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Court filings reveal new details in lawsuit against HGTV star's companies

BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A recent court filing reveals new details in a lawsuit against the companies owned by HGTV stars Dave and Jenny Marrs.

Bentonville, Arkansas, couple Matthew and Sarah McGrath filed a lawsuit in February 2023 claiming a house built for them a year earlier had numerous defects and the companies who built the home had breached a contract.

The lawsuit mentions Jupiter Rentals and Marrs Construction, both owned by Dave Marrs, one-half of the couple that stars in HGTV shows “Rock the Block” and “Fixer to Fabulous.”

The McGraths claim they paid over $10,000 for upgrades on a Bella Vista home, including replacing the kitchen sink, adding stairs and a handrail to the back deck, putting windows in a top garage panel, and continuing hardwood floors into bedrooms.

An inspection prior to closing on the property produced a list of repairs for Jupiter Rentals, according to the lawsuit. While the company agreed to complete several items on the list within 30 days, the McGraths say “not a single item on the list of repairs had been performed.”

The lawsuit claims the companies “attempted some of the repairs listed but have failed to fully perform, and several of the attempts to repair have caused more damage to the house.” The McGraths say they found additional defects in the construction of the home after taking possession of it, and learned of more “deficiencies in the construction” after an inspection.

Multiple attempts at court-ordered mediation have failed, and after months of back and forth between the two parties, no settlement has been reached.

Evidence shared in a recent 45-page filing provides even more details about what led to the lawsuit.

A letter from the McGraths’ legal counsel to Marrs and a report of findings for a structural investigation carried out by an Arkansas-based contractor were included in documents filed on March 29.

Legal counsel claims in the letter, dated January 3, 2023, that professional estimates predicted these costs:

  • Repair and proper construction of drive and walkways – $38,740
  • Landscaping and grading, including installation of French drain – $47,862

The estimates did not include nearly $1,900 expended by the McGraths “in attempts to
discover the extent of the flaws in the construction of the home,” according to the letter.

The letter continued, “Please understand, these reports do not completely detail the remedial work that needs to be performed to rectify the many failures in workmanship but only represent my clients’ current understanding of the nature and scope of repairs.”

A report of findings, dated November 12, 2022, was included in the filing and said that additional investigations and design analysis were warranted in regards to roof framing, main floor framing, wall framing and wind bracing, deck foundations, deck floor modifications and attachment to the home, grading, and drainage issues.

The report said that given the age of the home, more structural issues could present themselves in the coming years. “The problems, which we observed, will continue and worsen until they are corrected,” the report added.

Nearly two dozen code issues or violations were included in the report for various parts of the house.

Among the issues found was that the deck was screwed to the rim of the house instead of being bolted to the rim. The contractor called it a “critical safety issue with the structural integrity of the deck.”

The McGraths are seeking the court’s judgment against the defendants and want the attorneys’ fees and litigation costs to be awarded as relief.

When reached for comment, an attorney representing the McGraths told Nexstar’s KNWA/KFTA, “I think the position my clients want to take is to avoid public comment on any of this until it’s over.”

Representatives for the defendants did not immediately respond to KNWA/KFTA’s request for comment.

A pretrial hearing is set for September 5 with the five-day jury trial scheduled to begin September 23 at the Benton County Courthouse.

This is not the first time that the Marrs’ have been sued regarding their construction. In 2021, a couple filed a lawsuit accusing Marrs Construction of failing to complete the work on their home without defects.

The lawsuit states the Marrs’ “did not maintain an Arkansas Contractor’s License” and “neither Marrs Developing, LLC nor Marrs Construction, Inc. obtained the required construction-related permits from Benton County, Arkansas, for the remodel to occur at the home.”

The case was dismissed in March 2022 with an order from Judge Xollie Duncan, stating, “The court finds that the plaintiffs have settled their claims and fully released the defendants from any and all claims the plaintiffs may have against them.”

Source: Fox 8 News Channel

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