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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110478
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Had an outfit do some trenching in & outside of our house &

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Had an outfit do some trenching in & outside of our house & in so doing damaged paneling in the bsmt with the jackhammer & moisture (due to trenching). They offered us $200 to fix paneling & we rec'd. an estimate for $950. They claim paneling was already warped & it emphatically WAS NOT. Their cleanup was terrible & they trashed our bsmt.--tracked mud on carpet, damaged 3 areas where paneled & they say they are not responsible for damage. Does it give them the right to do damage, disrespect our house & not care/suffer any consequences while doing the work. We paid them thousands of dollars & we feel because we are elderly, they took advantage of us. We invited the Mgr. to come out & inspect the damage & his comment was "I'm not driving all the way out to Winder. We had his Asst. come in 2 days to fix their mistakes.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

The contractor hired to do work on a property is liable for any damages they cause when doing that work. Thus, if they damaged your property while doing the trenching, they are liable to fix it under the common law of negligence and liability.

The fact that your contract has an arbitration clause for disputes means you cannot sue and you must submit a written request demanding arbitration to resolve your dispute over the damages caused by the work they performed under that contract.

I do not see how the manager is saying "by rights" they do not have to pay for damage they caused unless your contract had a waiver of liability clause for this type of damage.

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Law Educator, Esq. and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your advice--it was helpful. I failed to mention that they indicated in their contract that it was not necessary to remove our paneling, but they would remove baseboards. If baseboards were damaged, they were not responsible. It did not say anything about damage to paneling--just baseboards---maybe I am being too technical. But I believe that is why they said that they do not have to pay us anything even though they damaged the paneling with the jackhammer & the moisture--making an offer of $200 to appease us. Not acceptable.

Thank you for your response.

While they are not liable for damage to the baseboards if the contract states they would not be liable for them, but paneling is not baseboard and if they damaged the paneling they are liable.