AceShowbiz - Billy Joel has been sued by a contractor who claims he ripped off architectural designs to renovate his Long Island, New York home.
According to a petition filed against Joel, his wife Alexis, the limited liability company (LLC) through which they own their properties and the current renovation contractor in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday, April 22, 2020, the "Piano Man" star hired home improvement company Berry Hill Development Corp. to do up his 12,000 square foot property last year 2019. However, after a structural engineer allegedly found defects in their work, Joel is said to have taken Berry Hill off the job. Paul Laruccia, the owner of Berry Hill, claims he'd already had architectural designs drawn up, to the tune of $126,700 - some of which reportedly remains unpaid.
Joel then moved forward with a different contractor, who submitted "nearly identical" architectural drawings to the Centre Island Building Department, Laruccia alleges.
"To date, the defendants continue upon the site renovations of the Premises utilising the works and plans owned by Berry Hill, without Berry Hill's approval, license or permission to do so," the lawsuit reads.
Laruccia, who is asking for unspecified damages for Berry Hill, claims he has already sent a cease and desist letter to the 70-year-old star and filed a separate lawsuit in Nassau County Supreme Court that Joel has yet to respond to.
A spokesperson for Joel hit back at the lawsuit in a statement to the New York Post's Page Six and insisted that the singer had to pay out to fix the problems caused by Berry Hill.
"Billy and Alexis Joel will not stand by in the midst of such unjustifiable accusations that obscure the real issue which is the rightful termination of general contractor Berry Hill owned by Paul Laruccia," the representative said.
"Berry Hill was terminated from the project because of significant structural defects that affect the safety of the residence and Berry Hill's attempt to now collect payment for deficient work is outrageous."