State sues Boardman home improvement company - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

State sues Boardman home improvement company

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has filed a consumer protection lawsuit against Energy Wise Home Improvements, a Boardman Township company that has generated more than 180 complaints since mid-October.

The lawsuit accuses the company of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act by failing to deliver promised services, performing substandard work, and failing to honor warranties.

“Complaints about Energy Wise have been pouring into my office, and we’re taking this action to hold the company accountable,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We believe the evidence will show that Energy Wise failed to live up to its obligations to consumers and violated state consumer protection laws.”

Energy Wise had a principal place of business at 5164 Youngstown-Poland Road, but it closed abruptly in October.

Consumers from the Mahoning Valley and other parts of northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania filed complaints about the company.

In their complaints, many consumers said they had signed contracts with Energy Wise a few weeks or months earlier and had received no work. One 78-year-old woman said she paid the company more than $40,000 to have a deck and sunroom installed in October, but shortly before the work was scheduled to begin, the company sent a letter saying it was forced to close, and she never received a refund. In other cases, consumers said the work they received was shoddy and that Energy Wise failed to address the problems despite the company’s “lifetime service warranty.”

The Attorney General’s lawsuit, filed in the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, seeks an injunction to stop any further violations of Ohio consumer protection laws and an order requiring the company to reimburse affected consumers.

In addition to the company itself, Energy Wise operators Anthony J. Porrazzo Jr. and Scott T. Cross also are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

21 News tried to contact Porazzo and Cross for comment. Cross did not return our calls. Porazzo told us to reach out to his attorney, who did not return our call for comment.

The Attorney General's office says in cases like this if the lawsuit is successful, the company would be responsible to repay customers. However, if the company files bankruptcy, a bankruptcy court would determine what money is dispersed and who does or does not get paid.

Affected consumers who have not yet filed a complaint with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office may do so at www.OhioProtects.org or by calling 800-282-0515.

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