Augusta couple says contractor cost them $50,000 in damages


Augusta, GA (WJBF) – An Augusta couple is facing more than $50,000 dollars in repairs after a tree fell onto their property and a contractor damaged their backyard so severely, it has to be completely redone.

When a tree falls down on somebody’s property, Richmond County Code Enforcement requires the person that owns that property to pay for the removal of the tree. That was just the beginning of one Augusta family’s problems.

A tree fell in the Marcotte’s backyard in August, ripping their pool liner, and destroying part of their deck. They needed a contractor to remove the tree and repair their pool. That’s when they hired Hargrove Pool Company. Barbara Austin-Marcotte, one of the owners says, “We said that yes, that he could have the contract even though that he was going to charge more than the other contract because he could start immediately.” When the contractor began to work on their pool, they noticed some troubling signs. “He would come one day, not come the next, he would say the weather is supposed to be bad and so therefore we can’t come,” says Barbara Austin-Marcotte. Jerome Marcotte, husband to Barbara says, “We went to Charleston. We spent the weekend there because she had two medical appointments in Charleston at MUSC. On our return, we noticed right away that all of Philip Hargrove’s tools and equipment were gone. He had just walked off on the job.”

After the Hargrove Company left, a new contractor came in and said the entire sprinkler system, flower beds, bird feeders, and pool were destroyed and it would cost them an additional 37-thousand to repair. The Marcotte’s have tried to contact the original contractor several times for answers. Barbara says, “I told him I didn’t care anymore about the money, I just wanted my peace back, I wanted my sanity back, I wanted my birds back, I wanted my flowers back.” Jerome Marcotte explains, “We’re looking at a good 60-thousand dollar pool coming up. That’s how much it’s hurt us. I’m 74 years old, I’m still working. I’ve got to pay for it.”

Richmond County Code Enforcement is looking into the licenses of Hargrove Pool Company to see if they had the right permits to begin the project.

A Hargrove Pool Company spokesperson says a hostile work environment, including text messages from the Marcotte family caused them to leave the job.

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