Last month we received an arbitration award and judgment in excess of Six Million Dollars, against a mainland contractor on behalf of a mainland couple victimized while building their dream home on the island of Kauai. We persuaded the Arbitrator to award our clients treble damages pursuant to H.R.S. 480-2, the Hawaii Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. In awarding treble damages, the Arbitrator found that the contractor committed several Unfair and Deceptive Acts including the following:
a. At the time of the creation of the Agreement, the Contractors represented that they were licensed contractors. They were not.
b. Contractors collected $434,702.40 in unsubstantiated payments. The action of requesting payment for work that was not performed is both “unfair” and “deceptive.”
c. Contractors represented to the homebuilders that they would retain qualified subcontractors and staff the project with craftsmen qualified to construct a residence of this size and magnitude. Contractors did not.
d. Representing that the Kauai House would be built like a specific Scottsdale, Arizona Home that had been viewed by our clients, and that materials and craftsmen used on the Scottsdale Home would be used on the Kauai House. They were not.
e. Contractors did not disclose all information required under H.R.S. § 444-25.5 (Supp.2000) which is a per se violation of H.R.S. § 480-2.
In addition, the Arbitrator found that since an individual contractor acted in his personal capacity, he was “jointly and severally liable with the corporation.”
Obviously, we are very proud of the work that we performed to obtain this award for our clients.