A breach of contract case that was scheduled for trial Monday ended little more than a month ago when the defendant failed to appear and plaintiffs Dennis and Wanda Revelle of Highland won a default judgment.

The couple sued contractor Behnam Home Improvements LLC over problems stemming from repairs to their basement in 2004.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth approved damages of just over $77,000 on May 1 after Behnam failed to appear in court in April.

The trial was scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday.

Behnam was hired by the Highland couple in May 2004. The company was to replace the couple's basement walls with new concrete walls, waterproof the area and install a new patio to replace one torn up during the basement work. According to the Revelles' complaint, Behnam was to be paid $12,740 and their contract carried what they argued was an implied warranty.

According to the complaint, Behman told the couple he could start work within two to three days of being hired but didn't start for two weeks. He then failed to finish the work in the three weeks he promised, taking three months instead.

The couple alleged that the work was shoddily done, that walls cracked, the workman broke a floor joist, the basement leaked and that the patio cracked. The Revelles said they paid Behnam over $8,000 and that he failed to respond to their complaints or fix the problems.

Their suit accused Behnam of consumer fraud and breach of contract. They filed an amended complaint adding an argument that Behnam violated that Consumer Fairness and Deceptive Business Practices Act. The suit asked for over $50,000 in damages, including the sum they had paid Behnam and $32,000 to fix the problems with their home.

Dennis and Wanda Revelle were represented by Vandalia attorney Michael Brunton of Brunton Law Offices P.C. Behnam was represented pro se.

The case was Madison case number 06-L-975.

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