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Complaint list grows: Jacksonville lawyer says roofer ripped him off, too

Gene Nichols says his roof still leaks after paying Superior Roofing $17,000

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Another name has been added to the list of people claiming a Jacksonville roofer ripped them off. Attorney Gene Nichols -- a local lawyer who often appears in News4Jax stories and segments to provide legal insight on local and national cases -- is now telling us he's also a victim of Superior Roofing and Restoration.

The I-TEAM has been investigating Superior Roofing and owner Michael Beard for more than a year, after Hurricane Irma victims and other homeowners said the company didn't do the work they paid for.

Earlier this month, Florida's Construction Industry Licensing Board revoked Michael Beard's roofing license, fined him $20,000 and ordered him to pay restitution -- an action that stemmed from a case in which a customer paid Superior Roofing nearly $8,000 for a roofing job that was abandoned. 

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As state regulators continue to investigate a total of six cases involving Superior Roofing, Nichols is sharing what he says happened to him along with cell phone video of how it all started.

"It's 5:30 Sunday morning and this is our master closet" is heard on Nichols' video as he recorded water leaking from his home last fall. 

Nichols says he hired Superior Roofing, signing a contract with the company in the summer of 2017 to install a new roof for about $17,000. However, Nichols says work on his home didn't start for months.

"They continued to drag it out, drag it out, saying there were problems with ordering stuff, there was problems with crews, that they didn't have everything ready in time, that they were sorry, that it would be this week and then wouldn't hear back, it would be the next week and then wouldn't hear back," explained Nichols.

Finally, in November 2017, he says he was given 24 hours' notice that workers were coming.  

"They literally pulled my roof off during an awful Nor'easter that we had over the weekend without paying any attention to the weather whatsoever," said Nichols. "They placed one tarp on my roof which caused water leaking in over five different spots in my house."

Nichols says even after Superior Roofing completed his roof, he is still to this day dealing with leaks in his home.

"I ended up spending $17,000 on this roof, and I currently have the same problems today that I did before I hired this company," he said.

Make sure a contractor has a license

And just like other homeowners who are waiting on state regulators to take additional action, Nichols fears he may not have any recourse, even though he’s a licensed attorney.

”The problem is they (Superior Roofing) are no longer out there. There's not going to be any money to be received. I could get a judgment against them -- and it would be very easy for the poor work that they did -- and nobody's going to be around to stand up for and there's not going to be anything to receive," Nichols explained.

While the state is moving forward with the six cases against Superior Roofing, the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida has more than a dozen customer complaints listed on its website. Many of them, including angry customers who contacted the I-TEAM, claim the roofer didn't come back to do any of the work after taking their money. 

"So the folks who have gone through problems with them, my heart goes out to them because even though we got our work done, it was done poorly, and it's a shame for anyone dealing with the same issues we're having to deal with right now," Nichols said. 

If you have had problems with Superior Roofing, you can file complaints with the following:

About the Authors:

Tarik anchors the 4, 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. weekday newscasts and reports with the I-TEAM.