PHILADELPHIA – A Delaware County-based contracting firm and its owner have been accused of not completing property rehabilitation work they had been hired to perform by a Philadelphia plaintiff in July of last year.

Bridget V. Mitchell of Philadelphia filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on Sept. 9 versus Red Hammer Contracting, LLC and John Solakov, both of Glen Mills.

In or about 2016, Mitchell says she met two individuals, Solakov and his partner Candice Connard, who were rehabbing and flipping two homes near her property. After tours of the properties, Mitchell decided to engage their services to rehabilitate her property, to “reflect the same quality and appearance as the two rehabbed properties," the lawsuit says.

On or about July 2, 2016, Mitchell entered into a Home Improvement Agreement with Red Hammer Contracting, with the first schedule providing for four draws during the project and one at the completion of the project and the second schedule providing the proposed improvements in detail, the lawsuit says.

According to the alleged terms of the contract, Red Hammer Contracting was to be paid $150,000 for the improvements outlined in the proposal. Additionally, the work was allegedly to take place in no more than 140 days and the contractor be paid a $10,000 bonus for “timely, professional work completion.” 

Mitchell later learned that Connard was no longer working with Solakov, because of Connard’s difficulty in getting Solakov to appropriately complete projects on agreed-upon timelines, the suit says. The crew who completed the two rehabbed properties followed Connard, the suit says. 

Solakov allegedly performed all the work at the property on behalf of Red Hammer Contracting, without a crew. When Mitchell signed the contract, Mitchell did not know the foregoing, and averred had she known that at the time, she would not have hired Solakov for this work, she says.

In or around February, a dispute arose between Mitchell and the contractor. Despite the project not yet being completed, the contractor demanded a fifth draw, which was not included in the contract, the suit says. As of this time, Mitchell had paid the contractor about $136,000, the suit says. That amount is approximately 90 percent of the entire project cost, excluding the bonus for timely completion.

“However, the contractor had completed less than half of the project per the Proposal. Additionally, portions that were completed, such as the electricity and plumbing, were completed incorrectly,” the suit says. “On or about March 1, 2017, after approximately eight months of work, Mitchell terminated contractor’s services for failure to timely complete the project, as well as for numerous deficiencies found in the property.” 

Since the termination, Mitchell was forced to pay an electrician about $22,000 to redo the electric wiring throughout her property, as well as a plumber about $1,000 to fix issues surrounding the “new” pipes the contractor had installed, the suit says.

“The plumber advised Mitchell that John failed to install traps in the sewage pipes, which will require additional costs to correct. Further, Mitchell was forced to pay a new general contractor approximately $60,000 to complete the project. On or about April 5, 2017, contractor filed a mechanics lien for $19,685 for the work contractor did not complete. Contractor falsely represented to the Court that it had completed all of the work on March 1, 2017, even though the contractor had actually been terminated for his breaches of the contract and negligent work performed,” the suit continues.

For counts of breach of contract, fraud/fraudulent omission, negligence/negligent omission and violations of Pennsylvania’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), the plaintiff is seeking damages, individually, jointly and/or severally, in an amount in excess of $50,000, plus compensatory, statutory, and treble damages, attorneys’ fees, interest, costs, and such other and further relief as this Honorable Court deems just.  

The plaintiff is represented by Matthew B. Weisberg and L. Anthony DiJiacomo, III of Weisberg Law, in Morton.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 170900673

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas
1501 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA - 19102

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