Six years after renovation work on their home stalled and never continued, a Cunupia family is still seeking compensation from the contractor despite taking successful legal action against him three times.
In 2014, on the advice of a friend who had similarly upgraded her home, Foster and Alicia Parejo approached Mario Berment of Marreb Construction Services Ltd, to carry out renovation work on their home and install a swimming pool at an overall cost of $145,000.
An initial payment of $43,500, the couple was told work would be expected to take two to three months barring weather issues.
Work began on August 5, 2014, and by the August 28 significant progress had been made to have the pool in the back yard of their home.
But that day would be the last day any work would be done on their home, as Berment informed them that work would be shut down due to a labour shortage and he would be out of the country for two weeks.
He never returned to the job site and attempts to track him down for the rest of the year were unsuccessful. The couple then took their first legal steps and saw their subpoenas returned in the mail, as the address listed for Marreb Construction could not be found.
They did eventually find Berment to conduct a civil case in the High Court and Justice Ricky Rahim ruled in 2017 that Berment was liable and was due to pay the couple “Special Damages assessed in the sum of $110,000 with interest at the rate of three per cent per annum from September 10, 2014, to December 2, 2016, and General Damages assessed in the sum of $15,000 with interest at the rate of six per cent per annum from February 9, 2015, to December 2, 2016.”
Those payments were not made, prompting the couple to return to the courts.
The couple is now seeking another legal claim in an attempt to get their money repaid.
Since the work stopped on August 28, 2014, the family has had to re-fence their home, while covering the incomplete pool with galvanising and bricks.
The couple had incurred additional cost cleaning the pool, which had occasionally become the home to frogs and bats as rainwater had been collected in the hole.
Other work to be done on the home also remain incomplete. This frustration, six years later, had prompted the couple’s attorney to seek to serve Mr Berment again, seeking over $200,000 in payments.