NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A group of Bronx homeowners filed a lawsuit Tuesday, claiming the city Department of Buildings did nothing to stop a contractor that goes by the name Bad Ass Inc. from building uninhabitable homes.

As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported, Soundview homeowners Johanny DelaCruz, Vianey Gomez, Luis Nieves, Donna Morales, Martha Diaz, Franklin Mejia and Edison Vizcaino filed the $8 million federal lawsuit against the Department of Buildings, the city and Bad Ass Inc., according to a news release.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Susan Chana Lask claimed Bad Ass “built (the homes) without proper materials – cheap, slipshod – took advantage of these people. They were all first-time homeowners. They were excited for their American dream.”

Lask said the plaintiffs had been living in their homes for seven years, with leaky roofs, no insulation, and black mold, among other problems.

“I was thinking I was buying my American dream,” DelaCruz said at a news conference. “Instead, what they sold me was a nightmare.”

The attorneys claimed the Department of Buildings turned a blind eye as the contractors swindled their clients. A news release alleged the city took in more than $100 million annually from license fees from illegal builders.

The plaintiffs claimed they paid an average of $600,000 each for their homes, and they cannot refinance because they are illegal without certificates of occupancy. They claim Bad Ass Inc. abandoned the homeowners, but were allowed to go on building new projects.

The city has not commented on the lawsuit.


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