Owner of BR sushi restaurant suing construction company

By Catherine Melancon | Dec 5, 2012

David M. Cohn

BATON ROUGE – A Baton Rouge sushi restaurant owner is suing a Baton Rouge construction company for allegedly completing work without correctly obtaining permits.

Derek Chang filed suit against Adrian Moore and A&M Builders, LLC in the 19th Judicial Court on Nov. 19.

Chang claims he entered into a construction contract with A&M on Sept. 12, 2011.

According to the contract, A&M agreed to complete renovations to the building located at 2562 Citiplace Blvd in Baton Rouge, known at Derek Chang's Koto, a sushi and hibachi restaurant. The alleged agreed price was $56,120 to be paid in four payments of $14,030. Construction was supposed to begin on Sept. 16, 2011 and be completed by Oct. 21, 2011, with A&M being responsible for obtaining all construction permits, the suit claims.

Chang asserts that after he made three payments to A&M, totaling $42,190, he learned from the City/Parish Permit Office that A&M never obtained a permit for construction. The plaintiff also claims that the defendant never applied for the permit.

Because the permit was never issued, none of the work A&M performed was properly inspected by the City/Parish, despite alleged assertions of Moore that the permit was issued and inspections were scheduled.

According to a third party estimate, obtained by Chang, the true value of the work A&M completed was $26,786.67, which is less than the payments that had been made for the unauthorized work.

Chang alleges Moore made multiple false statements regarding the permit and impending inspections.

In order to comply with local codes and ordinances, all of the unauthorized work must be demolished, which will cost Chang demolition costs and a demolition permit.

The defendant is accused of failing to obtain proper permits and completing construction that is useless due to lack of permits.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for all sums paid to A&M by Chang or the difference between the amount paid by Chang to A&M and the true value of the completed work, in addition to all costs of demolition of the unauthorized work.

Chang is also seeking compensation for attorney's fees and court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by David M. Cohn of the Cohn Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division D Judge Janice Clark.

Case no. 617116.

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