WREG Problem Solvers: Homeowner desperate for fix after lightning strikes house

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man whose home was struck by lightning in the midst of his father getting a terminal illness ended up calling the WREG Problem Solver for help understanding what really happened.

In July of 2018, a neighbor called Jordan Rogers with some bad news: The Berclair home he just purchased had been struck during a storm.

“I rushed home. Found my house torn to pieces," he said.

His father also became terminally ill while living in West Virginia.

He was overwhelmed and desperate to get his house fixed. A friend recommended a well-known contractor: Tim Disalvo and Company.

“Did a Google search. They had great reviews,” Rogers said.

He called them and soon after two men showed up at his home.

Rogers didn’t know it then, but they weren’t a part of the company he originally called.

“Jim Disalvo came out and Stan Young came out. They both came out in two separate pickup trucks. I remember like it was yesterday. They walked up. They met me in the driveway: ‘Hi we’re here from Tim Disalvo and Company.’ That was exactly what he said to me,” Rogers said.

Rogers was impressed with their sales pitch and didn’t have a lot of time, so they got to work. But something always seemed off.

“They were like, ‘Oh we don’t do contracts,’ and I insisted, said we need to do a contract," Rogers said.

He ended up signing a contract with Young for more than $60,000. Tim Disalvo and Company are not named anywhere in the document.

And then Rogers started to have questions about the quality of work.

“This vanity, this door won’t shut," he said as he showed us around the house. “I’d show up randomly. Nobody would be working. Like, not a soul would be working here.”

So he went back to the company he thought the guys worked for: Tim Disalvo and Company.

“Their first message to me was, ‘I’m sorry you’re having this experience, however Jim Disalvo doesn’t have any affiliation with Tim Disalvo and Company. We’ve gotten messages a few times before about Jim so you’re not the first one,'" he recalled.

Rogers was stunned. He said he felt like he’d been tricked.

“This whole time I was thinking it was Tim Disalvo and Company," he said of the people working on his house.

By now, his insurance had cut checks to Young for more than $35,000.

So that’s when he called the WREG Problem Solver to investigate.

WREG found Tim Disalvo and Company have an A rating from the Better Business Bureau.

But WREG uncovered his brother Jim Disalvo has been investigated many times by authorities in both Tennessee and Mississippi in connection with construction services, sometimes while working with Stan Young.

WREG found multiple cases going back to the mid-'90s, some of which resulted in sanctions. They include:

  • a 1996 Shelby County case resulting in a guilty plea to the felony of impersonating a licensed professional and a $2,000 fine.
  • a 2007 case resulted in a $250 consent order for unlicensed activity along with Stan Young.
  • a 2010 Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance case resulting in a $3,000 fine for unlicensed activity on a job worth more than $40,000.
  • a 2013 Mississippi Board of Contractors case resulting in a $5,000 fine for unlicensed activity on a $35,000 job.
  • a 2015 Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance case resulting in a $2,000 fine for unlicensed activity.
  • a 2016 Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance case resulting in a $2,000 fine for unlicensed activity.

The victims in the 2015 case also told investigators he “represented himself as part of Tim Disalvo and Co.”

We went to Jim Disalvo’s Olive Branch home multiple times to ask him about this history. He never came to the door. After talking on the phone with him multiple times, we finally met him on a cold, rainy day near Rogers' home.

“Do you feel bad?” we asked.

“I feel bad when people hurt me too," Jim Disalvo said. "All those are contractual disagreements.”

We asked Jim Disalvo why he continued to work without a valid contractor's license.

“I’ve never had one. I’ve never applied to get one," he said.

“And you got in trouble for it..." we said.

“Yes. I paid the fines. Yes," Jim Disalvo said.

But we found in at least two cases, he never paid the fines. Instead, according to Tennessee and Mississippi authorities, they went to collections.

Despite all of this, Jim Disalvo and other family members tell us he still works as a sub-contractor for his brother Tim Disalvo. We asked him about current painting work he'd mentioned previously on the phone.

“Right. Yeah. We’re finishing it up today. Just an interior paint job," Jim Disalvo said.

“So you are a sub-contractor for Tim Disalvo and Company?” we clarified.

“I said that more than once. Yes," he responded.

In a statement from his lawyer, Tim Disalvo wrote “Jim Disalvo and Stan Young are not employees or independent contractors of Tim Disalvo & Co.” and “neither have any sort of business ownership, affiliation or interest in Tim Disalvo & Co.”

But the question remains, how did Jim Disalvo know to contact Rogers? Rogers’ Sprint phone records show he called the Tim Disalvo and Company office number on Aug. 10 at 9:35 in the morning. The phone call lasted about five minutes. Then, he got an incoming call that afternoon from a cell phone number belonging to Jim Disalvo.

We’ve spoken with Tim Disalvo, his employees and his lawyer multiple times during this investigation, including going to his office near Summer Avenue.

So far, no one can explain how Jim got Rogers’ phone number in less than four hours. That is, except Jim Disalvo himself.

“Stan’s the contractor. That’s how I got the job," Jim Disalvo said.

He’s talking about Stan Young, who does not have a contractor’s license, according to the Tennessee database.

Young pushed our camera out of the way and refused to answer our questions during two visits to his Collierville home, leaving Rogers without any answers.

"This room is where we had water leak through and we had to replace the entire ceiling," he said.

Now, more than half his insurance money is gone to people he realized he never should’ve let inside in the first place. All he wants now is his money back.

Jim Disalvo has agreed to help Rogers with his house but not with getting his money back.

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