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socrateaser
socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 34170
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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i am a sub contractor in california, my client complained our

Resolved Question:

i am a sub contractor in california, my client complained our installation, please advise if there is any lawyer whos knows construction field..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,

What legal questions do you have about your circumstances?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i emailed the owner, i can improve my work if he allow me to work in his house, but he never reply me, now he is re install the system by using other company, according his email, he will ask us to take responsibility for the cost. Is he able to suit us for paying all the cost? He has not given me a chance to go into his house to improve the work, now he is using some one else to re do the work, should i pay all the cost? can i fight back? do i need to mail him a certified letter as proof instead of email?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi i am not sure if you get all my questions, i attached the original question below again...


Hi I am a heating sub contractor who is located in California. I am looking for a lawyer who knows about the construction lawsuit.


 


I signed a contract with general contractor to install a radiant heat system for a residential house, the owner is not satisfied with the work, he complained the system made noise , below are the email from the owner-


 


Cary and Desmond,


Turning down our water heater to 100 degrees as you recommended does not stop or decrease the noise coming from the radiant heating system.


From our 9/20 conversation and emails below you have continued with the stance that "all radiant systems make noise as the system heats up initially as hot water goes through the pipes",and that we should “live with the noise”-- something all other experts from the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA) and other certified installers tell us should not be the case. You have offered no formal remedy other than 1) keeping the thermostat at a constant temperature and 2) lowering water heater temperature to 100 degrees (both which we have tried and neither of which has stopped the noise from occurring each time the system turns on.) Other professionals have provided proposals on steps to try to mitigate the noise caused by faulty installation of the radiant system. We will be working with another radiant heating expert to attempt to mitigate the noise from your installation since you have provided no alternate plan after several requests by us, and you still contend and communicate that "all radiant systems make noise on initial heat up". If our efforts to mitigate the noise ahead of re-installing the entire system does not meet with satisfactory results, we will look to other avenues for resolution and intend to hold you responsible.


We have also received no further satisfactory remedies or answers from either of you on the backyard sewer drain location (or moving it), nor the fact that the backflow could only be installed in the middle of the bathroom floor or main hallway downstairs. We also intend to hold you responsible for all damages incurred as a result of these deficiencies.


Mark de Vere White


 


 


Below are my replies-


 


Hi Mark,


 


There are a lot of system. This is the system you chose. I can add an outdoor sensor to the system. this will lower the temp. of the water while outside temp. is mild. the lower the temp,the less expansion of the pipe. you fired everybody, i can not be in your house. it is difficult and impossible to do the job.


 


You have to talk your wife about the check valve and clean out location. They decided where everything went. I just followed orders.


 



Cary



 


After I replied him, I never heard from him, it has been more than 2 months, recently I found they are transporting some new material into the house, looks like they tear down the system that we installed and re install a new radiant heating system in their home by using other radiant heat company. I believe the owner will bill us after they done the new installation and ask us to pay all the cost that for the teardown and re installation. The general contractor said if the owner suit him, he will suit me.


 


I replied the owner ‘s email, offered him I can come back to work and improve the system if he allow me to work in his house, but he never replied me, I never heard from him since the email I sent to him. Please advise what should I do?


 


 


 

Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, but I never received your replies until now.

I emailed the owner, i can improve my work if he allow me to work in his house, but he never reply me, now he is re install the system by using other company, according his email, he will ask us to take responsibility for the cost. Is he able to suit us for paying all the cost?

A: The owner is required to mitigate damages in order to have a claim against you. Part of that obligation requires that the owner provide you with a reasonable opportunity to cure the defects in construction, unless to do so would be futile.

Ultimately, the owner can sue the general contractor, and the general contractor can sue you. If that happens, then you would either have to defend the lawsuit and show that the construction work was done correctly, and that the noise is the result of a manufacturer's defect. Or, you may be found liable for the damages -- in which case, your next move may be to file for bankruptcy protection if you cannot pay the claim.

Naturally, if you are a licensed contractor, then the owner will go after your bond. If you are not licensed by the CSLB, then you cannot defend the lawsuit -- however, this would also make you the employee of the general contractor, and that would further mean that you are not liable -- the general would liable, and he cannot sue you to recover, because Labor Code 2800 and 2802 require that an employer pay all of an employee's costs incurred within the scope of employment.

He has not given me a chance to go into his house to improve the work, now he is using some one else to re do the work, should i pay all the cost? can i fight back? do i need to mail him a certified letter as proof instead of email?

A: You may want to send certified mail to both the general and the owner stating that you are ready, willing and able to attempt to cure any installation defect that is the result of your alleged lack of due care, but that you cannot do so, unless you are permitted to reenter the property.

That way, at least you will have some record that you have attempted to cure any alleged breach of your contract, and that either the general or owner is preventing you from doing so.

Hope this helps.

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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 34170
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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