Omaha homeowner floored by absent contractor claiming he is positive for COVID-19

Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 10:41 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - After paying thousands of dollars down on a home improvement project an Omaha homeowner gets a shocking excuse on why the job hasn’t started.

But 6 News found that the contractor has a pattern of complaints that began long before the pandemic hit.

As a cancer survivor, Jerry Swanda has a pet peeve.

“If you happened to have a disease, don’t use it as an excuse,” he said.

The homeowner is suspicious about a text from a contractor.

“He’s sorry that he’s ignoring me, his head feels like it’s going to explode and he is positive for COVID," Swanda recalled.

Aug. 6, Brian Sohrweid was paid $6,500 hundred dollars to install a new floor and no work has been done.

“You’d think if he was symptomatic, that he would have someone to at least respond to text messages, voicemails," Swanda said.

No response from Sohrweid in three weeks since sending a text that he’s positive for COVID-19.

"Even though the text floored Swanda, the contractor went on to imply material had been ordered and would be delivered soon.

“And I’ve not gotten anything as far as the supplies he said he was going to order," Swanda said.

The Better Business Bureau posts an F rating and four complaints for CB Seamless Gutter, which lists Sohrweid as an owner. That’s the same name as the contractor paid for the floor.

“Clearly we have a pattern of complaints on this company. It’s the same story coming from all the consumers that have reported problems with this individual. That they take a large down payment and then they don’t hear from him," said Jim Hegarty of the BBB.

Though paying $6,500 for a floor project never started, Swanda says he’s willing to withdraw a theft by deception complaint filed with Omaha police.

“And I’ve been willing to give him a second chance, just give me my money back," he said.

But Swanda isn’t counting on an answer.

Numerous texts and voice messages for Sohrweid have not been returned. 6 News checked his last known address and a woman there says he moved out months ago. However, she claims the contractor did test positive for COVID-19 in September.

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