We hired South River Restoration last Sept (USAA had on their recommended list) to perform Water Mitigation services with Hurricane Irene. One worker removed a large, heavy dehumidifier from our living room floor and dragged across the floor, causing a major dent/scrape(s) (10-12 in). They said someone would come out to fix. Took them 3 mos to replace part of it but didn’t address the main scratches. Months went by after promising to fix (and our calls to South River). A few cos came out but both were skeptical this could be fixed correctly and they couldn’t fix (but tried) South River management recognized the issue. Recently, they brought out another person to re-finish the floors but ruined the floor causing it to look unfinished and completely different. All parties agreed that an oil based finish should have been used from the start. Below is what occurred ( I have pictures of all)They dripped Polyurethane on our new carpets and likely ruined this carpet – by South River’s own admission – they may need to replace.A long wooden table was scratched/gashed as they are currently fixing, to be returned in about a month.Entire house was covered in a heavy layer of wood dust (all rooms and levels). Every article, dish, item (baby bottles, etc) was covered with dust (even in the closed cabinets). South River admitted they hired people who were used to new construction and didn’t likely know how to properly prepare/work with an existing home.They broke our Dryer hose- which they replaced. We have a 7 month old baby that had to sleep in this environment (his room was affected as well) for a night and we were concerned about his coughing, exposure, etc. (Even South River’s cleaners – Eric - admitted this was atrocious) Moreover, during the above, I had to be gone for the day, inconveniently (wife was out of town) so I had to care for my son in parking lots, friend’s houses, etc…..but my neighbors shared with me that one of these workers were certifiably sleeping on my porch (in a rocker). USAA has been notified of all of this. Now, they are hiring a person to come out next week to start work. They want to arrive at 8-9 am and they say they will be done that night or early next morning and perhaps the cleaners will have to come in right after. However, South River now says they are only paying for one night in a hotel room. They expect my wife (with an infant) to simply go away from early morning to late afternoon (around 2-3pm) since she can’t check into a hotel until then. This child requires feeding and naps frequently, etc. South is growing increasingly arrogance and defensive and treating everything as a mere ‘favor’, rather that what’s needed to fix the problem. We are losing confidence that we will be returned back to where things were before. Lastly, we feel we deserve compensation for all the hassle, emotional distress, potential health and overall compromises to our newborn, and personal time lost over the past 9 months, much higher electricity costs, meal expenses way from home, excessive water bills (cleaning every kitchen item from dust) time away from work, etc. Was wondering what legal options we may have and what our recourse may be?
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I'm sorry to hear of all that you have had to deal with. The good news is that you do have recourse. The company who removed a dehumidifier and damaged the floor is liable to you for the damage caused. Chances are that they will my repair the floor because it is not their specialty, but they must reimburse you for cost of repairs. The matter is complicated by the fact that the company who did come out to repair the floor, did so negligently, thereby causing further damage. The way this is handled is a lawsuit naming both companies as defendants.I do not recommend doing this on your own, and a great referral source will be your County Bar Association. There will be no charge for the referral and no charge for the initial consultation with the attorney to whom you are referred. It is possible that that attorney will agree to accept your case on a contingency basis, meaning that there may be no out-of-pocket costs or fees for you to pay.I hope this information helps. If you need additional information or clarification, please let me know and I will be happy to continue to assist you.If I have answered your question, please be sure to indicate your satisfaction where prompted.Best of luck!
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