June 8, 2007
Union, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon is seeking a temporary restraining order and injunction against a Marion County man who accepted more than $90,000 in payment from consumers for wood flooring materials and then delivered shoddy products, several months late, while refusing to issue refunds. Nixon’s lawsuit against Scott Rigg, who does business as Coffey Creek Antique Flooring, was filed in Franklin County where one of the consumers who complained lives.
Rigg, of Philadelphia, Mo., has operated his business under various names, including Tri State Antique Flooring and Midwest Flooring. According to his Web site, the defendant offers wood flooring materials recycled from buildings that are being demolished.
Nixon says the defendant uses eBay to advertise “vintage antique heart pine flooring,” promising that the materials are “95% or better heart wood and 80% vertical grain.” Those consumers who purchase through from Rigg through eBay generally receive exactly what they order, in a timely fashion. For those consumers who purchase directly from the defendant, Nixon says, the story is quite different. Consumers are made to pay in full up front - often more than $10,000 - while the defendant promises to deliver the wood generally within two months.
Nixon says what would follow would be innumerable delays, with promised delivery dates missed, and frequent excuses from the defendant. Consumers who attempted to contact Rigg about refunds received no response, and also found that since the transaction was not made on eBay, they are not eligible for protection services or to provide purchaser feedback (thus allowing the defendant to maintain a high eBay rating).
Eventually, Nixon says, the flooring would be delivered after months of delays, but in such bad shape so as to be completely different from what consumers were promised when they paid.
“Consumers had to shell out thousands of dollars up front, and all they received were delays, excuses, and eventually, worthless piles of wood that were virtually unusable,” Nixon said. “Perhaps the defendant will be appropriately 'floored’ by our legal action.”
One consumer paid Rigg $16,280 for 3,700 square feet of heartwood, which the defendant said contained very minimal knots and nail holes, in February 2006. Rigg promised that he would deliver the wood in two weeks or less, but didn’t do so until seven months later, in September. The delivery was only about 60 percent of what the consumer paid for, and the wood itself had numerous nail holes, knots, knot holes, extensive cracks, fractures, stains and cuts, rendering it unusable.
Overall, Nixon says, the office has received 10 complaints from consumers from around the country, with estimated damages totaling in excess of $90,000.
Nixon is asking that the court issue a temporary restraining order and injunction preventing the defendant from continuing to advertise and sell wood flooring products. The lawsuit also requests that the court order Rigg to pay restitution to all consumers who suffered a financial loss due to the defendant’s actions, civil penalties and court costs.