Improperly installed windows and a delay in construction work led a Jefferson County couple to file suit against a national home improvement chain and a contractor.

Marvin and Betty Rodrigue filed a lawsuit Jan. 19 in Jefferson County District Court against Home Depot International, At-Home Services and E & M Contracting.

According to their complaint, the Rodrigues purchased a complete home window and installation package from the Beaumont Home Depot on Dec. 19, 2009. Home Depot's At-Home Services handled the installation, hiring E & M Contracting to install the windows, the suit states.

Before the work began, the Rodrigues put down 25 percent, the complaint says. Still, the down payment did nothing to ignite E & M Contracting or Home Depot's At-Home Services – both companies failed to begin work within 30 days of the contract date, the Rodrigues claim.

Problems began spiraling from there, according to the complaint.

"Plaintiffs would further show that Defendant contractor cut pieces off of the window casings in a poor attempt to fit them," the suit states. "Further, the window installation did not pass windstorm certification inspection performed by Hurricane Engineering and Inspection Services, who inspected the window installation 3 to 4 times in April 2010. Thereafter, Home Depot and its at-home services were notified the window installation was still not satisfactorily performed and remained incomplete, including but not limited to a missing screen, gaps around the windows, improper fit and caulking."

Despite the Rodrigues' complaints and their attempts to notify Home Depot of the unsatisfactory installation of the windows, the store continually charged the couple the remaining 75 percent they owed after the work was finished, the complaint says.

As a result of the defendants' conduct, the Rodrigues claim they incurred installation costs of $10,585, plus a loss of enjoyment of their home.

The Rodrigues allege breach of contract, slander of credit and deceptive trade practices against the defendants.

They seek economic, exemplary, treble and actual damages, plus attorney's fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

John S. Morgan of Harris, Duesler and Hatfield in Beaumont will be representing them.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E189-195

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