Last week, 84 Lumber avoided losing its Louisiana contractor’s license, but the Pennsylvania company’s problems with state regulators aren’t over.
The State Licensing Board for Contractors is now investigating whether 84 Lumber has lost lawsuits to any Louisiana construction firms and hasn’t paid those judgments, said Michael McDuff, the board’s executive director. The board has been sent several legal judgments. Board attorney Murphy Foster is checking to see which of those are considered final, meaning they have completed the appeals process.
If there are any final judgments not being paid, the Licensing Board will set an administrative hearing, McDuff said.
Contractors are required to pay judgments directly or set up a payment plan, and those who don’t face having their licenses revoked.
Officials at 84 Lumber’s corporate headquarters could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, Voelkel McWilliams Construction LLC, of Mandeville, has filed a formal complaint with the Licensing Board, asking the board to revoke or suspend 84 Lumber’s license.
In April, a federal court in New Orleans awarded Voelkel a $200,000 judgment against 84 Lumber, Hardy Holdings and Pierce Hardy Real Estate Inc. The judgment covered expenses or damages that resulted when 84 Lumber allegedly backed out of doing the framing, roofing and siding on the Alexander Milne Home for Women in Waldheim, court records show. Voelkel McWilliams said it had to hire other contractors to do the work, which cost the company more money.
Voelkel attorney David Clement said the judgment has not been paid.
84 Lumber and its co-defendants have asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the lower court’s decision.
At an Aug. 20 hearing, the Licensing Board put 84 Lumber on probation for a year because of bonding and insurance practices that two minority firms claim destroyed their businesses.
The company dismissed those disputes, which involved federally funded Hurricane Katrina recovery work, as matters to be settled in court. However, 84 Lumber agreed to end the bond and insurance program.
Follow Ted Griggs on Twitter, @tedgriggsbr.