FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 4, 2012
AG SEEKS PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AGAINST PELHAM ROOFERS
(MONTGOMERY)—A hearing is set for October 10 in Jefferson County Circuit Court regarding the Attorney General’s request for a preliminary injunction against a Pelham roofing company and its managers who are accused of taking significant deposits from customers for work that was never completed. On September 26, the court granted the Attorney General’s motion for a temporary restraining order against Cornerstone Renovations, LLC; the company’s chief financial officer, David C. Sorjonen of Georgia; and its chief sales manager, Shawn A. Lay of Hoover.
The motion for a preliminary injunction, to keep the restraining order in effect and protect consumers, will be heard at 1:30 p.m. in Room 360 of the Jefferson County Courthouse by Judge Joseph L. Boohaker.
Attorney General Strange’s motion asserts that, after taking deposits of several-thousand dollars the defendants "failed to deliver, repair, and replace the roofs of more than 70 of its customers after a period of several months." In a civil complaint filed September 24, the Attorney General notes that the defendants Sorjonen and Lay previously served as managers with Georgia Roofing and Construction, a company that declared a $2.8 million bankruptcy in 2010. That unexpected and sudden bankruptcy left more than 500 people, including 169 Alabamians, with repairs never performed and with their cash deposits lost.
"It is important that the court grants our request to extend its protection of consumers from further damage," said Attorney General Strange. "A pattern of fraudulent behavior is clear from the history of Cornerstone’s managers. This was continued by the intolerable act of preying upon Alabamians who suffered from storms. We are resolute in taking action to stop further abuse and to make right the harm that has been done."
The Attorney General’s complaint against Cornerstone, Sorjonen and Lay states that the defendants dispatched sales representatives to go door-to-door to solicit customers after storms struck Alabama neighborhoods. These sales representatives convinced homeowners to sign binding contracts and endorse over insurance checks.
Later, as months passed with no work being done, defendants blamed the weather, shipment delays, contractor disputes, overworked employees and higher-need customers. Those excuses continued even after defendants abandoned their office with the deposit money of more than 70 Alabamians. Of others who did get roofs, many found the results "sub-standard." For some of those customers, Cornerstone employees created damages even beyond what previously existed. These victims also are seeking to get their money back and their roofs fixed.
Given these allegations, the Attorney General’s lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction prohibiting defendants from operating in the construction industry, an order requiring refunds for all affected customers and the payment of maximum fines and penalties. Until the October 10 hearing, defendants are prohibited from being a seller, servicer or supplier for any consumer transaction in Alabama.
Attorney General Strange urges any customers of Cornerstone Renovations who did not receive repairs after paying and who have not already filed a complaint with his Office or the Better Business Bureau to contact his office. Consumers may file a complaint online at www.ago.alabama.gov., or they may call toll-free to 1-800-392-5658. The Attorney General commended Assistant Attorneys General Noel Barnes and Kyle Beckman, as well as Jamie Goolsby with the Trussville Police Department. He also thanked the Hoover Police Department for its assistance.