HARRISBURG– Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that her office has filed a lawsuit against a Pittsburgh-area landscaping company that failed to fulfill its contracts with consumers.
The lawsuit accuses Garden Art of Pittsburgh, LLC and its CEO, Arthur Ford, Jr., of violating Pennsylvania’s Unfair Practices and Consumer Protection Law by abandoning projects after retaining thousands of dollars in consumer deposits and utilizing non-compliant contracts.
The Attorney General’s legal filing also seeks injunctive relief to have Ford and Garden Art banned from contracting or performing home-improvement work in Pennsylvania.
“Mr. Ford repeatedly sought and received payment for work that he never completed, in clear violation of the law,” Attorney General Henry said. “We will do all we can to help affected consumers get their money back, while also working to ensure that Mr. Ford can never again solicit or perform home-improvement work in the Commonwealth.”
In August 2022, Ford filed for bankruptcy and identified approximately 25 consumer creditors with more than $262,000 in damages. That bankruptcy case has since been dismissed.
Ford was also charged criminally in Allegheny County.
In addition to seeking to permanently prevent Garden Art of Pittsburgh, LLC and Arthur Ford, Jr. from doing business as a home improvement contractor in Pennsylvania, the Office of Attorney General’s lawsuit also seeks consumer restitution for those impacted, civil penalties, and costs.
According to the lawsuit, eight consumers have filed complaints in the last two years with the Bureau of Consumer Protection alleging that they paid Garden Art thousands of dollars in down payments for home improvement projects, like installing retaining walls, walkways, stairs, patios or other landscaping — but few services were performed, and some consumers had no work completed.
The lawsuit alleges that in one instance, a consumer made multiple retainer payments totaling $22,800, and the only work performed was removing existing tiles and pavers from the consumer’s yard and applying a glue-like substance to the front steps. It is alleged that the project was abandoned before any materials were delivered or installed.
The defendants are also accused of using contracts that failed to notify consumers of their 3-day right to cancel, making the contracts non-compliant with Pennsylvania law.
Any consumers who believe they or someone they know may be a victim of these practices should file a complaint with the Bureau of Consumer Protection at www.attorneygeneral.gov, call 800-441-2555, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Inspectors, contractors, laborers, suppliers, or anyone else who may have information regarding the business practices of Garden Art of Pittsburgh, LLC or Arthur Ford, Jr. are also encouraged to contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
The lawsuit was filed by Deputy Attorney General Jaimie George in Allegheny County.
# # #