GOSHEN — A Goshen couple opted to settle out of court with a roofing contractor they sued on fraud allegations for not fixing their hail-damaged roof last year.
Travis and Trisha Stewart dropped the case in July, including a more than $250,000 judgment, as they worked with home repair business Storm Solution Pros Inc. and its sister public adjusting firm Exact Loss Consulting Inc. to settle the lawsuit.
Rick Memering, manager of Storm Solution’s office in South Bend, said the issue has been resolved since the case was dismissed. He couldn’t say what the results of the settlement were.
The Stewarts initially filed the case in March, claiming they waited nine months after hiring Storm Solution to repair the roof of their home, which was damaged in a hail storm in June 2019. They signed over more than $81,000 in insurance funds as part of their contract.
The deal offered after the hail storm, according to the suit, included fine print where homeowners would sign over insurance checks to Exact Loss for public adjusting services, and the company would keep one-third of the net settlement as a fee. The fee would be waived if homeowners hired Storm Solution to do repairs.
But Exact Loss would allegedly keep the fee if homeowners became impatient and changed contractors while waiting for work to be completed, according to information in the lawsuit.
The lawsuit estimated that out of more than 600 contracts, less than 40 roofs were repaired. Memering said about 160 repairs in Goshen have since been completed.
Since the companies took no action on the lawsuit for about two months, Elkhart County Superior Court 2 Judge Stephen Bowers ruled in the Stewarts’ favor with a default judgment on May 1. He awarded the couple $255,723 in damages, amounting to triple the insurance funds they lost, plus attorney fees.
About two months later, the two sides decided to negotiate the situation out of court.
In an order filed July 20, Judge Bowers said attorneys for the Stewarts and the companies announced an agreement to throw out the default judgment while they work to resolve the issue. Bowers agreed and dismissed the case with prejudice.