Suit says contractor took money but failed to restore home

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 4, 2011, 10:00am

GALVESTON - Alleging Ari and Associates Inc. took their insurance money without restoring their home, William and Tammy Garibay have filed a lawsuit.

Court documents filed Oct. 28 in Galveston County District Court alleges the contractor lied to the Garibays about repairing their residence after it was damaged by Hurricane Ike in September 2008.

The original petition claims the defendant informed the Garibays that payment would need to be made in advance before it would start work.

The Garibays agreed to pay the contractor $32,678, which is a combination of $10,000 of the their savings and $22,678 in insurance policy payments. However, the suit states the plaintiffs later had problems trying to contact the defendant.

It also claims the work "progressed very slowly and soon halted completely."

"When Mrs. Garibay confronted the defendant, she was faced with a demand for another upfront payment," the suit says.

"The plaintiffs refused to prepay any more sums, as only a few sheets of drywall and insulation had been hung and electrical work attempted by the defendant was shoddy and failed to meet code."

An accurate and detailed accounting of all labor and materials in connection with the project was requested multiple times, but never provided, according to the Garibays.

They "were forced to remove the defendant's name from the City of Galveston's building permits, seek out new contractors and pay additional sums of money to replace the faulty wiring installed by the defendant and complete the abandoned project to repair their home."

A jury trial is requested.

Attorney Abel P. Ortiz II of Galveston is representing the complainants.

Galveston County 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-1726

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