A Los Angeles contactor is suing Spike Cable Networks Inc. for allegedly trapping him in a house and fraudulently inducing him to sign a release under duress to participate on To Catch a Contractor.
In a lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Jeff Dillman is suing for fraud, false imprisonment, defamation and violation of right to name or likeness.
In December 2013, Dillman alleges that he arrived at a Los Angeles home of “Elizabeth Stevens” where he was “supposedly supposed to pick up a check for materials to begin contracting work.”
Dillman alleges he entered the home, sat down on the couch and was surprised by To Catch a Contractor cast and crewmembers, host Adam Carolla and wife/co-star Alison Bedell (an allegedly licensed private investigator), and a bouncer blocking the door.
According to the show’s website, TCAC “aims to turn the table on contractors who have done their clients wrong.”
The plaintiff alleges he worked on the home of defendants Scott Derman and Samantha Cadmanin July 2013, but the contract was terminated in Oct. 2013 and the homeowners filed a claim for Dillman’s bid bond. The defendants applied to be on the Spike show in November 2013.
Plaintiff Dillman alleges he was told the cameras were “for an unnamed home improvement show,” and was given three options by a TCAC producer: return the money; walk away and have his company name mentioned while assisting the homeowners with their suit; or sign the release, appear on the show and complete the remodeling project.
The suit claims Dillman “had no choice but to sign the release” and was paid $10,000 for his participation on the show. Dillman was allegedly told that if he signed the release, “there would be no claim on the bid bond.”
The episode aired on Mar. 23, 2014, and Dillman alleges the defendants brandished a photograph of him and Bedell called him a “criminal.” On the episode’s airdate, Derman replied to a Facebook comment asking if the show was similar in style to Dateline’s To Catch a Predator. “Yes Tiffany Marquez! Adam carolla [sic] busts a contractor, who touched me in naughty places,” he replied.
A trial by jury was also demanded.
A Spike representative declined to comment on the case.