A.G. Schneiderman Announces Lawsuit Against Buffalo Furniture Store

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2017

Attorney General’s Press Office / 212-416-8060
nyag.pressoffice@ag.ny.gov
Twitter: @AGSchneiderman

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES LAWSUIT AGAINST BUFFALO FURNITURE STORE

Chairs & Tables Inc Allegedly Charged Consumers Advanced Payments For Furniture, But Failed To Deliver Items

A.G. Schneiderman Offers Tips To Protect NY Consumers

BUFFALO—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a lawsuit against Chairs & Tables Inc, a furniture store located at 2085 South Park Avenue in Buffalo, and its owner James Damico (referred to collectively as “Damico”). The Attorney General’s office received several complaints from consumers detailing how Damico allegedly charged advanced payments for furniture, yet failed to actually deliver the items after the consumers had paid for them. Damico also allegedly failed to give consumers written estimated delivery dates for the furniture, as required by the New York General Business Law. The Attorney General’s lawsuit seeks to require Damico to identify all consumers from whom he received an advanced payment but has not provided any merchandise, and pay victims full restitution.  The lawsuit also seeks to protect future consumers by banning Damico from the furniture business unless he posts a $20,000 bond to protect consumers who may provide down payments in the future.

“This was a blatant attempt to cheat and rip-off consumers, who ended up losing thousands of dollars and receiving nothing in return,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Businesses do not have a license to trick and exploit unsuspecting consumers – and we’ll continue to act to protect New Yorkers.”

When the Attorney General’s office reached out to Damico in an attempt to resolve the complaints, Damico failed to respond. The office then sent two investigators to the business premises posing as consumers, where Damico represented that he was not the owner of the business, but that he was an employee called in at the last minute. At a later meeting with the Attorney General’s office, however, Damico admitted that he was the owner and operator of Chairs & Tables and that the business had no other employees and agreed to pay restitution to the consumers who had submitted complaints. Damico has failed to live up to his agreement, resulting in the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General. 

Tips for Consumers

In New York State, at the time of the sale, a furniture dealer must disclose to the consumer an estimated delivery date or range of delivery dates. The disclosure must be conspicuous and in writing. If the furniture dealer fails to deliver the furniture by the latest date stated for delivery, the dealer must notify the consumer of:

  • the delay and the revised anticipated delivery date or range of delivery dates; and
  • the fact that, upon the expiration of the latest date stated for delivery in the original contract, the consumer shall have the option of:
    • canceling the contract and receiving a full refund; or
    • canceling the contract and receiving a credit from the seller in an amount equal to any deposit made by the consumer; or
    • negotiating a new delivery date or range of delivery dates with the seller; or
    • modifying the contract by making a new selection of furniture or major household appliance.

When the consumer chooses a refund, the furniture dealer must provide the refund within two weeks. 

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General James M. Morrissey and Senior Consumer Fraud Representative Karen Davis in the Buffalo Regional Office. The Buffalo Regional Office is led by Assistant Attorney General in Charge Michael Russo. The Division of Regional Offices is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Affairs Marty Mack.