Woman Warns Borough Residents about Howard Beach Contractor

Woman Warns Borough Residents about Howard Beach Contractor

PHOTO: Sloppy molding is just one of myriad problems that went uncorrected by Battaglia, according to James. Courtesy of Eileen James.

By Michael V. Cusenza

Caveat emptor.

Let the buyer beware.

That’s the message Eileen James has for anyone that needs a home contractor and is even remotely considering hiring Joe Battaglia for any part of the job.

In 2014, Battaglia lost a court judgment to Virginia James, Eileen’s mother, for $4,854 for failing to finish the job he had been contracted to complete.

Battaglia has yet to pay Virginia James’ family. The 80-year-old woman died a week after filing suit against Battaglia, who at the time was operating Battaglia and Sons Contracting.

“I was incredibly upset when I realized what he was doing to my mother,” Eileen told The Forum this week. “My mother was a wonderful woman; she was smart, genuine and caring. She made a difference in so many people’s lives. I stepped in after seven months when I realized that he was giving my mom the runaround about completing the work, producing and installing the doors and refunding her money.”

Indeed, Eileen took up for her mom, but said she got more of the same treatment from Battaglia, who according to the Department of Consumer Affairs is not licensed. Eileen said that Battaglia pledged to return her mom’s money and finish the work. Neither part of the promise has been fulfilled.

Asked what she’d like to say to Battaglia, Eileen did not mince words.

“You took advantage of my mother and caused her undue duress as a result of your unethical business practices.  She didn’t deserve the treatment that she received from you, nor the disrespect,” Eileen said.  “What you do and have done is not right.”

Asked why she continues to speak out about Battaglia’s alleged shady practices, Eileen said it’s about helping your neighbor.

“I would like to prevent this kind of situation that he created for my mother from happening to others,” she said. “Based on what I read online and the judgments that others have against him, I know that this is not the first time that he has taken customer’s money and not completed the work.”

Indeed, a quick Yelp search reveals several scathing reviews.

“Stay away from Joe Battaglia,” said Mike S. of Valley Stream. “He will act like he is your friend then he will steal your deposit. He is not licensed. Check with your local consumer affairs office to find out. He is a crook. He has plenty of lawsuits against him that he doesn’t pay back. Sue him and he won’t even show up to court. STAY AWAY.”



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