relief in the form of a $5,000 civil penalty for each violation of the West Virginia Credit and Consumer Protection Act.
Also, Miles wants penalties to be deemed the result of an enforcement action brought by the Attorney General's policy or regulatory powers. That means filing for bankruptcy would not save Precision from having to pay any penalties.
"We're attempting to get refunds for consumers and businesses that get sued frequently go bankrupt," Miles said. "We (request the order) so we can still get provisions if the company goes and files for bankruptcy."
Miles said it's difficult to say how many people will come forward with complaints.
"We have a situation going on where people are paying anywhere between $500-2,000 -- and that's a lot of money to them -- and they're not performing the work."
Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-699