DIVIDE, Colo. - After customers won a lawsuit against their roofing business, a Divide couple is talking about what led up to the suit and why they filed bankruptcy and got a new business license to avoid paying the settlement.
Andre and Vanessa Kilik have been running Aspen Roofing and Chimney for more than a decade. Woodland Park couple Kevin and Lynn Albert filed a lawsuit against the business, claiming the work done on their roof was so bad, they needed to have it replaced. The Kiliks failed to show up for the court date, so the Alberts were awarded a settlement of more than $15,000.
"I can't just hand over $15,000 right now," said Andre Kilik. "I couldn't offer $2,500, so we had no choice other than to just file (for bankruptcy)."
On Sunday, Kilik told KRDO Newschannel 13 his business was finished and he was no longer taking roofing jobs. But we later found out that two days after he filed for bankruptcy, Vanessa Kilik got a license for a new business, 'Aspen Roofing Company, Inc.'
Kilik admitted Monday he would remain the roofer for the new company. His wife said he gave false information initially because he was nervous about KRDO Newschannel 13 running a story.
Kilik said he doesn't believe his family should lose their livelihood after one bad experience.
"We've put on hundreds, maybe even thousands of roofs, and I have never experienced anything like I have in this situation," said Kilik.
He said the roofing job he did for the Alberts wasn't typical, and that the couple pressured him to lay shingles during a cold spell. He said that resulted in shingles protruding and falling off and hundreds of nails sticking up.
According to a letter and email, Kilik offered to fix the work or start paying the Alberts $500 a month. The Alberts said they didn't accept the offer for repairs because a professional engineer and several other contractors told them the only option was to replace the roof.
Kilik said he also wanted to point out that after the lawsuit was filed, he didn't show up for court because he couldn't afford a lawyer. He said according to the Alberts' attorney and another person he turned to for legal advice, there was no point in showing up for court without one. He said now knows better and regrets not showing up.
"I wish I could have my day in court right now because I would definitely pursue it," said Kilik.
The Kiliks business is in no way affiliated with Aspen Roofing, Inc., a Colorado Springs roofing company owned by Steven and Karen Seders. The Seders said they have had many problems in the past with people confusing the companies. they said they plan to take new steps to differentiate their business.