Though far more of the homeowners featured on HGTV renovation shows are perfectly happy in their new or refurbished homes, there are a few notable exceptions. Some of the families from hit shows like Love It Or List It or Flip Or Flop Las Vegas were unhappy enough with the work done to their homes that they sued, claiming their homes were damaged. However, these lawsuits came as a double-edged sword since two families faced countersuits.
What Happens When Families Sue Over Renovations?
Many people dream of being featured on a home renovation show and most of the lucky few who got the chance to do so were more than happy with their experience. A few, however, weren’t so pleased with the results. Tim Sullivan and Deena Murphy appeared on HGTV’s Love It Or List It in 2016. The North Carolina couple sued the producer and contractor for the show after claiming that faulty workmanship had caused “irreparable” damage to their home.
The couple used $140,000 of their own money for the renovation but the results weren’t the quality they’d been expecting. Soon after filing their lawsuit, they faced a countersuit that claimed there had been a breach of contract in addition to libel, slander, and product disparagement. Sullivan and Murphy settled their case and the countersuit was later dismissed. The settlement amount has not been disclosed.
‘Flip Or Flop Las Vegas’ Hosts Countersue
Another HGTV show, Flip Or Flop Las Vegas, featured Billi Dunning and Brent Hawthorne who later engaged in a legal battle with the show. They were later countersued by the show’s hosts Bristol and Aubrey Marunde. According to court documents reviewed by the New York Times, the Marundes claimed Dunning and Hawthorne violated the confidentiality provision they agreed to when they settled.
In the complaint, which featured the Marundes as the defendants, they wrote, “Due to the spiteful actions of Plaintiffs, Defendants have suffered irreparable economic and emotional harm to their personal, and professional lives and Plaintiffs have been unjustly enriched by the settlement proceeds paid by Defendants.” Their case was dismissed by a judge in early March.
These are far from the only lawsuits that have been filed against various HGTV home renovation shows. NYT reports that there have been at least a dozen cases settled out of court, the details of which are shielded by confidentiality agreements.
HGTV’s Statement On Legal Disputes
HGTV told the outlet that they “want homeowners who are featured in our series to be happy,” adding, “When we learn of a business dispute, we encourage the contractors and homeowners to work together to resolve the issue.” Sometimes it pays to hash out these sorts of details out of court since there’s always the looming threat of a countersuit if you decide to go the legal route.