Home Improvement/Contractor

moneyIf you have hired a contractor to do work on your home and the work performed was substandard, unfinished or inadequate, you may be able to collect reimbursement from the Department of Consumer Protection Guaranty Fund. The Fund is set up to protect consumers from the deceptive practices of contractors. There are several requirements for eligibility: 1. The contractor was licensed as a home improvement contractor, either at the time of doing the work or within the previous two years; 2. The work was valued at over $200.00; and 3. The work was done on residential property.

If these criteria are met, you may be eligible for up to $15,000.00 of reimbursement from the Guaranty Fund, which can include attorney’s fees. To recover this money, you must obtain a court judgment against the contractor and prove your damages before a judge. After that, if the contractor is either unable to pay or there are no assets to recover, you can apply for reimbursement of up to $15,000.00 from the Guaranty Fund.

Our firm has litigated numerous home improvement cases on behalf of consumers. We fight to make sure that consumers are not taken advantage of and that they receive compensation for contractors’ deceptive acts. Contractors often try to deceive homeowners and offer low settlement value. However, the Guaranty Fund provides strong leverage against these contractors. We are committed to getting you full value for your home improvement losses.

Automobile warranties/Lemon law

New cars today come with extensive warranties which may transfer to a subsequent buyer, but unfortunately, the existence of a warranty does not necessarily mean that the auto dealer will make the task of seeking covered repairs simple. Aside from the express warranties that may exist pursuant to an automobile warranty from the manufacturer, Connecticut also has a series of law, known as the “Lemon Laws,” which place certain requirements on new car manufacturers or dealers, including a requirement that a manufacturer or dealer replace a vehicle or accept the return and tender a refund of a vehicle, which has a defect impairing the use, safety or value of the vehicle and which does not conform with the express terms of a warranty when the defect has not been fixed after a reasonable number of attempts. If a manufacturer or dealer breaches a warranty, you may be able to seek repayment of attorney’s fees you incur. There are deadlines for reporting defects that you must abide by in order to retain coverage under with an express warranty or the Lemon Laws, so it is critical that you place the manufacturer or dealer on notice as soon as you become aware of a defect. Contact one of our attorneys today so that we may assist you in ensuring that any defects are dealt with promptly and properly.

Many used cars in Connecticut are also covered by a statutory warranty, depending on the purchase price and age of the vehicle. These warranties are limited and are in effect for a very brief period of time – 30 days or 1,500 miles, or 60 days or 3,000 miles, depending on the purchase price of the vehicle. Therefore, if you believe your vehicle has an issue which is covered by a used car warranty, it is critical to place the dealer on notice of the problem as quickly as possible, and to consult with an attorney to preserve your rights.

Even if your vehicle is not covered by an express warranty, you may still have rights pursuant to an implied warranty or other claim. If you are having issues with a used vehicle that you purchased, contact one of our attorneys so that we may assist you in evaluating any potential claims against the auto dealer.

Unfair trade practices

In Connecticut, consumers who have been the victim of unfair or deceptive trade practices have a potentially powerful tool at their disposal – the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (“CUTPA”), which may allow for the award of punitive damages and attorney’s fees, amongst other types of compensation. A CUTPA claim may be brought in conjunction with many common law claims, such as breach of contract or misrepresentation claims, as well as a number of statutory claims. In fact, the violation of some statutes amount to a per se violation of CUTPA; for instance, a violation of the Home Improvement Act amounts to a violation of CUTPA.

CUTPA claims are complex, and although CUTPA was enacted over forty years ago, and although thousands of decisions have been rendered on such claims, there remain many unanswered questions regarding the applicability of CUTPA claims. Contact us today to discuss whether you may have a CUTPA claim.