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Again posting a question about my contractor who has done a…

Again posting a question about...
Again posting a question about my contractor who has done a lot of faulty work/incomplete work. But wants to be paid in full + even charge double for fixing his own defects.He claims that according to contract law, as soon as another contractor "touches" his work, then he is no longer liable.1. First, is the above claim true?
2. And then, does it count as "touching" a contractor's work if we had no choice and/or threatened by the hazards of his work?The particular incident I want to ask about is what happened one time when contractor's electrical outlets were too low and got in the way of the granite being installed. The granite contractor started the installation and the granite countertop was already heavy in hand. We then find out the electrical outlets were in the way of the backsplash. SO we (myself and the granite contractor) try to just move the outlets out of the way. But in doing so, we found out that the outlets stayed hot no matter what we did. Neither the breaker worked to turn them off, nor were the GFI outlets used to control them able to pop them off. Both were installed by the first contractor and declared working.Because the outlets remained hot no matter what we did. And we had no choice but to just put them back on any way we could without zapping ourselves much more.But because we did so, the previous contractor now claims he's not responsible for any of the electrical defects. Because we "touched" it.
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Answered in 7 hours by:
3/27/2018
LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 12,570
Experience: Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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Terribly sorry you are having problems with your contractor. Can you tell me your state please?
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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
California

Thank you - a few minutes please.

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First, a homeowner has a duty to mitigate so if a contractor leaves the site and a health/life/property hazard is discovered the homeowner must take reasonable action otherwise the contractor may not be liable since the court expects the homeowner to mitigate any potential losses if possible to do so.

Now if a subsequent contractor or third party "tampered" with the concern and caused additional damages, the third party would be responsible for the increased damage, but this does not "absolve" the initial contractor from claims of negligence or breach of contract.

Negligence is when a party owes a duty of care to another, and breaches that duty of care by acting in a negligent manner, which results in harm (financial) to the plaintiff.

Breach of contract occurs when a contractor does not comply with their obligations per the contract; substandard work can include a breach of contract since every contract has the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing which presumes quality work based on local standards.

Any issues with a contractor can be brought to the attention of the state board:

Here is a link to the complaint process -

http://www.cslb.ca.gov/Consumers/Filing_A_Complaint/How_The_Complaint_Process_Works.aspx

complaints may include breach and quality issues.

One can also file a civil suit for the cost of repairing the defective items.

example of complaint:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/partners/documents/civ-complaintforbreachofk.pdf

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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
2 followup questions:
- In the case where contractor leaves the hazard undiscoverable, e.g. behind covered walls, or does not put in access where access was supposed to be given, and homeowner does not discover, then is the contractor liable?
- In the case where homeowner discovers the health/life/property hazard, then mitigates it, is contractor liable for the cost of mitigating?

Yes, one moment- the statutes are taking a bit to download; I believe there is a 10 year statute but want to confirm.

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Here is the statute that allows 4 years:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CCP&sectionNum=337.1

and for latent defects:

10 years:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CCP&sectionNum=337.15

Yes, generally the cost of mitigation is deemed to be "reasonably foreseeable and proximately caused" - so the court typically allows reimbursement for a reasonable amount.

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Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Customer reply replied 28 days ago
Thank you

You are most welcome; thank you kindly for the positive rating. Take care.

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