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Homeowners Sue Reality Show for $2.8M

Friday, April 4, 2014

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A new Spike TV reality show that aims to right the wrongs of shady contractors is accused of letting 200 gallons of raw sewage into the home of a California family and refusing to clean it up.

Rochelle Kirk and Scott Waters say the spill in their Covina, CA, home left toxic mold and bacteria throughout their property and forced them to live in a hotel for more than three months, reports relate.

The couple sued Spike Cable Network, its parent Viacom International, and contractors in charge of the restoration job featured in the premiere episode of To Catch a Contractor for $2.87 million in compensatory damages.

To Catch a Contractor
Spike TV

Spike TV's new program, To Catch a Contractor, stars comedian and former contractor Adam Carolla (center).  In each episode, Carolla and his team set out to fix disasters left by incompetent contractors, as well as confront them.

Kirk and Waters allege intentional misrepresentation, negligence and fraud, reports say, citing the complaint filed in early March in Superior Court in Los Angeles County.

The defendants have not responded to the lawsuit, but the plaintiffs' attorney said Wednesday (April 2) that an answer was expected within a week.

The defendants have declined media requests for comment on the pending case.

Bathroom Project Gone Wrong

In April 2013, the couple was approached by a casting employee from a new Spike TV program in regards to a botched bathroom renovation project, according to ABC News.

In 2012, the family had hired a contractor who “abandoned and never properly completed” their bathroom, ABC said, citing the case.

Spike’s series, To Catch a Contractor, stars comedian and former contractor Adam Carolla. In each episode, Carolla and his team set out to fix disasters left by incompetent contractors, as well as confront them. Carolla is not named in the lawsuit, reports say.

The couple said that in exchange for full access to their story and house,To Catch a Contractor producers said they would hire licensed, experienced contractors to fix the mistakes of the previous contractor, news reports say, citing the complaint.

Restoration Reality

However, when the sewer pipes were moved during the restoration project for the show, one pipe wasn’t connected, which allowed 200 gallons of raw sewage to seep, unseen, under the shower, in the walls and underneath the house, reports say.

The episode, which aired March 9, is available here.

Spike TV / YouTube

The couple allege that when the sewer pipes were moved during the show, one pipe wasn’t connected, which resulted in 200 gallons of raw sewage seeping under the shower, in the walls and underneath the house, reports say.

Though they complained to the network about the “horrific” smell, Kirk and Waters said they never received a response and no repairs were made, reports relate.

After the show filmed, the family began experiencing health issues, including headaches and respiratory problems, the lawsuit said.

They hired plumbers in August 2013, who discovered the raw sewage behind the walls, and the family was forced to move out of the home and into a hotel until December when the repairs were completed.

The lawsuit also alleges that some of the contractors the reality show hired weren’t properly licensed.

More than one million viewers tuned in to see the To Catch a Contractor premiere, thewrap.com reported.


Tagged categories: Contractors; Health and safety; Laws and litigation; Lawsuits; Residential contractors

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