Former clients of contractor looking for someone to hold him accountable for incomplete renos

As more former clients of a Winnipeg contractor come forward with complaints, some question what needs to be done to hold them accountable. Kurt Black reports.

Last week CityNews brought you the stories of several former clients of a local general contractor named Jerett Biggs, all claiming to be out thousands of dollars after hiring Biggs for a renovation project.

READ MORE: Former clients of contractor claim they are out $150k due to incomplete renos

But while their ordeal with the contractor was frustrating on its own, finding someone to hold Biggs accountable has proved equally challenging.

“At the end of the day, this man can owe the world all this money but he’s not a criminal, I just don’t get it,” said Dawn Milne, Former client of Jerett Biggs.

A quick search of the Manitoba Court Registry shows a long history of Biggs being taken to civil court by former clients like Shirley Dyck, who was awarded more than $2,900 by a judge in August of 2019, only to discover she would never get that money.

“ Everywhere I tried, looking for information on his house or anything he has is dead ends, he’s got everything covered,” said Dyck.

Photo of Jerett Biggs along with reno work left in a former client’s home. (Photo Credit: CityNews)

Dyck who had already spent over seven months in limbo waiting for Biggs to complete a renovation of her bedroom, questions why the responsibility of garnishing the money owed is left to the victim.

“What am I supposed to do, bust down his door and start taking things, I really don’t know what they want me to do.”

University of Manitoba law professor Michelle Gallant tells CityNews that victims are often left choosing between pursuing jail time for those who wronged them, or their money back, but not both.

“A default judgment is just that, it says I’m right, it’s saying I’m owed $500 of $6,000.  But if the assets aren’t there, there is not much else you can do right,” explained Dr. Gallant.

“A criminal proceeding, regardless of what it is doesn’t bring much to the victim and that’s why you’d use the civil route right to sue someone.  Because the police don’t really help you get your money back, they might convict you of a crime but not get your money back,” said Gallant.

Biggs is still believed to be operating in the Falcon Lake Area, but former clients say he has a  tendency to go under several different business names, including one Pacific Wild Contracting Limited which was actually registered under the name of his deceased dog.

Dyck and the rest of her support group are in the same boat. They now warn others to be extra vigilant when hiring a contractor. 

“Because he does change his name many times and his businesses many times do really have to do your due diligence, really need to check everything,” said Dyck.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today