May 16, 2013
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit today against a Dana Point, California resident and his construction company alleging that he failed to provide construction materials and home-repair services that had been paid for by victims of the Joplin tornado.
Koster's lawsuit alleges that homeowners paid Clark Baxter and his business, Sustainable Design, Inc., tens of thousands of dollars for the construction materials needed to rebuild their homes. However, Baxter failed to deliver the construction materials, and stopped working on the victims’ homes prior to completion, leaving consumers to purchase these items elsewhere at additional cost.
"Unfortunately, there are always those who will take advantage of unsuspecting consumers during times of tragedy," Koster said, “This office will continue to protect consumers by pursuing those who engage in this illegal behavior.
Since the May 2011 tornado, Koster's office has taken legal action against five other contractors for illegal behavior related to rebuilding Joplin citizens' homes.
The Attorney General is seeking an injunction requiring Baxter to stop conducting business in Missouri and to provide restitution to customers who were damaged. In addition, Koster is asking the court to impose civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and to require Baxter to pay for all court, investigation, and prosecution costs.