Ripped off veteran gets big surprise from contractor 'dream team'

The redone garage specially designed for Sanders. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
The redone garage specially designed for Sanders. (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Good people make good contractors. Good contractors go above and beyond.

"I like being able to do that, to go above and beyond," said Todd Hart, owner of Hart Family Construction.

What Hart's contractor "dream team" has done for 83-year-old Earnest Sanders, Jr. of Frayser transcends racial divides and the evil intentions of two unlicensed contractors.

Sanders, Jr., an Army veteran, lost his wife in a 2014 car crash. The crash also paralyzed him from the waist down. A sizable settlement from the truck company responsible for the crash enabled him to hire two contractors to build a disabled-accessible garage behind his Frayser home. But as our February investigation revealed, the unlicensed contractors tricked Sanders into pulling the building permit for the job.

Click here to see the garage the unlicensed contractors left for Sanders.

When Sanders pulled the building permit, it made it so he was responsible for any mistakes made by the unlicensed contractors. The contractors--who are named in that original investigation, but whom we've decided don't deserve any more attention--took more than $40,000 from Sanders, then abandoned him with a shoddy, leaking mess of a structure that wouldn't pass an eighth grade industrial arts class.

Hart saw our story. Over the last month, he has assembled an all-star team of licensed and highly-rated contractors to make things right. They razed the garage, destroyed the dipping crests and valleys of its concrete foundation, and re-built a craftsman garage worthy of a man who served our country, raised four children, and lost his wife too early.

But even after fixing Sanders' garage, Hart and the guys weren't finished.

Chris Posey, owner of Chris Posey Restorations, LLC, offered to replace the roof on Sanders' aging home.

"We're going to be removing the roof and putting a new roof on," Posey said.

Wyatt Follmann of Mid-South Turf Professionals threw in a year's worth of lawn service.

"We're donating seven treatments of weed control and fertilization for Mr. Sanders," Follmann said.

David Boggs of AgriScapes, LLC, offered to re-landscape both the back and front yards.

Sanders' daughter, Rev. Dinah Tatman, couldn't stop sobbing, and Mr. Sanders was overwhelmed.

"You don't know how much I appreciate you straightening this out for me," Sanders told the dream team.

"God has been faithful to Poppy to know that people cross over cultural lines, and there is good," his daughter said.

"Hearing the story of a wrong that had been done here, [we] just wanted to be able to right that and give hope that there is still some good people in this world," Boggs said.

These guys are good people. Good contractors. And good riddance to the two who did Mr. Sanders wrong.

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