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Ask Delta-Lawyer Your Own Question
Delta-Lawyer
Delta-Lawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3546
Experience:  10 years practicing IP law and general litigation
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I need to know if i'm still obligated to pay our painter

Customer Question

I need to know if i'm still obligated to pay our painter for his work. We had to file an insurance claim with his insurance company. We recently received this payment. He says that since we were reimbursed for his bad work, that we now need to pay for the rest of his services. he claims I said I would pay him after the insurance claim went through. I don't recall that conversation. We owe him $2200 for the remainder of the job. But do we owe him? We settled the claim thinking we would not be paying him the remainder. He's threatening to put a lein against our home. Can he do this for bad service? If the law requires me to pay him, I will, but it doesn't seem I should when his contract stated the following:
All areas not being painted will be properly protected
All labor and material is guaranteed and the above work to be performed in accordance with specifications. Work to be completed in a substantial workmanlike manner.
No deposit required, payment to be made on a job performance basis.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

If you had to file an insurance claim that would not have been necessary but for his poor workmanship, then you can argue that you owe him nothing because he breached his express and/or implied contract to you, causing you harm in the process.

If he completed the job, or it is now complete, then there is an argument to be had that you owe him, at least at an reduced rate, for this services. If you drill down a little further, he really only has a good faith argument to be paid for the material costs associated with the job...not the labor, since the labor was not satisfactory - moreover, it actually caused harm.

In short, though it can be more complicated, I think you should request that he provide to you an itemized list of the material costs associated with the job. You can reimburse him for the material costs and that should be all you reimburse for relative to the job - unless he fixed that which precipitated the insurance claim and completed the job after the fact. If that is the case, then he does have an argument for reimbursement of materials and labor AFTER the event that precipitated the insurance claim.

Please rate my answer positively and let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

Best wishes going forward!

Expert:  Delta-Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

Just checking in on you to see if you had any additional questions. I want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible moving forward with this important issue. Thanks

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