Real estate agent says electrical contractors performed subpar work that endangered her family

By Nicholas Malfitano | May 3, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – In a recent lawsuit, a Philadelphia real estate agent alleges her contractors performed haphazard electrical workmanship at her residence that supposedly put both her and her children in danger.

Hannah Griswold McFarland of Philadelphia, filed suit in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas on April 12 versus United American Builders, Inc. and Richard J. Podulka II, both also of Philadelphia.

When McFarland, a real estate agent, moved to Philadelphia in June 2014, she says she retained the services of the defendants to ensure her electrical work would be code-compliant for $16,000.

But, McFarland added, she accused the defendants of performing a “dangerously defective electrical installation that did not comply with Philadelphia Building Code”, employing their own cost-cutting measures and shoddy workmanship that allegedly lasted for years.

These issues included: Recessed lights that were in contact with insulation despite the fact that they were not supposed to be in contact with insulation, and actually needed to be installed at least three inches from any installation; An improperly and dangerously-installed splice that was buried in the third-floor ceiling; Knob and tube wiring going to an outlet in which a new three-wire device was installed and live wires that were uncapped and hidden in the plaintiff’s daughter’s bathroom wall.

Only when the plaintiff attempted to redo her bathrooms last year did she discover the alleged subpar workmanship, the suit explains. As a result, McFarland was forced to hire another electrician, John McGettigan, to rewire her entire residence.

For counts of violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, fraud, negligence, breach of contract and unjust enrichment, the plaintiff is seeking judgment against the defendants for damages in excess of $50,000, plus interest, costs and other such relief in this matter, in addition to a trial by jury.

The plaintiff is represented by Peter R. Bryant and Gavin P. Lentz of Bochetto & Lentz, in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 180401590

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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