May 21, 2007
Forsyth, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon is seeking restitution for consumers who paid a Texas corporation tens of thousands of dollars to build them log homes but received shoddy, incomplete results after months of delays. Nixon’s lawsuit against Heartwood Log Homes Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, filed in Taney County Circuit Court, is also seeking a permanent injunction against the business to prevent further violations of state consumer laws.
Nixon says since at least April 2002, Heartwood Log Homes has engaged in the advertisement and sale of log home construction services. In that time, Nixon says, his office has received nine complaints from consumers who paid the company to construct the homes, only to receive insufficient building materials, numerous construction errors, and unfinished work months past the date the job was scheduled to be completed. The monetary loss per victim ranged between $70,000 and $140,000.
One consumer paid the company $60,866 in May 2003 to procure specific building materials needed to construct a log home, but never received all the materials paid for nor a refund from the defendant. The defendant used the wrong blueprints in constructing the house, and took months longer than promised to complete the job. In April 2004, after numerous delays and unexpected new charges, the consumer halted the company’s work on the unfinished home. A subsequent inspection of the home by an engineer revealed numerous construction errors and discrepancies between what the consumer requested and the actual work done by the defendants. Overall, the consumer had paid Heartwood Log Homes more than $100,000.
Nixon’s lawsuit requests that the court issue a permanent injunction against the defendant, barring the company from continuing to violate Missouri’s Merchandising Practices Act. The Attorney General is also asking the court to order the defendants to pay all court costs in addition to consumer restitution.