Lawsuit: Kitchen design business accepted money for construction job and never began or completed it

By Nicholas Malfitano | Jan 11, 2018

PITTSBURGH – A local couple are seeking to recover tens of thousands of damages from a kitchen designer whom they allege breached their contract and did not finish work it agreed to complete.

Milos D. Ikonomovic and Snezana Ikonomovic of Pittsburgh filed suit in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas on Jan. 5 versus Linx Creative Kitchen & Bath, LLC, of Butler.

In early April 2017, the defendant business’ owner Christian Sheasley visited the plaintiffs at their property to propose the design and installation of a new kitchen, including new cabinets, countertops, flooring and interior demolition and construction, activities governed by the Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the suit says.

Sheasley allegedly submitted a formal proposal to the Ikonomovics, who accepted it on May 2, 2017 and received a final contract for signatures. However, the contract did not contain the approximate start of the date, nor the defendant’s Home Improvement Contractor Registration Number, the suit claims. 

It also did not separate the amount of the deposit designed for the purchase of materials, nor include a three-day right of rescission, the suit says.

“As part of the contract, plaintiffs were asked to pay a deposit in the amount of $23,478. Sheasley advised plaintiffs that the defendant needed the down-payment to purchase materials. Sheasley also confirmed that he would begin the project in July and would be done before Thanksgiving 2017,” the suit says.

After repeated requests from the Ikonomovics, Sheasley noted on June 29 that the cabinets were ordered and in July of last year, the plaintiffs repeatedly asked the defendant when it would begin the project, the suit says. On Aug. 30, Sheasley emailed the plaintiffs and admitted he had held off on ordering the cabinets, and promised to start the project no later than the end of September 2017, the suit says.

However, Sheasley never purchased materials or started the work and after giving him an ultimatum to complete the work or return the deposit, the plaintiffs were advised by a third-party that Sheasley had closed his business and were advised by the Butler County District Attorney to file a report with the Mount Lebanon Police Department, the suit claims.

The following week, on Oct. 5, 2017, Sheasley filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. In the related paperwork, Sheasley listed the plaintiffs as a creditor, but did not list the amount of the debt. Defendant never returned the deposit, nor started the project, thereby allegedly engaging in fraudulent and deceptive conduct.

Plaintiffs aver they are owed the following damages:

Actual Damages - $23,478

Punitive Damages - $46,956

Attorney Fees - $3,500

Pre-Judgment Interest - $939.12

Total - $74,873.12

For counts of breach of contract (or alternatively, unjust enrichment), and violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, the plaintiff is seeking damages in excess of $35,000, along with compensatory damages, punitive damages, treble damages as provided by statute, interest appropriately due, attorney’s fees and costs, as well as any and all further relief that this Court deems just and equitable.

The plaintiff is represented by Christopher Passodelis Jr. of Sherrard German & Kelly, in Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas case GD-18-000214

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

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