Diamond couple sues State Rep. Boggs regarding work done on house, barns

Steve Chapman

A couple from Diamond has filed suit against a local businessman and State Representative Mitch Boggs, and his company, Mitch Boggs, Jr. LLC.
Marc and Amy Smallwood allege that they hired Boggs’ company to build a steel frame house and two barns for them, but that the company did not complete the job as promised.

Couple claims work started late
In the petition for the suit, filed on Monday, July 18, in the Newton County Circuit Court, the plaintiffs claims that they accepted a bid by Boggs in February of 2021 for his company to build a steel-frame house at a cost of $90,700. They claimed they also accepted a second bid of $170,000 for his company to build two barns—a riding barn which was 100-by-100 feet in size, and a stall barn which was 40-by-50 feet in size. They said in the petition that they made a down payment of $47,610 in May of 2021 for the construction of the house, as “the company insisted it would not put (them) on its project list until they paid half of the bid.” They also paid Steel Tech, a metal fabrication company in Monett, $46,229.37 for the materials for the barn.
The petition also claims that Boggs promised work would begin on the steel home by Sept. 1, 2021, and work on the riding barn would begin by Dec. 2 of the same year, but the company didn’t begin work until Oct. 26, when they poured the concrete pad for the house, and then work on the frame of the house began on Nov. 29. The structure of the house was “allegedly” finished on Dec. 16, after which the company remitted a final bill of payment to the Smallwoods which the petition claims “included multiple double bills and hidden fees.”

Smallwood said house not adequately protected against rain
However, Marc Smallwood said the work wasn’t satisfactory. The Sunday following the completion of the frame of the house, “we had a hard blowing rain.”
Smallwood, who was finishing the interior of the house, said he came into the house the next day to find water from the rain inside the house.
“We (came) up,” he said. “We were framing the interior, and I had water coming in several places, and it is around windows and doors.”
According to the petition, the Smallwoods wanted to use Tyvek as a water-repellent and sealant for the house, ***but the insulator Boggs told them that if they used Tvvek, they couldn’t “warranty the insulation, due to the lack of adhesion between the spray foam and the Tyvek product.” ***
Smallwood said he contacted Boggs, who came to look at the house, and eventually, Smallwood said, they agreed to have a person from a glass shop in Carthage come look at the house. That person, Smallwood said, put some commercial sealant around a couple of the windows, but it didn’t solve the problem.
“He did one or two of those,” Smallwood said, “(but) he never finished, and that went on for like five or six weeks, and it did not stop the leaks, either.”
Smallwood said he continued to contact Boggs, but in February, claimed that Boggs said he was ending the agreement because “he couldn’t satisfy the customer.”

Damages still being assessed
The petition states that the Smallwoods eventually hired Crow Fabrication, LLC to build the riding barn, while they are still trying to secure the funds to build the stall barn. Marc Smallwood said he paid Boggs $16,500 in advance to build the stall barn, which he never did.
The petition accuses Boggs and his company of breach of contract, violation of the Missouri Merchandising and Practices Act and negligent misrepresentation. It requests “actual, compensatory and special damages, all in a fair and reasonable amount,” interest as “allowed by law”, costs “herein incurred and expended”, attorney’s fees and other relief “as the Court may deem just and proper under the circumstances.”
Smallwood said he didn’t have an exact dollar amount he is asking for at this time, but claimed that Boggs has “cost us out of pocket … in excess of $100,000 so far, and I don't know where that is going to land.”

Boggs replies to complaint with Better Business Bureau
As of press time, Boggs had not responded to requests for comment made via e-mail and a message left at one of his places of business. However, he did respond to a complaint made by Marc Smallwood with the Better Business Bureau on Feb. 23 of this year. The names were redacted from the original complaint and the responses that followed, but Smallwood confirmed the complaint and responses were his and Boggs’.
In his response, dated March 9, Boggs stated, “Shortly after we agreed to terms for the project, he changed his mind and said he needed higher (10’ 6”) walls. That was a change from our original agreement, but I did my best to accommodate his request and did so with no extra charge to Mr. (Smallwood) – though it ultimately resulted in a higher supply costs to me.”
Boggs also said that was the “the first of what turned into many changes from our original agreement ultimately resulting in Mr. (Smallwood) breaching our original contract.”

Boggs claimed his team wanted to use Tyvek on the house, but were told not to
Regarding his not using Tyvek on the house, Boggs said in his response that his company was told not to use the protectant.
“After we had the frame of the house up,” he wrote, “Ms. (Smallwood) instructed my team not to place Tyvek house wrap on the frame. It is our normal practice to install Tyvek house wrap because this is what seals the windows from water. However, we wanted to make the (Smallwoods) happy, and we complied with the request.”
Regarding the complaint of water coming into the house, Boggs said it was because the Smallwoods did not allow him to apply the Tyvek like he normally would have.
“On December 28, 2021, Mr. (Smallwood) sent me a text stating that water was coming into his home and that it looked like it was coming in around the windows,” Boggs wrote. “These were the same windows where house wrap was not installed around the windows specifically because he … instructed us not to. If the (Smallwoods) would have allowed us to install the house wrap as we desired, the water leak would likely not have happened.”

Boggs claimed lack of protection against water was due to Smallwood’s actions, not his
Boggs claimed that the fact that the house wasn’t protected from water coming in ultimately was because of Smallwood’s actions.
“I went to the (Smallwood) property on December 29, 2021, to see what could be done,” he wrote. “When I was looking at the house, I discovered that Mr. (Smallwood) had caulked the windows. This is critical because Mr. (Smallwood) indicated he believed water was coming into his home because of something my team had done, when in reality, it was because of poor caulk work on his part and the (Smallwood)’s prior instruction not to install Tyvek house wrap.”
Boggs also claimed that he tried to satisfy Smallwood, but said that Smallwood kept changing his expectations, so he and his company eventually stopped working on the project.
“Ultimately, it became impossible to meet Mr. (Smallwood’s) expectations because he kept changing them and changing the terms we originally agreed to,” Boggs wrote. “Because he continued to change the terms, my team had no choice but to withdraw from the project.”
Smallwood’s original complaint, Boggs’s entire response and the correspondence thereafter can be seen online on the Better Business Bureau’s website at www.bbb.org, under their profile for “Mitch Boggs, Jr. LLC.”
As of press time, no hearings had been scheduled in the litigation between Smallwood and Boggs.


Lawrence County Record

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Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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