ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- When a south St. Louis family was getting the run-around from contractor they hired, they called News 4 Mike Colombo.
In August, Annette Guisewite told Colombo her plans for a backyard patio paradise. She said her dream project turned into a living nightmare thanks to contractor Terry Marler and his company, Tuckpointing and Masonry.
Annette responded to Marler’s ad in a flyer and paid him close to $10,000 for the work. Work Annete says was never completed.
Colombo tried tracking down Marler at his home on several occasions and called him numerous times to no avail. Annette hasn’t had much luck either.
“I’m like ‘hey, we need our money back’ and he’s like ‘just sue me.’ I was just shocked and very upset,” she said.
Annette decided to take Marler up on his offer, but when their September 24 small claims court date arrived, Marler was a no-show, sending his attorney in his place.
“His son was undergoing dental surgery today,” Marler’s attorney, Gerald Hochsztein, said when asked why his client couldn’t make it.
The hearing was rescheduled a week and a half later on October 3. Marler didn’t show again, but his attorney came prepared and wrote Annette a $5,000 check.
But that amount was still less than the more than $9,000 Annette paid for the work.
“He felt he did the job and asked me to come down with the settlement to get it out of the way and move on for him and the client,” Hochsztein.
Annette said it was a lesson learned for both parties.
“Especially me. I was the one that was taken,” she said.
The limit of awards through Missouri’s small claims court is $5,000.
And it’s not the last we’ve heard of Marler. Since Annette filed suit against him, two others have done the same.