A Raleigh, North Carolina, couple is suing the producers of HGTV's popular "Love It or List It" series after renovations made to their home for the show left them far less than satisfied.
Deena Murphy and Timothy Sullivan, regular viewers of HGTV, responded to an ad for the series when they were considering renovating a rental property they owned before moving into it with their foster children. But the job done by series -- which shows homeowners available alternatives while performing renovations work on their property -- left a lot to be desired.
Murphy and Sullivan have filed suit against the Big Coat TV production company and Aaron Fitz Construction, a local contractor hired to do the renovations, claiming that the results were not only shoddy by also constituted a breach of contract and a violation of North Carolina general contractor laws.
"The show is scripted, with 'roles' and reactions assigned to the various performers and participants, including the homeowners," the lawsuit states. "These characters are actors or television personalities playing a role for the camera, and in this case none of them played more than a casual role in the actual renovation process."
The couple alleges that producers did not employ a licensed architect for the renovation plans and did not have a licensed North Carolina real estate agent to show them properties on the market. Murphy and Sullivan were instead left with "disastrous work done by Big Coat and its subcontractors" including an "irreparably damaged" floor full of holes "through which vermin could enter the house," unpainted surfaces, low-grade industrial carpet, and painted-shut windows.
"Big Coat's purported agreement admits that it is in the business of television production, not construction," the suit alleged. "The homeowners' funds essentially pay the cost of creating a stage set for this television series."
"We are aware of the lawsuit," Maria Armstrong, CEO and executive producer of Big Coat TV, said in a statement. "Because this matter involves ongoing litigation, our attorneys have advised us and we feel that making a comment would be inappropriate at this time. However, we do intend to vigorously defend what we consider to be false allegations."