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DeKalb Junction contractor files defamation suit

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CANTON — A DeKalb Junction construction firm filed a lawsuit last week in state Supreme Court alleging disgruntled customers are hurting its reputation and credibility.

James A. O’Neill of C.W. Augustine Inc. works with the Ogdensburg and Potsdam municipalities on construction projects.

The lawsuit alleges Frederick and Pat Biggs and Mark A. Jones are trying to interfere with a construction project in Ogdensburg.

During an Ogdensburg City Council meeting March 12, the Biggses gave council members a packet critical of Mr. O’Neill’s company. They also regularly attend City Council meetings to criticize the company.

In 2002, the Biggses sued Mr. O’Neill for $500,000 after they said their home was poorly built. A jury awarded the couple $7,100. The Biggses appealed but were denied.

According to the lawsuit filed by Mr. O’Neill, the Biggses created the website www.constructionmismanagement.org, where they engage in defamatory comments about Mr. O’Neill’s business.

On their website, the Biggses say they are continuing their campaign against the company because they want people to see how Mr. O’Neill does business. “The main focus and message of this site has always been to try to ensure that no one else falls into the trap that we discovered the hard way,” the website says.

Because of the website and alleged threats from the Biggses and Mr. Jones, Mr. O’Neill is asking for a judgment of $1 million for emotional distress, interfering with contract, defamation and hurting his company’s reputation.

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