I had an electrician install a generator panel in my home. I discovered it was completely faulty (wired incorrectly, against code AND is a fire hazard). A multiple circuits in this panel tripped over the weekend and arched onto a lose screw. The screw is now black. I have pictures and an independent electrician documenting all this. This is a new home. It passed "inspection" but after talking with my licensed electrician he said this is clear negligence. When I told the builder he immediately sent the company that installed the panel over. They acknowledged it was wired wrong and wanted to try to start fixing it. I turned them away. Again, I have pictures and have documented everything. Seems to me they want to cover this up. They exposed the panel to the frame and if that fire arch caught fire my home would have burned down. I spoke with an attorney last night and he said we would only have a case if our home burned down. Is this right? Even though I can prove negligence and violations of code, I can't sue these people for endangering me and my family unless we were hurt or our home burned down?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Texas
Nothing, the builder wants to "fix" the problem but I want to hold them accountable for something...
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.
Good morning. When you say "I had an electrician install a generator panel in my home" .... did you do this after you purchased the house? Or, did you ask the builder to do this prior to purchasing the house? Thanks.
Good morning,The builder (Toll Brothers) included the generator panel in the cost of our contract. They used Shwartz Electric to install the wiring and the panels. When we had the panel short out this weekend no one responded to my calls. So I called an independent electrician and paid $59 for them to come out, assess the problem, tighten the screw down that was arching and give me a quote to fix it. Within 30 minutes of them leaving the builder sent Swartz Electric to my home to fix the problem. I told them to get lost. The exposed wood and potential fire scared the heck out of me. The electrician for Swartz even said it was wired backwards (neutral to ground bar and vice versa, 100 amp circuit across from a 20 and 15 and there should not be anything there, they didn't install a transfer switch so the generator doesn't blow up when the main power is turned back on). You get the picture. The builder installed the panel.
Did you get my response?
Just did. Thanks. You don't have to have your house burn down to have a claim here. It's possible that the attorney simply didn't want to handle the case unless your house burned down because there wasn't enough money in it for him/her.
The seller is obligated to disclose anything the seller knows orshould have known that a reasonable buyer would consider material in making thedecision whether or not to buy the property. This faulty installation clearly qualifies assomethingthat should have been disclosed. A buyer in this situation should sendseller and the electrician a certified, return receipt requested letter detailing the situation anddemanding that seller and/or electrician pay for the cost of repair and/or remediation by your selected electrician intotal within a short specified period of time. The buyer would inform seller and the electricianthat if buyer's demand is not timely complied with, buyer will have no choicebut to file a suit against bothseller and electrician for damages. The buyer would want to make sure to specifically mentionthat buyer will be filing this claim not only as a Breach of Contract case, butalso as a deceptive tradepractice action against the builder and a gross negligence claim against the electrician, which will entitle buyer not only to actual damages, but alsoanadditional amount equal to 3 times that as Punitive Damages. That shouldprovide plenty of incentive to comply with buyer's demands; but, if it doesnot,buyer should file the suit.
I hope this has givenyou information that has been helpful to you. If the information seems moregeneral than specific, please be aware that we are only allowed to provideinformation and not specific advice. If you have a follow-upquestion, please remember that there might be a delay between your follow upquestions and my answers because I may be helping others or taking a break.
If you do have any additional questions aboutmy answer please click the "ContinueConversation Link" so I can provide you with a fullysatisfactory answer. Pleasebe aware that any rating of 1 or 2 is reflected as a negative rating and I receiveno credit for my answers.
Thanks for allowing meto be of service to you. Please be aware that the information provided here isnot legal advice. Rather it is simply general information. All states have intricacies in their lawsand any information given is simply information only and specifically is notintended to be, nor does it constitute, legal advice. This communication doesnot establish an attorney-client relationship with you. I hope this answer has been helpful to you.
Thank you. I was the buyer from the builder just fwiw. We contracted them to build the home. This is absolutely shotty work and dangerous to know there are both electricians and electrical inspectors that do this work and certify it. I cannot believe this passed inspection.
You're welcome. Your case is very strong so don't accept anything less than full compensation to have this remediated by a competent electrician.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).