Charleston, W.Va. (WTRF)- West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a lawsuit seeking to shut down a Northern Panhandle home improvement contractor who operated a plumbing business without a license.
The Attorney General alleged defendants Waterman Plumbing LLC and its owner, Charles P. Waterman, violated the state’s consumer protection laws by accepting thousands of dollars for deficient and unfinished work, all without being properly registered and licensed.
“Contractors must abide by the law and complete work in a fair and trustworthy manner,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Consumers should get the service they pay for. We are adamant about protecting Mountain State consumers and ensuring that all businesses comply with the law.”
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Ohio County Circuit Court, alleges Waterman and his business victimized three residents in Wheeling, one of which paid $7,645 for a series of projects the Attorney General described as substandard and incomplete.
Two others made individual down payments of at least $1,000 – one for front porch step repairs and the other for excavation and plumbing work. In both instances, Waterman never returned to do the work and refused to refund their down payments.
The lawsuit ties Waterman and his business to Wheeling and a nearby address in Ohio. It alleges both engaged in general contracting and plumbing work without a West Virginia business registration and operated without the required contractor or specialty plumbing license.
The lawsuit further alleges that the defendants did work for consumers without providing a written contract and failed to notify consumers of their three-day right to cancel service.
The Attorney General seeks a court order to permanently block Waterman and his company from engaging in any capacity of plumbing or contracting work. He also seeks up to $5,000 in civil penalties for each violation of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act.
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