Tornado victims claim contractor won’t pay up despite court order

BRIDGE CREEK, Okla. (KFOR) – A Bridge Creek family seeks help years after they lost everything to a tornado. Their dispute with a contractor continues nearly a half decade after a judge awarded thousands in damages.

Henry and Bonnie Keller have had to adapt. Their home in 2022 is much different than just seven years ago.

KFOR was live as an EF3 tornado ripped through Bridge Creek in 2015. The Keller’s home was reduced to a pile of rubble on a concrete foundation.

“A lot of the things that were important to us are now gone,” said Bonnie, five years ago. “The memories are not, but those things are gone.”

Payments for insurance paved the way for a doublewide, that’s now home sweet home.

The Keller’s also opted to have a new garage, chicken coop and barn built. They found and contracted Efficient Roofing and Construction LLC for the job.

As the job progressed, the Kellers worked to get their lives back in order.

“We were so busy taking care of the rest of the family and trying to get them settled,” said Bonnie. “I think that had a lot to do with it.”

Unfinished work.

When the dust had settled on Efficient Roofing’s work, the Kellers were less than impressed.

They told KFOR they found a drafty garage, with the sun peaking through in several spots, that leaks with any rain or snow storm.

Their biggest point of contention, though, is the new barn. The Kellers claim their sliding door hardly worKs, their walk-in door is ready to fall off and the back wall is a half-foot from touching the ground.

“We didn’t see those things until later,” said Bonnie. “Then finally we decided just to go ahead and take him to court.”

In all their dealings with Efficient Roofing, the Kellers had dealt with a man named Jerry Ellis.

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Jerry Ellis

They sued Ellis and Efficient Roofing in 2016. The judge ultimately ruled in their favor, and Efficient Roofing was on the hook for $7,500.

But the Kellers claim they never received the money and that they never heard from Ellis again.

“I could not find him. Could not call him,” said Bonnie. “So, we just kind of dropped it.”

News 4 sought out Ellis as well. Tracking his business interests was a game of whack-a-mole.

While Efficient Roofing and Construction is no more, looking up its phone number will lead you to an “American Roofing Plumbing Heating and AC”. Messages and phone calls to the business were not returned.

In Your Corner stopped by Ellis’s home a couple times, but nobody answered. There was, however, a work truck in the drive labeled “Second Opinion Plumbing Heating and AC”. Their business license is no more, and according to the State Tax Commission, Second Opinion still owes the state $3,300-plus in taxes.

Ellis filed for a new license just this month under the name ‘Sekond Opinion HVAC’, which is of course similar in name to the previous business except for a small spelling change, according to the state’s website.

News 4 spoke with the attorney who represented Ellis on the Keller’s case. His attorney says claims due the judgement in this case has expired.

The Kellers are now looking to fix the mess they say this business left behind.

News 4 attempted to contact Ellis through multiple avenues, but have not heard back.