COSBY, Tenn. (WATE) – An East Tennessee contractor lost a big judgment recently after being sued in Sevier County.
A retired veteran won the lawsuit after the contractor started the job, but never finished the work.
WATE 6 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Don Dare first reported this story in 2017, and it’s taken that long to get the contractor to court.
The contractor was first served a summons in May 2019, but court records show he never responded to the order.
A civil judgment total of $2.5 million was granted to Nastaran Sowers.
She’s a retired Air Force major who hired a contractor from Cosby in March of 2017.
A few months later, the job got underway but then the contractor walked off and never returned.
“This was my retirement dream to set up a campground.”Nastaran Sowers, property owner.
For Sowers, her retirement dream will never be realized.
The 20-acre site she bought after retiring from the Air Force after serving two tours in Afghanistan; no vacation cabins will ever be set up on the campground which she had planned to use for a retirement income.
The deal with K&G Contracting three years ago totaled at $115,000, the first payment was $29,000 and the completion date was the end of May 2017.
The contract shows, within months the contractor collected another $28,000 before he quit.
“It was very emotional for me to be ripped off the way I was. It has taken me a long time to come to terms in letting it go and not be bitter and upset about it.”Nastaran Sowers
The contractor she hired was Kenneth Gleason.
Gleason, we discovered also was a suspect for alleged construction scams in Maryland.
When we first visited in October 2017, Sowers had hired another crew to clean up the mess left behind by Gleason after he walked off.
He had also started remodeling a 130-year-old log cabin that was to be her home; she worried about the quality of work.
“The country asked me to get an engineer to evaluate the job he was doing.”Nastaran Sowers
In an August 2017 engineering report, “shoddy workmanship,” was documented.
“It says contractor had no intentions of building a structurally strong two-story house.”Nastaran Sowers
In 2017, Gleason told WATE that he had proof he had done his job. He claimed he did nothing wrong and he blamed Sowers, saying she didn’t want to pay for additional work.
In May 2019, Sowers filed a civil suit against him in Sevier County, but in January of this year, Gleason failed to show up for the hearing or hire an attorney.
“This is the motion for default judgment when I took him to court.”Nastaran Sowers
A judgement in the amount of $2 million be entered against the defendant for punitive damages. On top of that is another $515,000.
Sowers hired a second contractor to finish her home, she says construction mistakes made by Gleason are now fixed.
“He put in a foundation that was incorrect, we had to completely redo it.”Sowers
She’s expecting to move into the house soon. We tried to reach out to Gleason for comment, there’s been no response.
“Do not. Do not deal with this guy.”Sowers
We’ve learned that Gleason has changed the name of his business.
It no longer goes by K&G Contracting, the name of his business now is KG Builder.
However, when you call the listed phone number, you can’t get through.
We checked the state contractor’s board, neither business is licensed with the state.
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