Author Topic: Legal Advice: Contractor damaged my window  (Read 721 times)

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Offline Rad_Racer

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Legal Advice: Contractor damaged my window
« on: August 29, 2018, 12:25:51 PM »
Ok, so back in the spring, I hired a contractor to pour an exposed aggregate concrete pad in my backyard. He prepped the site and then he subcontracted the concrete to one company, and subcontracted the sandblast finishing to another company.

When all is said and done, I find that the large windows between my dining room and the back yard are damaged. Thousands of tiny chips from the sandblasting. How they managed to do that is beyond me, but that's not the point.

I got a hold of the contractor I hired and explained the situation. He said no problem - he'll get a hold of the sandblaster and get this sorted out. After a few weeks of hounding my contractor, he finally puts me directly in touch with the subcontractor who says to go ahead and get the window replaced and they'll reimburse me.

Now.. I wasn't too keen on that because I was pretty certain it would result me being out $1000+ for several months while trying to get reimbursed.

So I got a few quotes. Found a reasonable one that seemed like a good bet. I asked if they'd be willing to direct bill the sandblaster and they did not have a problem with that. I ran the plan past the sandblaster and he was also fine with that.

About a month passes. I still don't have a new window. I call the window guys. They say they need a deposit in order to get the window ordered, but they haven't had any luck with the sandblaster - couldn't get a hold of him and when they finally did, he started talking about going through insurance. They suggest I contact him again, so I do. And again. And again. Absolute silence. I finally emailed the contractor I originally hired and told him what was going on and asked him to pressure the sandblaster. He said he would do that, but again it has resulted in nothing.

So from what I've read, it seems like the next steps are:
1. Registered letter to sandblaster informing them of the situation and that if it's not resolved by whatever date, I'll be pursuing legal action.
2. Start the process of filing a civil suit.

Now, it looks like civil suits can be done without lawyers to keep costs down, but I'm wondering if it would be wiser to get a lawyer involved immediately to send the initial letter? Might cost $200 or something, but that could be all that's needed?

The window replacement cost is about $1500.

Offline 10secdream

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Re: Legal Advice: Contractor damaged my window
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2018, 12:29:41 PM »
Who is your contract with? Assuming it is with the contractor he is 100% on the hook and should be reimbursing you and then going after the sandblaster. Sounds like you are just getting the run around at this point but I would make it very clear with the contractor that you will be pursuing action (social media, filing a suite, ect.).
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Offline Asstuna

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Re: Legal Advice: Contractor damaged my window
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2018, 01:17:06 PM »
Nothing like throwing good money after bad money. Get your insurance company involved. The guy admitted fault so let them chase him for money.

Offline Ambystom01

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Re: Legal Advice: Contractor damaged my window
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2018, 04:46:06 PM »
You're talking about a small claims action. A lot, probably most, are run without lawyers, and the process is geared towards non-lawyers. Filing fee is $100. Disbursements are on top of this.

Costs are generally awarded as a percentage of the amount recovered: 5-10% depending on whether you have a lawyer or not. On that basis, figure $75 in costs if you go to trial and win $1500.

Check with your own insurer first. Depending on your policy, they might pay you out and then subro pursue the contractor.

If you don't have coverage under your own policy, you gotta go after the contractor yourself. If you're getting the run around, I think you're just wasting more time by sending a registered letter. Chances of them giving two itshays is low. They're ignoring you now; a registered letter isn't gonna change that.
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