NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - After months of unanswered questions, News 4 spoke with a pool contractor who allegedly never finished a job.
The Nashville homeonwer, Craig Eversoll contacted News 4's Call 4 Action team last fall about what he called a botched job.
“You know my situation. You know how much that money meant to me,” Eversoll said.
Eversoll told News 4 he hired Warren in October 2018 to help install a pool that he wanted to use for physical therapy. He suffers from Primary Lateral Sclerosis, or PLS. PLS is a rare disease that weakens your muscles. Eversoll gave Poolman Chris a $3,000 deposit for a $6,000 job. A job that Eversoll claims never got finished.
News 4 went by Warren’s house Thursday. His mother told us at the door that he was asleep. We waited on his porch rocking chair, called and texted Warren until he finally came outside.
“Actually I was just talking to my mom about trying to see if we could go ahead and if he wanted to take my Mercedes, I’m just gonna sell it and just give him the money. I messed up with Craig Eversoll, and I’m trying to make it right,” Warren stated.
News 4 also wanted to know why after almost two years, Eversoll’s pool still looks the same way.
"Well, actually part of it was actually done. We had to re-plum and patch the wall and stuff on his pool. So, a lot of it has been done. So I probably actually owe him about $2,400 or something like that, Warren said.
Warren added that he doesn’t know when Eversoll will see his refund but promises that he’s working on it.
“I sat there and talked with him, many different times. He’s a nice guy. It wasn’t that I meant to do this to him or his pool. I really had good intentions. It was just a bad time and I’ve been trying to do right and he’s one of them I’ve got to make right,” Warren said.
After our interview with Warren, News 4 informed Eversoll about our encounter. Eversoll says he is happy to hear we finally got a hold of Warren and hopes to get his refund soon.
Joey Fuson, an attorney with the firm Freeman and Fuson specializes in criminal and civil litigation in Middle Tennessee. Fuson says sadly, these situations happen all of the time.
“That’s a very common thing people find themselves in. They pay somebody to come do work at their house and either the work doesn’t get done or it gets left partially done and they’re left kind of not knowing what to to,” Fuson said.
Fuson says if someone is in a situation like Eversoll’s , their best bet is to take the contractor to court.
“So the next route would be to file a general sessions warrant. You have the ability in general sessions court to file your own warrant per se. Anything under $25,000, you can come into court fairly quickly. You can usually get a court date within a couple of weeks and have the ability to have the person brought into court or summoned to court. And if they show up then you may have the right to have a trial in front of a judge, a bench trial,” Fuson said.
Fuson said that is typically the main option consumers have. Fuson added that consumers can go to circuit court for matters that are over $25,000. Consumers can also file a complaint with different licensing boards, the Better Business Bureau, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance and the Consumer’s Affairs Division at the Attorney General’s Office.
Even if you try and take the contractor to court, it can still prove to be an uphill battle.
“Sending them letters and calling them is not going to work generally. And even if you do go to court, the odds of actually getting and collecting the money is an entirely different process. Because once you go to court, say that you are able to file your warrant, you go to court, you get a judge to hear your case, you’re successful and get a judgement, then you have a piece of paper that you have to then take steps to collect on. And a lot of people, as we know in this case, somebody may not have the ability to pay, may not have any assets, they may have criminal charges, they’ve got other judgements...you may just get in line and be forced to now have a piece of paper you’re trying to collect which takes time and money and effort. Things you don’t want to spend,” Fuson said.
Fuson advises consumers to double check the background on contractor or company. Make sure you research the contractor or company extensively before signing a contract or money upfront.
“Now with reviews online you can vet that a little bit better. But as far as when somebody does take advantage of you...I think you need to step up and file the lawsuit and go to court. And even if the judgement may be hard to come by as far as collecting on it, getting that judgement is the right thing to do and I think the judgement last for ten years, so, they may not be in a position to pay it now, but, may be one day they will,” Fuson said.