Pa. suit targets 3 Phila.-area contractors

Three Philadelphia-area home-improvement contractors are among seven across the state targeted in lawsuits announced today by the state Attorney General's Office, which accused them of violating the state's Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act.

Officials identified them as:

CHRC Contracting Inc., owned by Larry Harrison of the 2800 block of West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia. The company is accused of "failing to perform work, collecting excessive down payments, failing to register as a home improvement contractor with the Attorney General's Office and using contracts that do not include the required notice of cancellation for consumers."

David Slaughter General Contractor, along with owner David Slaughter, of the 4200 block of North 15th Street, Philadelphia. He and his company were accused of "failing to start work, not completing contracted projects, using inferior materials, failing to register as a home improvement contractor, and using contracts that do not include the required notice of cancellation."

Mucci Construction/Mucci Concrete & Paving, along with owner James Mucci, of the 600 block of First Avenue, Croydon, Bucks County. The state accused Mucci and the business, which it said formerly operated out of Morrisville, of "failing to perform work, not obtaining required permits, collecting excessive down payments, and failing to provide the required notice of cancellation."

"Complaints about home improvement projects 'gone bad' are typically one of the top reasons for consumers to contact the Attorney General's Office," Attorney General Tom Corbett said in a statement.

Corbett said the seven suits filed this week seek restitution for consumers and fines and civil penalties of up to $1,000 per violation, or up to $3,000 for each violation involving a senior citizen.

State officials said they had also reached voluntary settlements with 10 other home-improvement businesses "accused of operating without properly registering with the Attorney General's Office or using contracts that did not comply with state law."

The Attorney General's Office urged consumers to contact its Bureau of Consumer Protection "if they have experienced problems with these businesses but have not yet filed formal complaints." To file a complaint, call 1-800-441-2555 or visit www.attorneygeneral.gov.