Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Melissa Merz
877-844-5461 (TTY)
January 13, 2006


Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today took action against a Cook County contractor who allegedly accepted more than $13,000 in down payments from five consumers for concrete installation and repairs at their homes and then failed to either begin the projects or complete the projects as agreed.

According to Madigan’s lawsuit filed today in Cook County Circuit Court, James Connelly, doing business as Customized Concrete Design, in Melrose Park, went to consumers’ homes and negotiated contracts with them, and then failed to complete the concrete work as promised. In addition, Connelly allegedly failed to provide refunds to consumers after repeated demands by the consumers and the Office of the Attorney General. Madigan’s lawsuit charges Connelly with multiple violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and the Illinois Home Repair and Remodeling Act.

“A person’s home is an investment, and when Illinois consumers pay money to improve their homes they should fully expect that the work will be completed in a timely and professional manner,” Madigan said. “Customized Concrete Design broke its promise to customers, and in doing so, broke the law.”

Madigan’s Consumer Protection Division received five consumer complaints against Connelly and Customized Concrete Design from consumers in Cook County. The five consumers allegedly signed contracts with Connelly totaling $20,100 and paid $13,050 in down payments on installation or repair of concrete walkways, stairs and garage foundations.

According to one complaint filed with Madigan’s office, Connelly visited the home of a Hanover Park couple and they entered into a contract while he was there. The total price of the contract was $4,800 for the installation and refinishing of concrete coating on the steps and walkways of the couple’s home. The couple paid the total amount of the contract in cash to Connelly that same day. Despite repeated verbal requests by the consumers and written demands by Madigan’s office, Connelly has refused to begin the work or refund the money.

Because Connelly entered into contracts and accepted down payments while in the consumers’ homes, he is legally required to provide in his contracts a notice of the consumer’s three-day right to cancel. Connelly failed to provide that notice and failed to provide consumers with copies of the legally-required home repair consumer’s rights pamphlets, Madigan’s lawsuit alleges.

Madigan’s lawsuit asks the court to prohibit the defendants from engaging in the business of home repair and from further violating Illinois’ consumer protection laws. The lawsuit also seeks a civil penalty of $50,000 and additional penalties of $50,000 for each violation found to have been committed with the intent to defraud. Finally, Madigan’s lawsuit asks the court to order the defendants to pay restitution to consumers.

Assistant Attorney General Adam Sokol is handling the case for Madigan’s Consumer Protection Division.


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