HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE Owner sued over services
The attorney general said Durkin has violated a previous court order.
YOUNGSTOWN -- Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro has sued Better Plumbers & amp; Home Improvement and its owner, James Durkin, for failing to deliver products ordered by consumers.
The suit was filed Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. Petro says in his suit that Durkin and his company, located on Canfield Road, performed shoddy work, failed to obtain necessary permits and licenses, and continued to operate after a previous common pleas judge ordered the company to cease business until proper permits and licenses were obtained.
Consumer complaints received in Petro's office claim losses between $300 and $10,000.
On Dec. 17, 2002, a common pleas court judge ruled that Durkin and his company could not do business until it was properly licensed and paid all judgments as well as any consumer transaction that was still outstanding.
Despite that ruling, consumer complaints received by Petro's office show that Durkin ignored the 2002 order by continuing to conduct business, which is a violation of Ohio's consumer laws.
The Mahoning County District Board of Health issued a consumer advisory last September concerning plumbing services provided by Durkin.
The health board said Durkin is not a registered master plumber and cannot obtain plumbing permits for residential work.
Further, the board advisory said Durkin "does not hold a plumbing contractor's license from the Ohio Department of Commerce to engage in commercial plumbing work."
Durkin was unavailable to comment Friday evening.
Petro asked the court this time to issue an order that would permanently prohibit Better Plumbers & amp; Home Improvement and Durkin from conducting plumbing and home improvement business in Ohio. The attorney general also asked the court to order Durkin and his company to refund consumers and pay a civil penalty.