Family posted negative review about contractor who now threatens to sue for slander

CASTLE ROCK, Colo -- A family who hired a contractor to remodel their home, posted a negative review online, and now they say they are getting threatened to be sued for slander.

“He’s just a scam artist,” Emily Caldwell said.

Caldwell’s bathroom is gutted. She hired Brown & Sons Custom Carpentry and Remodeling in November 2017 to remodel three bathrooms and resurface the floor. She said she shelled out $12,000 for the jobs.

“We just felt really good about it. We felt like he was really down-to-earth and he was affordable because he was a family man,” Caldwell said.

She said the owner, David Brown, started giving her excuses about why he couldn’t come to do the work. But at the end of January, she said he finished the downstairs bathroom. Then she claims he gave her the run around as to why he couldn’t finish the rest of the jobs.

“It was one hundred percent excuses. One day he called in because it was snowing. There was no snow on the ground,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell then discovered the owner’s contracting license was revoked and his business license expired last month. In a letter obtained by FOX31, the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department voted to revoke Brown & Sons Custom Carpentry’s license. The license was revoked, effective November 15, 2017. That’s seven days after Caldwell hired him. In her written contract with Brown & Sons, Section #2 states: “To the extent required by law, all work shall be performed by individuals duly licensed and authorized by law to perform said work.”

Frustrated, Caldwell took to Facebook to expose the company. Now she says they threatened to sue her for slander.

“It’s just a typical criminal reaction of somebody that does something wrong and feels that they’re the victim.”

The FOX 31 Problem Solvers reached out to the owner of the company by phone, and then drove to Colorado Springs to track him down.

FOX 31: “I’m Kristin with the FOX 31 Problem Solvers. I’ve had a couple customers contact me that they paid you money up front but you never made good on the work –

Dave Brown: “What?”

FOX 31: “I have a contract right here from you.”

Dave Brown: “I wrote it.”

FOX 31: “So why haven’t you gone and done the work?”

Dave Brown: “I tried and she wouldn’t let me go back. I couldn’t get it done in time because, a whole bunch of reasons but that’s between our lawyers. I don’t know why you’re at my house really.

FOX 31: “I just wanted to reach out to you and give you a chance to talk about it.”

Dave Brown: “My lawyers will handle all that. Shut the door ma’m.”

For Caldwell, she said this negative experience means she will be extra cautious when hiring for future work.

“It’s embarrassing and it’s uncomfortable to talk about but it’s important to share the story because – if these stories were out there when I hired him, I would have never even let him into my house,” Caldwell said.

Caldwell said Brown’s attorney sent her a “cease and desist” letter that states if she does not take down the post they will persue damages and loss of business charges.

FOX31 talked to a local attorney about defamation and slander cases. That attorney said truth is an absolute defense to slander, meaning if what was posted on-line is factual – then you have no case. He said it’s also difficult to for the plaintiff to prove damages.