Homeowner files lawsuit when contractor fails to build pool after being paid $86,000

One Omaha family's unbuilt pool has them filled with frustration and a lawsuit against the contractor.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 1:19 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT/Gray News) - With Memorial Day coming up, many pool owners are hoping to kick off the summer season with a dip in the water.

One family in Nebraska, however, may not get to use their new pool for much longer as the two-year project continues to be filled with delays that have led to a lawsuit.

Molly Zahurones has been overseeing the completion of a backyard pool at her Omaha home ever since she fired a pool contractor in 2021, six months into the project.

“Yeah, I’ve become my own pool builder and kind of know the ins and outs of everything after fixing this mess,” she said.

In a lawsuit Zahurones filed against Hudson Hardscapes, she and partner Ken Perchal allege repeated delays on the project. Not all of these delays were weather related.

“The Department of Health knocked on my door and told me whoever is building this pool does not have a permit to be building this pool,” Zahurones said.

Contractor Adam Stanger said Hudson Hardscapes obtained the permit and provided proof to Zahurones with a receipt four months after starting.

“He went and filed for a permit, but he was never granted that permit,” Zahurones said.

The Douglas County Health Department told WOWT the contractor submitted an application that was not approved. The health department said the homeowner submitted the application that was approved.

The lawsuit against the contractor is deep in the legal system, going on eight months now. With the summer quickly approaching, the couple decided to become their own pool contractors, hiring at least eight subcontractors and doing much of the manual labor themselves.

The lawsuit alleges the homeowners paid Hudson Hardscapes $86,000 in late April 2021.

“In the end, I’ve pretty much bought two pools,” Zahurones said.

The homeowners allege the contractor dug the hole and frame for the pool, but a city report shows a failed outdoor plumbing inspection.

“Plumbing inspector instantly looked at the setup and said this won’t even pass compression and then he shut it down,” Perchal said. “I was surprised he shut it down right on the spot.”

Pool contractor Adam Stanger said the inspector asked the pool be reframed, so he started over and there was no material defect in the plumbing work. He blamed delays on the weather in 2021 and said he would have completed the project, but the homeowners not only fired him but removed his excavator from the property which he recovered two days later.

The Better Business Bureau gives Hudson Hardscapes an F rating which the contractor claims is due to a few reviews over seven years and posted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have made contact with the company again and made them aware of these unanswered complaints, and they have indicated they are interested in responding if possible, so we’ll reopen those complaints,” a representative with the Better Business Bureau told WOWT.

The day family members can jump in their new pool isn’t far away. But it’s already been filled with hard work that Zahurones and Perchal are doing on their own.

“Hope to be swimming instead of sweeping by Memorial Day,” Perchal said.

According to the Douglas County Health Department, pool projects have several expectations:

  • Inspectors review construction plans before a permit is issued.
  • Plans must also be sent to the city for a permit and get plumbing approved.
  • The health department requires the pool to be at least four feet from the neighbor’s property line.

After the pool is installed there’s a final inspection that includes fencing and gates. If everything passes, a final permit gives permission to dive in.

In a statement from Hudson Hardscapes, the company said it had “performed substantial work on the project and was ready to complete construction” before Zahurones “terminated the project.”

The company also said the rest of the matter would be handled in court