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Category: Business Law
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I had work performed on my home, we had a verbal agreement

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I had work performed on my home, we had a verbal agreement that I would pay time and materials. The contractor has come back 18 months after the completion of the job asking for additional billing, needless to say these billings are for amounts that were never agreed upon. The contractor asserted that these are billings that are "industry standard" as if we had a contract. I have received estimates from other contractors for the cost of performing the same work that was done and those estimates approximate what I spent on the job under the time and material agreement we had. I have all the invoices and records of the time worked and the payments made to the contractor, some in cash others in checks and most of the materials amounts were paid directly to vendors. I know he will go to court and assert that we had a verbal contract with different terms, is there legal merit to his case?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 7 years ago.
Without a contract, his case is weak. He could pursue on theory of unjust enrichment but a court normally looks to the agreed terms and payments made.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
there is nothing in writing so how can the court look to agreed terms? Does it make sense to pursue a summary judgement if he sues me rather than go through expensive litigation or will the court most likely dismiss based on lack of evidence and make it go to trial. I am an accountant so forgive my lack of legal experience. Also, what could he provide as a bill of particulars if requested to provide one?
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 7 years ago.
The court likely will not award summary judgment until discovery is over as the court will want the parties to uncover what services were rendered. The absence of a contract helps you, but does not alone bar a contractor from recovering. You should consider doing some initial discovery.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
even if i also have quotes from other contractors that support the price I have already paid in materials and labor. These contractors are in no way connected to me and I have not had any dealings with them in the past. How could he even claim unjust enrichment?
Expert:  INFOLAWYER replied 7 years ago.
If you can show that, you should prevail but a court still will want some discovery. The absence of a contract makes it so. The court will decide the value of the work and if what you paid more than covers the work done based on industry practice.
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