AG MARSHALL ANNOUNCES PERMANENT INJUNCTION TO SHUT DOWN PLUMBING COMPANY FOR REPEATED VIOLATIONS
released on October 31, 2017
found in newsletter: October 2017
(MONTGOMERY) – Attorney General Steve Marshall announced that a Jefferson County plumbing company, Plumbing 911, has been permanently closed by court order at the request of this office. Plumbing 911 must cease plumbing and gas services, and its owner Tony Curtis Gowins must surrender his State license and never again work in the plumbing and gas industry in Alabama.
The Attorney General’s action results from repeated violations by Gowins and Plumbing 911 despite an earlier settlement agreement with the Attorney General’s Office and the Alabama Plumbers and Gasfitters Examining Board. The December 2016 settlement required the company to reform its unscrupulous business practices, specifically that it must honor estimates and abide by State plumbing and gas regulations.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Interest Division continued to receive serious complaints regarding overpricing and substandard work that was not compliant with plumbing and gas codes. The Attorney General’s Office conducted an investigation and subsequently filed a motion for the permanent injunction that was granted by the Jefferson County Circuit Court on October 18. The court’s order directed that the company and its owner must cease operation by October 31.
Plumbing 911 was located in Moody and operated throughout the Greater Birmingham area. Gowins is a resident of Talladega.
The Attorney General’s complaint that led to the December settlement cited numerous violations of the Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act and State plumbing and gas regulations, such as charging consumers double the price of estimates, performing substandard and unnecessary work, causing major damage to property, failing to obtain required permits and licensing, and more. That settlement required the company to pay $109,044 in compensation to five consumers, and per this month’s court order the company was required to pay $3,535 to four additional consumers.
“This case should serve as a strong warning that the Attorney General’s Office will hold dishonest business operators to account for their wrongdoing, that they will be made to adhere to settlement agreements and follow consumer protection laws and regulations, and that continued violations will not be tolerated,” said Attorney General Marshall.
“The State of Alabama Plumbers and Gas Fitters Examining Board remains committed to the protection of the good people of Alabama from unscrupulous contractors,” said Executive Director David Wilcox. “We were glad to partner with the Attorney General’s office and express our appreciation to (Assistant Attorney General) Noel Barnes and (plumbing and gasfitters board officer) Michael Leonhardi as well as all the staff from both agencies who aided in the pursuance of Mr. Gowins. We are pleased to reach this resolution in this matter.”
Attorney General Marshall commended those involved in bringing this case to a successful conclusion, noting in particular Assistant Attorneys General Noel Barnes and Tina Hammonds and Special Agents of his Consumer Interest Division and thanked the Alabama Plumbers and Gasfitters Examining Board.
Original Press Release