Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett has filed a lawsuit against a Lycoming County contractor accused of accepting consumers’ money for home improvement work that he failed to finish or was shoddy. The suit follows an investigation into complaints from homeowners located in Lycoming, Northumberland and Sullivan counties.
Corbett identified the defendants as Vincent Mirabella and his company Mirabella Contracting Company, of Hughesville, Lycoming County. The suit alleges numerous violations of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
Agents with Corbett’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said Mirabella through July 2004 entered into home improvement contracts with consumers to perform various jobs including roof replacement, garage construction, siding/window work and other repair projects. The defendant was paid between $3,000 and $21,000 per contract to perform the work.
According to the suit, consumers complained that Mirabella did not honor their contracts by failing to complete the projects or performing work that was considered substandard or shoddy. One Lycoming County consumer hired Mirabella and paid him in-full to replace the roof on her Montoursville home. She said Mirabella ignored her repeated requests to return to the job site after numerous shingles fell off the house and the roof developed severe leaks.
Another Lycoming County homeowner claimed that the defendant’s shoddy roof work resulted in damage to their porch and siding. One other couple complained that Mirabella failed to complete the construction of their garage and the work that he did perform was of such poor quality that the walls collapsed during a rainstorm.
In addition, several consumers obtained civil judgments against Mirabella that he failed to pay. Others claimed that they were forced to hire and then pay another contractor to complete the work left unfinished by the defendant.
The lawsuit asks the court to require the defendant to:
– Pay nearly $36,000 in restitution to six consumers who filed complaints, plus pay restitution to others who come forward with proof of similar harm.
– Forfeit his right to work as a home improvement contractor until consumer restitution, fines and other costs are paid.
– Pay civil penalties of $1,000 per violation and $3,000 for each violation involving a consumer age 60 or older.
– Pay the Commonwealth’s costs of investigation.
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