OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma contractor is caught in a legal mess as small claims lawsuits stack up across the area.
Customers called KFOR looking for help.
For Matthew Jewel, a one-to-two day fence project has turned into weeks.
Austin Waddle and Austin Morrow have waited even longer for their concrete work.
“Early July, that’s when we paid him,” said Waddle. “Paid him $4,700.”
“Mid-April he came out, gave me an estimate,” said Morrow. “Then I paid him in full, $2,300 to do the job.”
All three picked local group Leaders Construction LLC, paying their amounts up front to save some money.
“He did offer a discount to pay up front,” noted Waddle.
For all three, Leaders Construction came with recommendations. The construction group even built Austin Morrow’s fence some time ago.
But that was before.
Morrow’s patio extension has sat unfinished now for months, and he has no idea when or if it will be completed.
It’s a problem all three customers are facing.
“[Leaders Construction] stopped answering text messages,” said Waddle. “I left plenty of voicemails, to which no response.”
The problems plaguing Leaders Construction spread across the metro.
Morrow, Waddle and Jewel have filed small claims suits, three of at least seven filed this year alone in Oklahoma, Cleveland and Logan counties.
The business’ Facebook page has been deleted, but customers shared screenshots of negative reviews that were left on the page.
We stopped by the address registered to the business, but owner Michael Hanson did not answer.
He also failed to return our phone calls.
In Your Corner did speak with his wife, Jessica Hanson.
Jessica is the former owner of the company through the beginning of this year, and is named in at least two lawsuits filed, one of which has been dismissed.
She claimed to know nothing of the company’s recent problems, and wished to be left alone.
“I helped out on a part time basis for a very short time when [Michael] was recovering from COVID,” Jessica said. “That’s it, I don’t know anything.”
Both Jewel and Waddle have already paid other contractors to finish their jobs.
For Austin Morrow, though, whose wife is expecting twins, this isn’t possible.
“It’s frustrating,” he said. “You pay someone to do a job, you expect them to do it.”
Jessica Hanson says she’s considering filing a suit for harassment against one of the customers who has filed suit against Leaders.
We’ll check back.