Building contractor sued for not finishing job

Kelly Holleran Dec. 8, 2008, 2:48am

A Jerseyville couple has filed suit against CR of Illinois and its two owners, alleging the building company did not finish building their house and did not pay subcontractors in full.

Steven and Amie Hutchens claim they hired CR of Illinois and its owners, Rich and Mary Coffman, on Oct. 27, 2007, to build a new home on the Hutchens' property at 22050 Hickory Meadows Drive in Jerseyville for $299,950, according to a complaint filed Dec. 2 in Madison County Circuit Court.

CR of Illinois has collected all the money for its subcontractors due under the contract, but has failed to complete work such as the driveway, sidewalks and both vanities, the suit states.

Because of the unfinished work to the house, the Hutchens were forced to live in a relative's basement for an extended period of time, they claim.

In addition, the company has not paid the subcontractors in full, the Hutchens claim.

Now, the subcontractors have given the Hutchens notices of potential liens, according to the complaint.

The Hutchens were forced to hire additional contractors to complete CR of Illinois's unfinished work, which cost at least $7,000 for concrete sidewalks and patios, the suit states.

CR of Illinois and the Coffmans breached their contract because they failed to perform their contractual obligations by leaving items incomplete and caused liens to be noticed to the Hutchens, the couple claims.

The company and its owners also substantially failed to complete the project, failed to satisfactorily respond to the Hutchens' communications and requests to finish the work, failed to build the home pursuant to local building codes and breached their standard of care in using shoddy workmanship to negligently build a faulty structure, according to the complaint.

CR of Illinois violated the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act because it induced the Hutchens to rely and enter into a contract for goods and services, made several promises to the Hutchens that their house would be completed by spring 2008 at the latest and would be built pursuant to specifications and intentionally dishonored its promises to the Hutchens, the suit states.

The company and its owners refused to credit the Hutchens money due them for adjustments for allowances on line items, failed to satisfy its subcontractors as promise, failed to complete the building of the house as promised, failed to build the project pursuant to the agreed upon plans and willfully made material misrepresentations to the Hutchens, they claim.

The Hutchens are seeking a judgment for a refund in excess of $30,000, a judgment requiring CR of Illinois and the Coffmans to satisfy all subcontractors and obtain lien waivers on all work, punitive damages in excess of $50,000, plus costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems fit and proper.

They are represented by Julie Harper of Alton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-1133.

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