By Kurtis Ming

STOCKTON (CBS13) — A Stockton woman was upset after spending thousands of dollars for new kitchen countertops that she says didn’t perform as expected.

Marianne Duncan says the owner William Lawton of the Tile Outlet in Stockton ignored her. When we contacted him, he ignored us. So she took him to court.

Called before a civil court judge, the elusive William Lawton answers to claims he sold crummy countertops.

“Everything stains it, or makes ring or chips in it,” said former customer Marianne Duncan.

The etched-in coffee cup spots is not what Duncan expected to see just months after putting the quartz kitchen countertops. Every time she walks into her kitchen, Duncan says, “It is a constant reminder that I feel I was sold a bill of goods.”

She says Lawton wouldn’t respond to her request to replace the $3,600 she spent on the countertops at his store.

“Very elusive, he has no interest in talking to us or doing anything about it,” said Duncan.

We stopped by Tile Outlet in Stockton a worker said, that they no longer had Duncan’s countertop in stock and admitted she would have never recommended it.

When we asked who the manufacturer was, she refused to give us the name, saying we had to speak with the owner. But our repeated calls and messages to Lawton went ignored.

So Marianne sued Lawton. But before they went in front of the judge. Both parties agreed to go behind closed doors to mediate. After more than an hour, they stood before the judge to discuss their mutual arrangement.

Judge Sparks address the defendant, “Mr. Lawton. You are going to remove and replace the kitchen and hall bathroom counter’s with new quartz with a 10-year warranty on all materials and labor.”

Lawton responds, “Correct.”

We caught up with Lawton in the hallway where he explained the problem with the countertops he sold Marianne.

Lawton said, “The prefab portion wasn’t appropriate for the job.” “We’re going to replace it.”

But when we ask why he didn’t respond to Duncan or us, he walks off.

But Marianne is happy with the outcome of the mediation and looks forward to finally getting her countertops replaced.

Duncan, “Ecstatic [laughs] Relieved!”

An expert told us you should only buy countertop material that a manufacture warranties for at least 10 years. Also, suggesting before making the investment get a sample of it and test it around the house; put cups on it, to see how it performs.


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