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'Love It' Or Leave It! Couple Featured On Hit HGTV Show Sues Over Poor Renovations

couple sues big coat production company love it or list it bad renovations hgtv

Jan. 27 2017, Published 10:05 a.m. ET

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Love It or List It ruined a couple’s dream home for good ratings, according to an explosive lawsuit obtained by

Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan filed a suit against Big Coat TV and Aaron Fitz, claiming their home was left destroyed and their bank accounts were left empty. The explosive documents obtained by detailed their horrific ordeal.

They claimed the production company was to serve as an "agent" during home renovations, and they had to pay Big Coat $140,000 to pay the contractor — who they did not want to work with. Instead, the production company kept $66K for itself, hired its own subcontractors and acted as an unlicensed general contractor. They explained that they knew Aaron Fitz Construction had low ratings on Angie’s List, but were told they could not choose a different contractor.

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The couple called the business model “bizarre” and a conflict of interest.


“The Plaintiffs believed that participating in the Love It or List It television program would give them access to high quality design skills and construction and high end home products, allowing them to increase the valuate of the renovation,” the documents read before claiming that the show shattered their hopes.

“Love it or List It presents a dramatization of the home renovation process with actors and television personalities playing the roles of a contractor, a designer, and a realtor,” the papers continued. “The show is scripted, with ‘roles’ and reactions assigned to the various performers and participants, including the homeowners.”

The couple claimed that their contractor for the show wasn't licensed in their state and the realtor was not licensed either. They were not shown any homes on the housing market by a North Carolina broker, and the listing prices on the show were not accurate.

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They also claimed that the materials used by the contractor were of poor quality, and were simply chosen because they could be shipped the fastest to coincide with the production schedule. "Decisions were made based upon the needs of the production rather than the needs of the homeowners," their suit read.

"The floor in the home and been irreparably damaged," the papers continued. "Although duct work was removed, holes in the floor through which vermin could enter the house were left unrepaired sic. Low grade industrial carpeting was laid over uneven chipped concrete creating a hazardous condition. Some surfaces were left unpainted, while in other cases windows were painted shut."

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"Aaron Fitz and Big Coat failed to properly staff the renovation," they alleged, again reinforcing that the materials were "inferior."

Sullivan and Murphy sued for declamatory judgment, conversion, negligence, unfair & deceptive trade practices, breach of contract. They requested $25,000 from Big Coat, $25,000 from contractor, as well as treble damages and attorney's fees.

Big Coat tried countersuing, but the judge denied their request. Now, the couple wants to move forward but Big Coat is asking the judge to order them to stop while their appeal is being heard.

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